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Aug 20, 2012

13 Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercising

  1. Make it a Habit – Remove the thinking element. If you can make exercise a habit, then it becomes that much easier to go. 
  2. Get a Partner – Get someone else to go to the gym with you. Pick someone who is committed to their health. 
  3. Tune Your Challenge Level – Challenge is key to enjoyment.
  4. Set Goals – Not weight-loss or muscle gain goals, but fitness goals. Set goals to beat your past records in distance ran, push-ups or chin-ups you can do, weight you can lift or degree you can stretch. 
  5. Get Past Your Comfort Zone – So what if you aren’t the most  muscular person in the gym? Self-consciousness can be a big obstacle to enjoying your workout. The key is to get used to it. When you continue to show up, you’ll pay less attention to the people around you and more to your workout.
  6. Experiment – Don’t stick with the same routine. Mix it up and try different activities. There are many different exercise routines you can follow or activities to try. If you don’t like lifting weights or running, try sports, martial arts or dancing. 
  7. Music – This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but music can enhance a workout. I find running almost twice as enjoyable with music than without it.
  8. Short Workouts – Don’t have time or enthusiasm to last an hour? Just go for twenty or thirty minutes. Shorter workouts can be better than longer ones if the intensity is higher and you become more focused as a result.
  9. Daily Challenges – Make your workout into a game. Sticking with the same type of exercises can get boring, so mix it up by introducing an unusual workout challenge.  If you aren’t sure where to get ideas, look through a magazine like Mens Fitness which usually features a variety of different workouts.
  10. Reward Showing Up, Not Weight Loss - Some people have gotten the idea that they should reward themselves for losing weight or gaining muscle. I disagree. Instead, I think you should reward showing up to the gym and exercising regularly. 
  11. Make Exercise Your Stress Relief - I know many people that swear by using the gym to relieve stress. Some of them will head to the gym because of a frustrating day even if it isn’t on their schedule. 
  12. Record Improvements – Again I recommend recording fitness over body improvements. Recording weight loss or muscle gain is a good idea. Keep a record of your strength, endurance and flexibility so you can get pride in your accomplishments.
  13. Make Time – You can’t say you don’t have time to exercise. Exercise improves your energy levels and mood which makes you more productive than any time lost. Find your forty minutes somewhere in the day and make it a commitment.