How to make working out fun
Do you often wonder how other people can enjoy working out? Do you view working out as just one more thing on your long to-do list? What if you started to associate exercise with pleasure and anticipation instead? If you’ve spent most of your life dreading working out or associating exercise with discomfort, it’s time to adjust how you think and learn how to enjoy working out.
In today’s world, we’re doing more and more at home – including working and working out. But many people find working out at home less inspiring. With no one there to encourage you and drive you to achieve your fitness goals, it’s easier to let working out fall by the wayside. It’s more vital than ever to discover how to make working out fun.
Is it possible to go from dreading working out to actually enjoying it? The answer is yes – if you are committed to shifting your mindset and making the changes necessary.
Like mastering any new skill, learning how to enjoy exercise is part mindset and part practice. By adopting the attitude that exercise is enjoyable, you’re able to embrace fitness as part of a holistic wellness strategy. Learning how to love working out becomes a powerful tool for improving your health and getting the body you want – and the extraordinary life you deserve.
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How to enjoy working out: guiding principles
What are the underlying principles behind learning how to like working out? The U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion reports that there are five key factors in loving exercise and making it a habit: enjoyment, self-efficacy, social support, accountability and integration into your daily life. Since the most effective fitness routine is one you’ll stick to, the first factor – learning how to enjoy exercise – is key.
Building self-confidence is also crucial. If you’re intimidated or unsure, your fears will undercut your efforts to exercise. Social support plays a key role in how to love working out, since humans are social creatures influenced by their peer groups. Those peer groups provide accountability, another important factor in learning how to enjoy working out. And by integrating exercise into your daily routine, it becomes a habit. From here, you’re able to work out for your health and enjoyment.
Tips for how to enjoy exercise
Exercise, whether to lose weight or improve your health, can be enjoyable. There are ways to find out how to start enjoying working out instead of dreading it.
1. Change your beliefs about working out
Want to learn how to enjoy exercise? It all starts with examining your beliefs and replacing negative beliefs with empowering ones. Many of your beliefs were set in childhood. If you participated in boring P.E. classes or were forced to be on the track team when you disliked running, you likely developed the belief that working out was something to be endured instead of enjoyed.
Take time to examine your beliefs regarding exercise: Which are negative and which are positive? Where did the negative beliefs come from? Are they still true in your adult life or are you clinging to outdated beliefs that no longer serve you? Once you identify which beliefs are preventing you from learning how to enjoy working out, you can work on changing them into the positive beliefs that help you achieve your goals.
2. Adjust your focus
Many people have trouble learning how to enjoy working out because they are focusing on only one outcome: weight loss.
When you view exercise only as a way to manage weight, it becomes a “should” or an obligation. As Tony says, don’t “should” all over yourself! Instead of viewing working out as a way to lose weight, remind yourself that your body is yours to take care of and that every single decision you make – whether healthy or unhealthy – has the potential to help or hurt you.
When you start focusing on energizing your body, improving your health and enhancing your life, you will start to view exercise as a healthy decision instead of an obligation. Then working out becomes a natural extension of taking care of yourself. This shift in your mindset can also help you learn how to enjoy working out at home. You will no longer need that social pressure aspect to force you to work out. When you are exercising for yourself and not for others, it’s much easier to feel inspired.
3. Find the right type of workout
How to enjoy exercise is all about finding the right type of workout. Take some time and think back to a time when you enjoyed physical activity. Were you with friends, on a team or going solo? In a beautiful outdoor environment? Participating in a sport? Working out does not have to mean going to a gym and running on a treadmill for half an hour. It can just mean participating in physical activities you like.
Taking a karate class or practicing your child’s cheerleading routine with them has the same health benefits as jogging or using the elliptical machine. Many people avoid exercise because they think it needs to look a certain way to qualify as “working out.” This just isn’t true. Any type of physical activity that elevates your heart rate is a form of exercise. When you find an activity that makes you happy, you’ll look forward to it instead of avoiding it. This is one of the best things you can do when you’re learning how to make working out fun.
