Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’d rather watch the grass grow than get on the [treadmill/ stairmaster/ elliptical machine] right now”? Do you find yourself skipping workouts because they sound so boring? I have a challenge for you: find a way to make your workout FUN! Seriously. You may be laughing now, but you’ll thank me later!
I mentioned in the “mixing up your workouts” post that changing your routine has significant, positive implications for your physical results, and I was mainly referring to adding intensity and intervals to your routine to boost the calorie-burn. But if you can find a way to make your workouts FUN, the benefits will extend beyond the physical – you’ll renew your motivation, and likely even find yourself working out more often! Reebok did a study in 2008 that found that 2/3 of women would work out more if it were more fun. Let’s get going, then!
Here are my top tips for making your workout more fun:
- Grab a friend and invite him/ her for a walk/ run/ hike/ bike ride/ etc.
- Take a new class at your gym. Has Zumba always piqued your interest? Envious of the great bodies the Body Pump-ers at your gym are sporting? Try it out for yourself! Don’t have a gym? Check out Groupon, LivingSocial, or other daily deal sites – they constantly have new options to try out.
- Set a goal for yourself. If you have something to work towards (like a distance you want to be able to run, a weight you want to lift, or a yoga pose you want to hold), you can celebrate interim accomplishments on the way to reaching your ultimate goal.
- Sign up for a race or an event. This may work alongside the goal you’re setting, or may be a distance you can already accomplish, but being in the race setting (where you can build off of the momentum of so many other excited exercisers) will energize and motivate you.
- Do something out of your comfort zone. If you’re a Cross Fitter, try out a yoga class. If you’re a swimmer, try kickboxing. If you’re a runner or walker, try spinning.
- Make a workout “game” to your favorite TV show. Every time a certain character appears, do 20 jumping jacks. Each time a common line is spoken, do 15 squats. When commercials come on, do push-ups for the duration of the first commercial, burpees for the second, crunches for the third, and lunges for the fourth. You get the point.
- Make a new playlist with songs that remind you of a close friend or happy memory, and spend your workout smiling.
- Share your success with friends! Tweet or Facebook your results to your followers (and follow me at those links while you’re at it!), or use social sites like Dailymile, MyFitnessPal, Traineo, or Sparkpeople Challenge Central to find others that will motivate you.
- Turn on the music, set a timer for 20 minutes, and dance your heart out (you may want to close the blinds first … don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
I recently practiced this advice at the Disco Run 10K on Sunday. The website made the race look fun and light-hearted (heck, the theme was Disco!), so I decided to go all out. I’ve done several races before, but this was my first one ever wearing a costume … and it was a blast! I wasn’t going into the race with high expectations, given that my running training hasn’t been perfect lately and I wasn’t getting in the speedwork that a personal record would have required. But once I got out there, I found myself smiling the whole way (the race photos are hilarious!), motivated by the spectators who cheered for my costume, and feeling just as competitive as ever … plus a little hotter from those darn long sleeves! This small, fun twist on something I do nearly every day (running) made it so much more fun and memorable, and I was ready to hit the gym on Monday for my recovery workout, rather than feeling burned out and tired.
So tell me in the comments… what are YOU going to do this week to make your workout more fun? Do you have any more fun tips to share with other readers?