Exercise: Tips to Make Your Routines More Enjoyable

mehealth & fitness

Last week, I bought my oldest daughter, Sierra, a new bike (that's her right after she learned how to ride a bike in the picture). To say she's excited is putting it mildly - she's ecstatic! She absolutely will not stop talking about her new bike... and about the kickstand I had added to it. Seems like such a small thing to me - a kickstand, but to her it's the coolest thing. It's so cool that that she wants to ride her bike, while I run pushing her sisters in the double jogging stroller all day. We racked up almost 17k together last week because of her new bike!

I love her enthusiasm. It reminds me of when I was a child. Back then I would spend hours playing road hockey with the boys on my street, even in the Canadian winters. The more we played, the warmer we stayed!

Tips for Bringing Back Enjoyment

Boredom is one of the main reasons people abandon their exercise routines. Boredom is also one of the easiest barriers to resolve. Here are my five tips for bringing back that enjoyment we got from exercise that we had as a child:

  1. Set new goals
    Make a new goal for each and every workout.  Perhaps you'd like to crank out 1 or 2 more push ups than last time,  to add 1/2 a mile to your cycling route, or to run more and walk less on your run? Whichever you choose, a new goal will inspire you to reach further, and will help you to improve your strength or endurance.
  2. Try a new fitness class
    Tired of your old step aerobics class? Why not try a Zumba class? Or for those that are less coordinated (like me), try a cross-fit or bootcamp class. Perhaps the exercise class you have been doing is no longer challenging you or enjoyable.
  3. Pick a competition and enter
    Have you ever wanted to run a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, triathlon, or do a century ride? Sign up for a race and start training! If you keep it realistic for your fitness level so that you aren't discouraged. Having something to shoot for will give your training a sense of importance, and with that it'll be easier to make it a priority.
  4. Get social and join a sports club
    Maybe endurance isn't your thing? There are lots of different social sports clubs and teams around for all seasons: Co-ed softball, volleyball, tennis, bowling, golf and curling are a few examples. The camaraderie of a team will help you be more committed and also allow you to make friends with similar interests. Every game almost always involves a fun pay off in the form of food and spirits afterwards!
  5. Wear something new
    Trade in your grumpy and frumpy track pants and over-sized t-shirt for a sassy and classy new sport skort and cute technical shirt. There's nothing better than giving yourself a leg up on a positive attitude by investing in some workout wear you’ll feel good about wearing. Choose clothes made for both the exercise you are doing and your female form.

In my experience, the more fun your exercise routine is, the more likely you'll stick with it. Sometimes this even means switching it up. In the winter, fitness classes are fun for the social aspect, while in the summer with a busy social calendar, more individual activities such as running and cycling are enjoyable.

How do you make exercise fun? Do you have any exercise tips you'd like to share? What inspires you to move and groove?

Janice Smith, BSc, ATTH is a kinesiologist and mom to three little princesses who writes daily about keeping exercise fun and enjoyable for the whole family on her blog: Fitness Cheerleader.  You can also find her motivating and inspiring others on twitter: @fitcheerldr. She believes that life is a marathon, not a track meet and has a HUGE crush on Jonathan Knight from New Kids on the Block.

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