Unflattering gym uniforms, thirty-year-old team jerseys reeking of stale sweat , an obnoxious gym teacher, and overly-competitive classmates: does that sound like a good time or what? Even as an athletic individual, mandatory high school gym class was far from enjoyable. Maybe it even turned you off from exercise…forever.
Newsflash: Exercise can be fun.
If you don’t believe me, here are some tips on how to make it fun:
- Exercise with friends. Get a group of friends together and commit to exercising together once a week (at minimum). Friends provide a good reason to commit to exercise (as if you need one!) and a social aspect. Join a hip hop or spinning class. Friends can also be great support if you’re not feeling up to exercising – teamwork, baby!
- Try a new kind of activity. So maybe you go to your gym for strength training three times a week and you’re bored of it. Or you run long distances daily. Step outside of your comfort zone for a challenge and try something new. Have you always wanted to try a zumba class? Maybe you’d like to take up kickboxing. (If you’re nervous to try something new by yourself, this is where friends can come in handy!)
- Visualize a goal. Create a deadline. Exercise can get monotonous and boring if you don’t have any motivation behind it. Create a goal or have a deadline that you can work towards so you can measure your progress. Set up a fitness photo shoot with a photographer or sign up for a marathon. Get motivated.
- Listen to music. It seems simple, but listening to music can change the mood and tone of any work out and add extra motivation. Most spinning and group fitness classes are set to high-energy music and if you prefer to exercise solo, create a custom playlist of your favourite songs to listen to while sweating!
- Keep it dynamic. If you’re not one who likes the monotony of the same daily routine, keep your weekly exercise schedule full of a wide range of activities. Mix cardio – like long distance running and aerobics classes – with strength training – lift weights at your gym or do body weight exercises at home with a workout video. Feeling sassy? Throw in some hot yoga to treat your muscles to some much-needed TLC.
The best part of exercising is that you have the freedom to choose when, where, why, and how you exercise – a freedom you probably didn’t have during your high school gym class. This freedom is the key element in making exercise fun. Now you have all the essential tools to have a blast while getting fit…obnoxious whistle-blowing gym teacher not included.
What tips do you have for keeping exercise fun? Post your comments below!