Four Tips on How to Make Exercise Fun! Most people are stuck on the idea that exercise, in any form, is not fun. And, for most, it's not -- really! I don't like it -- it makes me sweaty. My muscles hurt -- sometimes, I feel like certain body groups will never recover. Trying to sit down on the couch
gracefully becomes a major accomplishment after "leg day." But, I know it's good for me and makes me healthy, so I plug on.
Since exercise is a necessary evil in our lifestyles (and, I say that not even half-joking!), it's important to find ways to incorporate it into our lives within methods we are willing to stick with. Working out diligently for a couple of days, only to get bored or tired of it isn't effective. But, identifying a style that resonates with your preferences will boost your chances of making it a part of your daily routine.
In addition to making it fun so you'll stick with it, there is scientific proof that making your workout enjoyable is essential for weight loss success. Research conducted this past summer by the Food & Brand Lab of Cornell University discovered a link between how much you enjoy physical activity and the likelihood that you will overindulge in sugary sweets afterward.
Two groups were directed in the same form of exercise (a one-mile walk). However, the goal was poised differently: one group thought they were on scenic "fun run" that was entertaining and the other viewed the exercise as something to be gritted out. The former group responded with thoughts that the workout was fulfilling and satisfying, but the latter group viewed food as a reward for their efforts.
"The group who viewed it as work were the ones who wanted to compensate their effort by doing themselves, and that showed up in what and how much they ate after their exercise," Brian Wansink, head of the Food & Brand Lab told Forbes.com. Wansink is the author of upcoming book, Slim By Design: Mindless-Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.
To offset the effects of overeating after a good workout, the Cornell scientists encourage fitness seekers to frame exercise as something fun in their minds. Here are a few suggestions about how you can make your workouts more enjoyable (and reduce those cravings for extra sweets afterward):
- Add music: Get on Pandora or iTunes and seek out a great workout playlist. There are many to choose from in about any style genre that you like. When you're grooving to your favorite tunes, you're much less likely to worry about your exercise moves. You may actually look forward to a chance to jam out to your favorite music.
- Involve others: Exercising can be lonely when you don't have any friends along. It's always nice to engage with others as you do a workout DVD, jog or swim. Simply that camaraderie that you establish with others motivates you and increases the chances that you'll look forward to your activity, instead of dreading it.
- Watch your favorite show: Of course, you can catch up on you DVR'd Walking Dead episodes or other favorite shows while you work out. Pop a DVD workout into your laptop and turn on your television. Get involved in your show as you workout. It distracts you from muscle aches and pains, along with helping your motivation to keep going, since you get to do something you like, so long as you're exercising.
- Choose exercise you like: If you absolutely hate running, no soundtrack is going to make it enjoyable for you. Consider the workouts you like. Swimming, aerobics, a DVD workout, cycling, rock climbing, weight lifting or anything else that gets your muscles moving and heart pumping is better than sitting on the couch. Find an exercise that you like and go do it!
And you know what ELSE is fun?? RESULTS!! When you start seeing the results of your consistent efforts you will become even more motivated to keep going!!!