Hacks For Actually Loving Exercise
So much of our days already feel like we’re going through the motions. It’s understandable that people don’t want to spend any of their precious free time doing something repetitive and boring, like running on a treadmill or going up and down the same old stairs at the local track. You want your free time to feel, well, free. You want it to be dynamic and interesting. Naturally, if exercise isn’t those things, you just won’t get into it. But, you kind of have to exercise. That’s what they say, after all. It’s important for your heart health, your mental state, and so much more. I’ve had to trick myself, just like my mom did to me when I was a kid, to get excited about things that are good for me, like exercise. If you’re in the same boat, here are ways to learn to love exercise.
See it as alone time
Don’t forget that when you’re exercising, you’re not dealing with pesky coworkers, annoying neighbors, demanding family members, or…really anyone but yourself. It’s dedicated alone time, and people tend to respect if you silence your phone at the gym.
Get lost in your thoughts
Exercise gets your creative thoughts flowing. It gives you time to get lost in your thoughts, to day dream, to work things out, and to even get in a sort of meditative state if the action is repetitive—like walking or using an elliptical. Exercise actually gives your brain a much-needed break.
Listen to whatever music you want
Like that playlist you wouldn’t want anyone to know you have. In fact, this is a great time to get out some emotions by listening to music that evokes them. So much of our day is spent controlling our emotions so we can get work done. Now, put in your headphones and put on that heavy metal, Norah Jones, 80s pop or…whatever works for you.
Get really into a podcast
You can learn while you exercise. Get into educational podcasts. Have you been wanting to learn about investing in the stock market? Have you wanted to learn another language? You can make double use of your time exercising by listening to an educational podcast.
Jog to a new destination
If you are a runner, you can pick a new, exciting place to jog to each time you step outside. Whether it’s a gorgeous outdoor vista, a dog park to check out the pups, or a cute clothing boutique you’ve been meaning to shop at, if you have a fun destination in mind, you’ll be more motivated to run.
Find a teacher who makes you smile
It’s amazing how the right company can motivate us. So, find a class with an instructor who makes you smile. Maybe she has a sense of humor and makes you all laugh. Maybe she just has a soothing voice. Maybe she’s great vibes. Don’t settle for less-than-wonderful teachers.
Develop a gym crush
It’s interesting how striving for a little attention from the opposite sex can motivate us to do just about anything. It’s in our DNA, really. Even if you’re in a relationship, it gives you an ego boost to put on flattering workout clothes and do squats in front of the cutie at the gym who you know is watching.
Join a gym with a view
Do a little research and find a gym on the top floor—or at least an upper level—of a building. Being able to look out over your city while you exercise is invigorating. It makes you feel powerful, and it again gives you the chance to daydream, providing an added feeling of removal from reality.
Make it part of your volunteer work
You could bike to different elderly individual’s residents to pay them a visit. You could walk dogs at the local shelter. You could get into a big sister program, and play a sport with your little sis.
Meet a bestie
Again, good company makes all the difference. Do you have one friend whom you adore, but never get to see due to your drastically different schedules? Try to find one little pocket of time you both have free, and agree to exercise together during it.
Involve your dog
Involve Fido! Your dog only has so many years on this earth and he wants to see as many places as he can. Happy zones in dogs’ brains light up when they get to visit new places. So take your dog on new hikes and jogs in nature.
Focus on the endorphins
Focus on the ways exercise makes you feel. Focus on how energized you feel after. Focus on how happy you feel. Really take a moment to close your eyes, and appreciate it.
Always switch things up
Keep things different. Join a gym that has multiple locations and allows you to hop around from one to the other. You’ll like the chance to go to different parts of town.
Change your perspective
Change the way you talk about exercise. Don’t say, “I have to exercise today.” Say, “I get to exercise today.” Don’t say I’m, “Getting the gym out of the way.” Say, “I’m having some much-needed gym time.” You can trick your brain into believing the things your mouth says.
Ask what your body wants today
Get in touch with your body and find out what type of movement would feel the best today. It could be swimming. It could be power walking. It could be a dance class. It could be rock climbing. Don’t just resort to the same thing every day.