5 Ways to Have Fun While Working Out
5 Ways to Have Fun While Working Out
I have a very on again off again relationship with working out. If I had to check a box of our love status, I’d definitely put '“it’s complicated” as our status. You see I don’t hate exercising I really don’t. I may hate some exercises but exercising on a whole is not bad. I love the feeling of accomplishment once I’ve completed a workout. I love the high and the release of endorphins I get once it’s over. I mean it kills me when I’m doing it but being the goal oriented person I am; once you give me a target, I am going to push myself to hit it. The problem for me comes when exercise is boring and I lose interest in it. Which is my current state of affairs.
For years I’ve been struggling with weight management. From as early as age 9, I remember being on some kind of diet from slim fast to herbal life to God knows what other tactics I’ve tried to lose weight. And for a good amount of years I was successful. I’d lost the weight and managed to keep it off throughout my adolescence straight through to my final year in medical school.
But ever since entering the work force after graduating in 2015, it has been a slow but sure creeping on of the pounds. And while I’m more accepting of my body than I was in my formative years, it doesn’t mean a part of me doesn’t miss being able to wear smaller sizes and not having to pay the plus size tax that many of us bigger girls have to pay to get cute clothes. I honestly want to lose weight and make working out a part of my lifestyle like it once was.
Ans it’s not just for vain reasons but for health reasons too. As a health professional, I feel like a huge hypocrite telling others to lose weight and find time to exercise when I’m not doing the same. Plus, it’s not for lack of time because my work colleagues find the time and some of them have children. Also, as a black woman, I don’t want to become another statistic in the lifestyle disease quota of Diabetes, Hypercholesterolemia and Hypertension. I want to one day be a mother and be a positive and healthy example for my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren.
So where does that all fit into today’s post you ask? Well it’s simple. I’ve realized in order for me to get this train going and to at least get back in some form of fighting shape, I’m going to have to get a little creative. I’m going to have to try things I haven’t done before. And that is I’m going to have to try and make exercise more fun for me. I know lasting change is going to involve a complete mindset change and that exercise alone isn’t going to give me the results I need. But I figure that if I can form one positive habit which for me is possibly the hardest, then it will be a little easier to form the others in tow.
It seems like everywhere we turn we are reminded of how important physical activity is to our overall health and wellness. If it isn’t social media, it’s movies or our favourite TV series. There is just no denying how important it is to implement more of it into our lives. For fellow couch potatoes and plus size beauties like myself, it is often recommended that we start off with a small target of at least 30 minutes a day for at least three days a week. So that’s where I’m starting with this wellness makeover. The point here is to break a sweat and making small increments in the direction of making our bodies feel stronger. Now I know at this point, people often say they are committing to a particular kind of exercise. But, as I said before doing the same exercises and routines may become boring. Daunting even. And this is the time when you’ll need to find new motivation and look for the ways that’ll make your workouts a lot of fun.
So whether you’re like me and you’re looking to restart a workout routine. Or, you’re an exercise veteran looking to spice things up this summer. Here are my five tips to making your workouts fun this summer.
1. Go outside
Do you remember as kids when playing outside was the summer thing to do? You’d gather up all your friends and you’d played games like stuck and pull/ tag. Well, playing outdoors isn’t just for kids anymore. And with the summer’s sun warming up the days, it’s the perfect time to head outside and enjoy nature’s glory.
Whether you decide to ditch the treadmill and go for a run outside. Inhaling the fresh air while working up a sweat. Or, you choose to go riding on your bicycle (p.s. I don’t know how to ride a bicycle so that’s out for me). Maybe, you decide to join an outdoor workout group or boot camp. Getting out there and absorbing all that vitamin D is a great way to switch it up. It may even make your exercises seem as if you’re not really working out. Bonus points if you bring a friend. You know what they say, many hands make the work light.
