7 ways to make fitness fun
Take the work out of your workouts
According to research by the American Cancer Society, 40 per cent of women would exercise more if it felt less like a chore. Take the hard work out of exercise with these 5 ways to make fitness fun.
Add some variety
No matter how much you love your favourite fitness class, exercise DVD or running route, doing the same thing over and over is bound to get boring after a while, as well as minimizing the benefits of your workout. To help you stay motivated, try to keep your workouts fun with a bit of variety. If you usually go for a long run each morning, try doing some interval training instead. Alternatively, shake things up entirely by swapping your run for a sports game or energetic dance class.
Make it social
Playing sport or exercising with a friend is a great way to make your workout seem less like a chore. Encourage a friend to go with you on a run, attend a weekly fitness class with you or just accompany you on a lunchtime walk. If you don’t have any friends up for the task, don’t worry – exercise is a great way to make more friends! Sign up for a sociable sport such as netball, football or hockey or join a running club and give your fitness levels and social life a boost.
Change the venue
Many of us associate exercise with the gym. However, exercise doesn’t need to involve sweating it out on a treadmill or using weight lifting equipment. To make your workouts more fun, try switching up the location. Make the most of sunny days by exercising in the outdoors; whether you choose to go hiking, go for a run through the local park or do a spot of yoga in your back garden. For lazy days, you could even do your workouts in front of the TV. Doing squats, lunges or yoga stretches as you watch your favourite shows will help you get fit without it feeling like exercise.
Find an exercise you love
While you might think that exercise is not something you would ever enjoy, this is probably because you haven’t tried the right type of exercise yet. With such a wide variety of sports, fitness classes and workouts available, there is bound to be something out there for all of us. Try to think what your goals are — whether it is to improve fitness, aim for competitions, gain competence in sport, or just enjoy yourself — and consider your interests. Try out as many forms of exercise as you can until you find the exercise that’s right for you.
Who doesn’t love treating themselves to something new? Add some fun to your fitness by purchasing a new item of clothing, piece of kit or gadget that you just can’t wait to try. Looking good while you exercise will also help you to feel good and in turn feel more motivated, so all the more reason to shop for some new gear. You could even treat yourself to a new piece of kit to reward your latest fitness achievement.
Relive your childhood
Remember how effortless staying active used to be when you were a kid? Happily, in the last few years gyms and health clubs have latched on to this concept and brought out a range of fitness classes that feel more like reliving your childhood games than working out. Some such classes include hula hooping, cheerobics (cheerleading combined with aerobics) and ballet-inspired workouts. If you don’t feel like working out in public, you can take this trend home and invest in a trampoline, skipping rope or hula hoop for a playful yet effective workout.
Exercise to your favourite music
To make your workouts more enjoyable, try putting together an exercise playlist of your favourite songs. Not only can music boost your mood, it is also a great way to boost your motivation and can provide distraction and entertainment while you exercise. A study from a researcher at Brunel University found that listening to music boosted participants’ exercise endurance and increased their enjoyment of it. Furthermore, listening to music reduced the perception of hard work for moderate exercisers.