Generally I like to select a workout program and then follow if through for the prescribed 6 or 9 or 12 weeks, and I do tend to get
So yes, this fun aspect to my workouts is a real mindset shift. And I think it is important. Now, don't get me wrong... I am still a proponent of following a particular program instead of just working out willy-nilly in order to meet specific goals, but I have come to realize that I need to have fun with my workouts. If I don’t they aren’t going to do me any good at all. If I am not enjoying what I am doing, I am not likely going to put the required real effort into it.
One thing I have learned as I go along is that life is too short to spend time doing things I don’t like. Don’t you agree?
This is so obvious I almost hesitate to say it, but honestly it took me a long time to figure it out. I like to do a variety of different kinds of workouts and exercise activities. I also like to play several different sports. There are so many things that I do like to do, that I don’t have enough time for them all, especially if I am busy wasting time with things I don’t.
Sometimes I will give things a third or fourth try just to make sure... some things I know without actually trying at all. For example, I know I would not like Crossfit so I have never even tried it. I don’t like stairclimbers, elliptical machines, treadmills, or machines at the gym so I don’t use them. I really don’t like stability balls.
I do love to walk and to run, to lift weights and do full body weight workouts. I like kickboxing, hiking, swimming, biking, and canoeing. I am crazy about tennis, and golf and yoga. In the past I was an avid snow skier and would jump at the chance to do it again now.
2. If you cannot do your given workout, substitute something similar that you like to do.
I love to run, but I don’t like to run on a treadmill… so if I can’t run outdoors because the weather is too wet or too windy, I will find some other way of getting in some exercise instead of heading to the gym to run on a treadmill. More than likely I will put a kickboxing DVD on and get sweaty with that, or I just may don appropriate clothing and footwear and head out for a hike or nice long walk. It’s still cardio. It is still doing the same good for my heart. I am still spending time on my feet.
3. Don’t spoil your love for an activity by turning it into a competition unless you really enjoy that aspect of it.
Again, I love to run, but I am not interested in racing or collecting race medals so I no longer register for running events where I am going to feel pressure to show up at a time and place I may not even feel like running. I love to play tennis, and to golf, but no longer competitively. Athletic and sports competitions are not something I enjoy doing myself, so I have stopped taking part in them… but I am a great spectator and cheerleader at them! Other people live for the bling and that is what makes it fun for them.
4. Allow yourself to goof off once in a while.
I am working very hard right now in order to build up my upper body to help me with my swimming. But if the opportunity arises to head to the tennis courts on a beautiful day, I won’t feel the least bit guilty ditching that workout for a tennis match. More that likely I will really look forward to that next strength session too.
5. Try new things… and new locations… and new people!
I am one of these people that want to do it all. When I was a kid I was often called fickle because I never stuck with anything for very long. There was always something new around the corner to try, or some new kid down the street that I hadn’t met yet. I am the same way with vacations. I want to go somewhere I haven’t been instead of returning to a given, same place year after year. I thrive on new experiences, new places, new faces.
I am not saying that you have to be changing your workouts all the time… quite the contrary. But I do think you must to be open to trying new activites in addition to your favorites. If you are a pavement runner, find a trail. And take along your husband or you kids with you. If you do yoga, try a different practice at a new studio. If you love hoisting weights, try a resistance band. You get the idea. Or try something completely new. Get outside your comfort zone. Experiment. You may find a new love or obsession!
I am always looking for the next adventure. Let's see… I haven’t tried rock or wall climbing yet… or stand up paddling…
So how do you keep your workouts enjoyable and fun?