Let’s be honest. Does anyone actually enjoy working out? Sure, you may be a gym rat who claims to enjoy working up a sweat and building muscle, but given the choice, I’m sure you’d much rather be sprawled out on your couch watching your favorite tv show. That’s because working out is work. It’s not meant to be fun or easy, because it takes time and oftentimes, some pain. That phrase feel the burn isn’t for nothing.
If you want to get the most out of your workout, then there will always be some degree of work involved. However, it doesn’t have to feel like work and it can actually be fun if you go about it the right way. I was an active sports player in high school and I always enjoyed the camaraderie that came with being part of a team more than the solo workouts I had to keep up with to stay in shape. In college, when I was busy with mountains of schoolwork, working out became even more of a chore. So I found ways to make it less so and it actually worked! I really do enjoy making fitness a part of my regular routine when I implement tactics to make it more fun. Here are some ideas for you to do the same:
1.Listen to music: It always helps to crank up some tunes when you’re working out. I find that certain songs push me to keep going; they help me stay motivated and give me something to focus on other than the pounding of my feet on the treadmill. Whatever your jam is (rock, pop, rap, country) plug in your earphones and jam out like nobody’s watching…because they’re probably not if you’re at the gym-everyone just does their own thing. If you want to dance, dance. It’s a fun way to burn some calories!
2. Workout with a friend: I also find that working out with a buddy really helps me stay motivated. They can serve as an accountability partner, because who else can you depend upon to text you at 6am to make sure you’re up and ready to hit the gym before your classes start? Find a friend you really trust and hold each other accountable. Having a fun to work out with also makes going to the gym a lot more enjoyable, because it gives you someone to chat with. Otherwise, working out tends to be a little lonely and isolating.
3. Join a class: Joining a class at your local gym or wherever one is offered is a great way to stay motivated. If you’re paying for something or are expected to make a presence, there’s more incentive to keep going. Plus, classes are a lot of fun and they’re not just for women. Whether it’s yoga, martial arts, aerobics, or CrossFit, there’s something for everyone and working out alongside others shouldn’t make you feel self-conscious- you’re all learning together! If your community offers any kinds of group sports for adults, consider those as well. Sports deliver so many wonderful lessons and benefits!
4. Get outside: You’re probably more motivated to take in the great outdoors when it’s a warm, sunny day, but even if the air has a chill to it, if you’re running, your body will adjust to compensate for the cooler temperatures. We’re starting to come up on spring though and there have been some unseasonably warm days lately for February, so take advantage of these warmer days and take in the scenery. Running or jogging outside is more challenging than doing your cardio workout on the treadmill, but wouldn’t you rather get some fresh air and look at variable sites rather than at a wall or out a window? According to greatist.com, 30 minutes a day is all it takes to strengthen bones and muscle, prevent disease, and improve your quality of life.
5. Set goals: You’re not likely to get much out of your workout if you’re not working towards achievable goals. Focus on your fitness goals while at the gym and not the clock, and the time will go by much more quickly! Technology can be really useful here: consider downloading a fitness tracker app such as MapMyRun or Charity Miles (which allows you to donate to charity as you run!) or buying a Fitbit to chart your progress.