2. Find a workout buddy
Speaking of friends. A great way to add variety to your routine would be to find a workout partner and you both try something new together. Working out with someone else is always a better choice than burning the fat alone. Especially, if you don’t like group fitness programs but you don’t really find working out alone a lot of fun either. The next stop is to buddy up and work out.
And it doesn’t just have to be a friend. It can be your romantic partner, a family member, a work friend. The point is just to find someone who is on the same path as you, is committed to the process and will help you keep motivated in those slump times and vice versa. Not only, is it a great way to hang out and spend time together; often times it really helps improve your willingness to commit to working out when you have someone else depending on you. Plus, if you’re an uber competitive person, then the competition will push you to work harder and overall lead to better results.
And who knows. Eventually, you won’t even notice you’re exercising because you’ll be having such a great time with your workout partner.
3. Join a workout group
Sometimes we don’t have a friend or anyone in our lives who want to or need to be on the same journey as us. And that’s okay. But, like I said before, going it with others really does make working out feel better. And with so many fitness group options available, including online groups then you can surely find your niche place to fit in.
Group fitness classes are one of the best ways to enjoy working out because you won’t have to burn those calories alone. The fact that you’ve already paid for the classes in advance will motivate you to put on those shoes and build those muscles, and the fact that you’ll be able to socialize and see how others work hard will make the exercises easier and you won’t feel so obligated to do them. Exercising should never be a burden, but a nice way to blow off steam, and work on your body, so feel free to try out aerobics, Zumba, insanity programs or any other group fitness programs that’ll make your workouts much more thrilling.
Personally, I enjoy dancing. I did it as a child. And recently, I’ve decided to try and rekindle that love by joining a dance fitness class. Not only am I shedding calories doing something I love to do. But I’m doing it in a room full of people who share my same interest which puts me at ease.
4. Try something new
So you’ve already tried everything under the sun. Or, at least you think you have. But really you’re tired of the same old routine at the gym. As I said in the beginning; sticking to one exercise routine or a certain fitness program will eventually become boring a-f. Constantly repeating the same exercises makes the workout just less enticing. Plus you usually stop seeing progress like you used to which in itself can be demotivating.
So it’s time to mix it up a little. If you’re a runner, maybe try swimming. If you cycle, maybe join a soul cycle class or try do some yoga. You could even change it up weekly if you feel like it. Daily if you must. The first week, you can go to aerobics classes; the next, try out beach volleyball or tennis with your friends and you can even enjoy some fun activities surfing or flying a kite. Just because it’s not considered a sport, it doesn’t mean it won’t be beneficial for you. So, try to mix up as many activities as possible to create a fun and enjoyable workout.
5. Listen to some music
This oldie but goodie advice is a classic for a reason. Music has a way of pushing us even when we’re at our lowest. Think Rocky trying to make it up those steps and hearing that "Gonna fly now" music. Or, every movie that shows the hero/heroine getting in shape for some reason or the other. The music fuels them and gives them that extra push to finish what they’ve started. It’s part of the reason why aerobics classes have been popular for years and soul cycle is making such tremendous waves in the fitness worlds. Working out is just much more fun if you’re doing it while listening to your favourite tunes. Periodt!
So before your next workout, make a playlist of your favourite and most motivating songs. Those songs that will give you that final push through the last rep. We all have them. You can even make it more fun by making several playlists for different exercises or different workout days. Whether you’re jogging, cycling, or doing push-ups and crunches at your home, you’ll enjoy the workout a lot more with your favourite tunes being blasted. It not only will keep you going longer, but you’ll definitely have fun doing it.
So if you’re willing to step more out of your comfort zone and looking for ways how to switch it up, I hope I’ve given you a few ideas to start with and build on. There are so many ways to have fun while working out. I’ve honestly only scratched the surface of activities to do and ideas on how to do them. A fun workout will make the time fly by in the blink of an eye. Whether you make a playlist to listen to during the exercises, or you join a group fitness program, train outdoors, or buddy up with a friend, you’ll have a blast breaking a sweat and making every next workout session more fun than the last one.