Muffled through my workout playlist, I overheard a woman at the gym say, “How do people actually enjoy working out!?”. I chuckled as I remembered a time when I dreaded going to the gym! I absolutely hated the idea of spending money to inside a windowless building that smelled like sweat to get in shape. Running was free and was a much nicer experience. Walking was free and was incredibly relaxing. Even though I sucked at tennis, chasing a ball across a court that I could never hit with, was much more fun than staring at a television on the wall as the treadmill went up and down.
I eventually realized that if I loved the environment, it was easier to love working out. I took this knowledge and apply it to my workout regimen. I hike throughout the spring and fall. I practice yoga throughout the year. I enjoy high energy Zumba classes and I finally enjoy the controlled environment and the strength training opportunities at the gym. And I LOVE the sauna!
Exercise, moving your body, is essential for the health of every body. If you want to be a woman who finds joy in giving her body what it needs, here are some tried and true ways to finally love working out:
Find what you love. With exercise, there really is something for everyone. You can workout by doing anything from pounding sticks on the floor to hanging from the ceiling. So, if you want to finally love working out, find a workout you love! If being ogled at the gym is not your thing, think of activities like hula hooping, jumping rope, kickboxing can be way more fun than the treadmill and sumo squats but can be just as effective at getting your body moving your body. ClassPass lets you purchase a single membership to access a variety of workout classes and studios in your area or online. You’ll never get bored and it’s a great way to figure out what you really like if you’re just starting the get active!
Out Outside. Whether it’s taking a walk through the city streets, jogging to your neighborhood park, or hiking at a national park, reconnecting with the outdoors is the easiest and quickest way to fall in love with physical activity. Also, getting outside for some exercise is practically free! And you’re in good company if you decided to head outdoors for your fitness fix. REI’s #OptOutside campaign is supporting people in getting outside every day of the year.
Remember why. In the 7-Day Well Life Challenge, we emphasize the importance of remembering why you have decided to take on a particular task. For working out, the health benefits are one the most important reasons ‘why”. You’d be in good company by getting active as only about 20% of American adults meet the federal physical activity guidelines. Working out helps increase your chances of avoiding diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. It can also help you cope with these and many other conditions if you already have them. Exercise can even be effective in supporting mental health!
The challenge of developing a workout routine you love is that it can make you uncomfortable. The natural inclination may be to just suffer through. But using these tips can help you accept what you don’t like about exercise and stay committed to finding the joy in it. If you’ve learned to love your workout routine, comment below and let us know how you did it.