4. Make sure you have the energy to exercise
Learning how to enjoy working out is a pretty daunting task when you barely have enough energy to complete your necessary daily tasks. Joint aches and pain can also drain your energy and leave you questioning how to make working out fun.
If a lack of energy or inflammation are keeping you from working out, you need to examine your overall lifestyle. Are you eating fresh whole foods and high in fiber? Are you drinking plenty of water and taking the right supplements? Do you have effective ways to manage stress?
Poor diet, lack of self-care and a build-up of stress can zap your energy. Working from home along with increased child care responsibilities can leave you feeling exhausted and irritable. How to enjoy working out sinks pretty low on your list of priorities when it’s all you can do to just get through the day. After a day of working from home, it’s not very inspiring to just walk into the next room for your workout.
If your lifestyle is a barrier to mastering how to like exercise, take Tony Robbins’ 10-Day Challenge. You’ll give yourself the gift of increased energy, a nourishing diet, optimal focus and physical fitness. Once you make healthy changes, you’ll free up the energy needed to learn how to enjoy working out.
5. Create time to work out
You can’t learn how to enjoy exercise if you don’t create the time in your schedule to work out. If you go into your work out feeling rushed or that you are sacrificing too much of your time by working out, you aren’t going to enjoy your experience.
Maybe you always fit your workout in on your way home from the office, and with remote work, your routine has gone haywire. Or maybe you’ve hit that winter workout slump, where it gets dark early and all you want to do after work is go home.
Or perhaps you feel that if you don’t have time to exercise in the morning, you might as well not bother – but this isn’t true. While morning workouts are an energizing way to set a great tone for your day, it isn’t the only time you can fit a successful workout in. Working out at any time of the day is better than not working out at all. Oftentimes, the idea that you don’t have time to workout is just an excuse that stems from your limiting beliefs rather than an actual scheduling problem.
The reality is, you must create time to do the activities you love – and that includes working out. Don’t make excuses – instead, find a solution. Set up your elliptical in front of your TV and work out when you watch your favorite sitcom. Take 15-minute breaks at work and walk around the block. While your kid is at football practice, power-walk around the field. When you realize you don’t need to cut out important parts of your life to work out, you can learn how to enjoy working out without feeling guilty.
6. Create an inspiring space
Want to unlock how to enjoy working out at home? Your space may have more to do with it than you think. While many of us don’t have room for an entire yoga studio in our living spaces, setting aside a corner of a room or using a room divider can work just as well. A basement is another great option for storing a few pieces of home gym equipment. You don’t need a ton of space. Just enough to make your workout comfortable.
Music is another invaluable component of learning how to enjoy exercise. In one study, researchers compared three groups of participants: those who listened to music while exercising, those who listened to a podcast and those who listened to nothing.
Music increased enjoyment by 28% compared to those with no auditory stimuli and by 13% compared to those who listened to a podcast. Researchers concluded that because music elicited a more positive emotional state during exercise, music is a valuable tool for learning how to enjoy working out – and you can use it whether your workout space is in your home or in the great outdoors.
7. Learn to be more adaptable
Humans crave certainty, even in our exercise routines. We’re also extremely social beings, hard-wired to work together and enjoy gatherings. When it comes to learning how to make working out fun, there is strength in numbers. One study demonstrated that our social networks influence our exercise-related behaviors. Participants who spent time with fit friends were more likely to successfully lose weight and enjoy exercise than those whose peers were not oriented toward healthful living.
If you’re having trouble learning how to enjoy working out at home without your social network, switch your focus to cultivate a growth mindset that will encourage you to master new things.
In addition to shifting your mindset, change up your workout, too. Variety is also one of our deep human needs, so switch up your exercise routine each week to keep from getting bored. Join a digital workout challenge or an online group where you can get support. Connecting with other people in similar situations is a great way to remember how to enjoy working out. Remember what Tony says: “Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.” How can you use your current challenges to create growth in your life?