I read a great article today on CNN Health titled “How to enjoy working out if you hate exercise”. It was written by Melanie Radzicki McManus. It is not an understatement to say that your life depends on it. Therefore, it is imperative that you find something that you enjoy that you can stick with.
One of the most efficient ways to enjoy exercise is to sneak it into your daily routine. Do things such as take the stairs or park your car further from the door. It’s remarkable though that all you really need is about 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to enjoy the benefits of exercise. The world health organization states that the risk of death increases by 20 to 30% if you are physically inactive.
The four key points that she listed were 1. Make exercising a regular part of your day. 2. Start slowly and give your new routine time. 3. Find a form of exercise you like doing. 4. Ramp up the fun factor.
You may want to “Pay yourself first“ by working out prior to work. If you are too busy, you may need to break up your routine into a couple sessions in a day. For me it works well to have my gym clothes in my car and stop on the way home from work so that I do not have to leave again to go back out to a gym to work out after I am already home.
Starting slowly is good advice as well for several reasons. Firstly, if you start too fast you may injure yourself or be too stiff or sore and this will give you negative feedback to continue. Further you have to start slowly and give yourself time in order for exercise to become a habit in your life.
Finding a form of exercise you like doing seems like such obvious advice but it is often overlooked. If you’re an outdoors person, invest in appropriate clothing and keep exercising outside. The most important thing is to keep moving.
Occasionally making your exercise routine more fun will help you to stick with it as well. If you’ve been running, maybe join a race with your friends to challenge yourself in a group setting. You could also consider joining a sports league once a week so you can translate some of your workout gains to a competitive field in a fun environment. Whatever you choose, just keep moving.