This concerns me because I think exercising the body can be fun! Try these tips and maybe, just maybe, you will too.
If you want exercise to be more fun, it's important to have the right attitude. You have to let exercise be fun. If you hear yourself saying "but it's not fun, it's work" then you have a defeatist attitude and you don't really WANT it to be fun. If you honestly want exercise to be more enjoyable and will allow it to be, it will be.
The mind is a VERY powerful tool and you can use it to your benefit or your disadvantage. You must open your mind and release all preconceived ideas you have about exercise. See exercise the way a child might. They are open to nearly everything. They are willing to try new things. Why is this? Because they don't "know" they can't do something. They don't "know" how it will look to others or what category it will put them in. In short, their brain does not hinder them, because their brain is like a dry sponge, it wants to soak up everything it can. Yours can be like that too.
Ideas To Help Make Exercise More Interesting And Fun:
- Workout with a buddy. You can challenge each other, help each other, and try to make each other laugh in the middle of a set, make a game out of it. Learn more.
- Do something different. If you go to the gym every day at the same time and use the same piece of equipment, try mixing your routine up. There are several things you could do for this; reverse your routine in the gym, change the order around or don't even go to the gym. Go to a city park with playground equipment - remember what I said about playing? Use the slide, the monkey bars or the jungle gym to climb on, do pull-ups, hang from your hands, your knees, and use your imagination. You don't have to have a rigid routine, just get out there and work your muscles. Play.
- Play a competitive sport. Most cities have teams of softball, hockey, volleyball, tennis, soccer, etc...
- Do an outdoor circuit. The beach or a park is good for this. There are also some circuit courses set up at National Parks, campgrounds and some rural parks. If a planned course is present follow the instructions. If you're at a beach or city park you can do a combination of running, walking, push-ups, pull-ups and abdominal exercises. Pick a distance such as 100'or 200' walk that distance then drop and do 10 or so push-ups, continue with the same distance and run then drop and do abs, now walk and do pull-ups (if a bar is available to hang from).
- Enjoy a solitary activity. A bike ride, hike, walk or yoga on the beach is an excellent way to exercise your body and spirit.
- Picture your muscles. Studies have shown that if you focus your mind on the muscles you are working, they will respond better. Visualize what the muscle groups look like and try to see them working; contracting and relaxing, swelling with the increased blood flow and healing after the stress.
- Listen to music. If you don't already use a Walkman-type listening device, give it a try. It can make what you're doing more enjoyable when you're lost in music. You could also borrow some books on tape (from the library and listen to them while you walk. Listen to the tape only while you walk that way you will actually look forward to your routine so you can see what happens next in your book!
The mind can make you sick, it can make you well, it can make you believe... anything. Use it to your advantage. Maintain control over it, not the other way around. If you enjoy exercise you will likely do it more often and for a longer duration, which will result in better health. If you have any other ideas, I'd love to hear them. What do you do to make exercise fun?
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Glenn D. Johnson