How to make exercise fun when you don’t like to exercise
You’ve likely heard the recommendations for adults to get 150 minutes of moderate activity and two days of strength training in each week. You’ve likely also heard the many benefits that exercise can provide from a longer lifespan, to improved mental health, and the legendary “runners high.” But what if you hate exercise? Do you have to force yourself into doing something you hate in order to reap these benefits?
Good news, you don’t have to force yourself into anything, and you don’t have to LOVE exercise in order to enjoy better health and a longer life. Here’s how
· Change the definition of exercise in your mind.
o Think of movement instead of exercise.
· Count everything!
o You are likely moving a lot throughout the day. Cooking, cleaning, walking from the parked car to the store. Count these incidental movements and give yourself a high five for being awesome.
· Do something fun
o Get outside with friends or family
o Go to the roller rink
o Remember how you played as a kid and do some of that.
· Try something new
o If you hate lifting weights or running, try yoga or dance fitness
o Give yourself 10 minutes to decide if you like it not.
· Gets friends, family, and pets involved
o Having a movement buddy can help get the ball rolling and make the time more enjoyable. Try family walks, or group fitness.
· Settle for “meh”
o Exercise and movement don’t have to be your favorite thing.
§ Try to find something that is okay and lean in.
o You likely do a lot of things in your day that you don’t LOVE, and the truth is that’s okay. When was the last time you got really passionate about brushing your teeth?
Changing your mindset around exercise might be enough to get you started on your movement journey. If not, focus on your other health and wellness goals and see where they lead you. Remember to start small, adding in bite-sized pieces along your way.