Tips to actually enjoy exercise

The Lifehack.org blog has posted an article on exercise which tackles one of the most difficult parts of making exercise a regular part of your life - transforming it from a "must do" to a "want to do" activity.

One of my big achievements this year was moving from zero exercise, to doing vigrous exercise classes three times a week. It's taken me a long time to get into the habits, social and lifestyle patterns and attitude to enjoy exercise and go out of my way to ensure it's part of my life, so I feel qualified to comment on the bits of the post I agree with and those tips which I don't agree with. :)

For example - they advise finding a friend to exercise with. I don't think this tip is helpful, and here's why. For a long time, I used my lack of an exercise partner as an excuse to do nothing. Eventually I realised I'd have to find an exercise which I enjoyed doing on my own - it was the only way I'd be sure I was going to exercise regularly. That said, I've spent a couple of years seeking out friends who enjoy outdoor sports and exercise, and I have a couple now, which is great. I just don't think you should wait until you have an exercise buddy - you need to be able to do it whether or not your friend shows up.

From my experience this year, I can say that a couple of those tips are right on the money - especially the tip to have *fitness* goals, not weightloss goals:

"There are many ways you can lose or gain weight in unhealthy fashions. Rewarding exercise is rewarding your commitment to health."

There was one omission from the list, which would be a big suggestion I would make. And that is - exercise outdoors. Explore your local neighbourhood and find a beautiful park, or walking track, or waterway - walk, jog, or bike through there. After having spent most of the year doing an outdoor fitness class which got me out enjoying the sunrises and sunsets over St Kilda beach and watching the swans raising their cygnets at Albert Park Lake, I can't imagine ever returning to an indoor gym again.

13 Tips to Actually Enjoy Exercising [Lifehack.org]


Comments

    I'm surprised there wasn't anything along the lines of "Sign up for an event". Although I have always been a runner, swimming was by far my weakest point. So I signed up for The Lorne Pier to Pub and trained hard knowing the whole time I had to swim 1.2K whether I was ready or not! My plan worked a treat! Not only did I finish it, I beat many of my more experienced friends.

    I like the advice to pursue fitness goals rather than weightloss goals. Fitness is so much more beneficial.

    @Jeremy - there was always the danger of drowning to keep you motivated too :)

    Playing a team sport is a good corollary to the find a buddy idea. If you can get into a social comp level of indoor soccer/cricket, or even outdoor soccer, you can exercise twice a week with a bunch of friends. That can help motivate you to do it, and if you find yourself feeling lazy a sense of responsibility to the team can prod you into action.

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