Tips For Making Exercise More Enjoyable
One reason people struggle to stick to an exercise regime is that it isn’t enjoyable. For many, going to the gym is an exercise in masochism as much as muscles.
What I’ve learned training hundreds of people is this -
People don’t stick with things they don’t like.
So let’s go over a few ways to make exercise more enjoyable.
Hard work is hard and it’s safe to say there are many other enjoyable things you could be doing. It’s amazing we work at all.
But if you’ve ever persevered on a task you will know that it can be one of the greatest feelings life has to offer.
There is a truly exhilarating and addicting feeling that comes when you’re working hard and seeing progress as you march towards a goal.
The reason you begin exercising is that you want to achieve a goal. Maybe it’s to look better, maybe it’s to get healthier. Maybe you want to get stronger or have less pain.
Whatever your goal is, you will enjoy the satisfaction of achieving it. However, you won’t have fun or enjoy exercising if you feel you aren't making progress.
Here are a few ways you can improve this
1st - Actually make progress
Making progress in the gym comes down to having the right mindset, having a plan, and being consent with that plan.
Have the right mindset - Hardship will come up, if you don’t know how to handle it you will quit.
Have a plan - When you go to the gym you wan’t to be executing, not making decisions. So don’t go to the gym and figure it out on the spot. Go to the gym with a plan specific to you and your goals.
Be consistent - progress requires consistency so keep showing up
There’s more I could include in how to make progress but for the sake of brevity, this is what you should focus on.
2nd - Track your progress.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you want to stay motivated the best thing you can do is to keep measurements of your progress. Seeing your progress will allow you to stay motivated.
Start with a workout log- Every workout, write the exercises you performed, how many sets, how many reps, and what weights you used.
If your a beginner your program needs to be no more complex than coming in, looking at your results from the last workout and then aiming to beat that.
If you did 10 push ups last workout, aim for 11 push-ups this workout.
If you run a mile in 10 minutes, aim to do it in 9:50.
If you have physique goals then I recommend you take weight and circumference measurements weekly.
If you often feel lost then I suggest you subscribe and get a free copy of our weight loss reference guide. All you have to do is take the measurements, look at the guide, and it will tell you what your next step should be.
I loathe treadmills. I’m certain hell is full of people running on indoor treadmills. In contrast I find running outdoors on some trails with fresh air cathartic and enjoyable.
My point is that your environment can play a big role in how much you enjoy an activity. Aim to find an environment that fits for you.
You can start by finding the right gym. A crowded commercial gym playing atrocious dance-pop remixes may be a nightmare for you or it could be exactly what you’re looking for.
If your self-conscious you may find working out in the safety of your home to be more enjoyable.
Me personally, when the weather’s nice I like to take a pair of gymnastics rings with me to the park for a nice outdoor workout.
Find a setting that works for you.
If a task is too easy or too hard it ceases to be fun.
If you observe a group of children playing a game you’ll notice that they will frequently change the teams. If one team is too much better than the other they will adjust to make both teams more equal. Why? because two equal teams are more fun than one team that is far better than the other.
Fun occurs when the task at hand is challenging for the participant but achievable. Your workouts should follow this same principle - they should challenge you but be doable.
Far too often people go all in when they start working out. They commit to going from the couch straight to 7 days a week. Or they join a high-intensity workout class before they’ve mastered low-intensity exercise.
This is the same reason so many people dislike running. Going from walking to running is a big jump in intensity.
Set reasonable goals, and find a workout program that takes your current fitness into consideration.
Games are fun and exercise will be more fun if you can make it into a game. Set goals to beat, compete with a friend, or with yourself. Set a time and beat it.
Join a sport. There are clubs and recreation leagues for pretty much anything you can think of. Join one.
Football, Basketball, Running, Boxing etc. Pick something and have a blast.
Do activities that aren’t in the gym. Go hiking, rock climbing, swimming, cycling ect. Have fun with it.
Humans are social creatures. Find a friend, or make a friend. Get a workout partner who you enjoy spending time with. They will not only push you to be better, but you’ll enjoy the friendly banter in the process.
If you don’t have any available to workout then consider joining a group class to build that camaraderie.
Looking to find people with like minded goals - look on meetup and find a group that matches what you’d like.
Do what you enjoy
I think this is one that sometimes gets lost. Many people ask what exercises they should be doing. Is biking better than running? should I swim or should I lift weights?
The answer is the one you will stick with. Do what you enjoy and get moving.
My advice for general health is getting at least 2 days of some resistance training, 3 days of cardiovascular work and the rest of the time general activities.
It doesn’t matter if you choose swimming or running as your activity, do what you enjoy. In fact, choose both - aim to get a wide variety of movements into your daily activity and you will be better off for it.