Life is too short to hate your exercise – getting healthy doesn’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) something you dread.
Do you get bored running? Do you hate lifting weights?
If you are doing types of exercise that you hate – you are suffering unnecessarily! Even worse, you are probably limiting your progress towards your goals!
[Leans in and whispers] I want to let you in on a dirty little secret of the fitness word. Ready?
Unless you’re an athlete training for a particular sport… you don’t have to run, or even lift weights if you don’t want to. If your goal is weight loss or general health, the list of possible exercise modalities for you to choose from is nearly endless! For goals like these, the most important thing is just that you move more, and that you enjoy doing it!
Why is it Important That You Enjoy Exercise?
Let’s be realistic here, if you hate your exercise – if you have to fight a mental battle to drag yourself to the gym each and every day – odds are that you won’t stick to it long term.
On the other hand, if you do enjoy the type of exercise you are doing – if it isn’t a chore, or a dreaded task to check off your to do list – you are much more likely to stick to it (a.k.a be adherent to your exercise program). Adherence is THE single most important factor determining whether or not you will be successful in improving your health or shedding those unwanted pounds.
If you enjoy your exercise – you will make exercising a priority, instead of making excuses to avoid it at every opportunity. Enjoying exercise will also make it easier to adopt it as part of your lifestyle and continue doing it forever ensuring that your results will last!
Exercise as a Part of Your Identity
Enjoyment is also an important factor in being able to make exercise part of your identity. How can you say “I am a runner” and be motivated by that if you hate running?
Example: I identify with being an adventurer. My favorite types of exercise involve conquering mountains, chasing waterfalls, scaling rock walls, and paddling around alpine lakes. I am not at all a morning person, but I would get up early any day to have the opportunity to do any one of these things!
3 Tips to Enjoy Exercise More
Tip 1: Try New Things!
There are sooooo many types of exercise out there! I find it pretty unlikely that you will hate them all. If you do hate your current exercise – kick it to the curb and keep looking. You just haven’t come across the right type of exercise for you yet!
I challenge you to find a type of exercise you love to do. Keep trying new types until something feels right! For example:
- Have you always loved dancing? Why not take a swing dancing class or try Zumba?
- Do you love great views and appreciate nature? Why not give hiking a shot?
- Are you a dog person? Treat those pups to some extra walks!
- Do you need to take out some frustration after a rough day at work? What about trying a martial arts class?
Tip 2: Train For Something!
Some people like to have something to train for. If you are one of these people, consider some of the following options to keep yourself motivated and interested in exercise:
- Signing up for a running or cycling race.
- Doing an obstacle race (think Spartan or Tough Mudder etc.)
- Planning an adventure or active vacation to:
Tip 3: Find an Exercise Buddy
Having someone to workout with can be really fun! Consider:
- Inviting a friend/significant other to workout with you
- Joining an activity group (running, cycling, hiking clubs are very common)
- Signing up for a bootcamp/small group workout class
I really believe that there is a type (or multiple types) of exercise out there for everyone! Keep trying until you find something that is right for you. The most important thing, especially when you are first becoming active, is just to move more. So feel free to explore – life is too short to hate your exercise!
- Do you currently have a favorite type of exercise? If so, what is it?
- What is at least one new type of exercise that you would like to try?
Share in the comments below, or tag a picture of you doing your favorite exercise/trying a new one and share it @healthhabithero on Instagram!