According to recent government statistics, around 34% of men and 42% of women are not meeting the recommend exercise requirements for good health. It’s easy for exercise to become boring and repetitive, particularly after a year of lockdowns and restrictions. Even for the workout enthusiasts among us, exercise can start to feel like a mandatory chore rather than an enjoyable choice. But this doesn’t have to be the case!
Whether you have a few minutes to spare or a whole day to be active, exercise can be enjoyable. Here are my top ten suggestions to inject some fun into your training regimen.
Find the right type of workout for you
There isn’t a perfect way to exercise and so it’s important to choose a way to move that will be enjoyable and conducive to your goals. Don’t force yourself to go to your local pool if you hate swimming as you’ll be less likely to engage in the activity for a prolonged period of time. If you are someone that likes an adventure, then try rock-climbing. If you enjoy listening to music, then dancing could be the right type of exercise for you. By learning to love exercise, you will no longer have to worry about finding the motivation to do it.
Find a training partner
It can be a real struggle to get up and start moving in the morning, or motivate yourself to head to the gym after work. By finding a friend to workout with, training will become much more enjoyable and even a part of your social calendar!
Participate in a class or group training session
By moving away from solo training sessions, you can have a great workout and even make new friends in the process. Join a class in your local area or sign up to your local running club to keep training fun and varied.
Incorporate movement into your day without realising it
Did you know that shopping, gardening and housework counts as movement? Whilst I’m not suggesting that they can replicate the intensity of a gym workout or a run around your local area, there are plenty of activities that you can do which will keep you moving on the days when you don’t want to ‘exercise’.
Plan and track your training and progress
There are thousands of fitness apps and training platforms that will enable you to pre-plan your exercise for the week, maintain a structure, set realistic goals and keep track of your progress.
Get your daily dose of vitamin D and head outdoors for your workout. Find somewhere new to cycle rather than heading to spin, go open water swimming rather than jumping into a pool, or find an outdoor bootcamp rather than training in a gym.
Sign up for an event
Make a commitment to fitness and look up a local event nearby. There are copious amounts of charity runs, sponsored walks, or obstacle races to choose from. This will ramp up the fun factor and help you meet other people that you can train with in the future.
Mix it up
Don’t make the mistake of sticking to the same types of physical activity and the same weekly routine. Keep things interesting by trying new things and getting out of your comfort zone.
Use music to keep you moving
Create a workout playlist with all your favourite upbeat songs to help keep you moving when your motivation begins to dwindle mid-workout.
Take a break
It’s important to acknowledge that your body and mind needs time to adapt and recover. Motivation and enjoyment will start to diminish if you are overtraining and not giving yourself some proper time off. Aim for regular rest days and recovery weeks for the perfect balance between movement and relaxation.
It’s important to keep up with your training but don’t turn it into a chore. Remember that exercise should be fun! As soon as it starts to become unenjoyable; stop, ask yourself why, and then change it up using some of these suggested steps.