Do you remember looking forward to summer camp as a kid? You counted off the days on the calendar and reminisced about the long hours you had spent getting your body in perfect shape so that you could exercise with a camp full of children. Wait a minute-is that really what you remember? No, you looked forward to all the fun you were going to have. Sadly, many adults have forgotten how to “have fun.” In the process, exercise has been transformed into mere routine and drudgery rather than a source of fun, inspiration and accomplishment. Learn how to get started and launch yourself into the exercise frame of mind and to enjoy the experience while reaping the many health benefits.
Avoid buying expensive equipment and pick an activity you are already know how to do. Simply buying an exercise machine does not ensure that you will use it. In the end, it may just end up collecting dust or in a yard sale. Even if you join a local gym begin with something that doesn’t require lessons. Get on the treadmill, take a few laps in the pool, or ride the stationary bike.
Exercising alone can lead to a loss of motivation. For example, what fun is there in hitting a tennis ball against the wall? Very soon this can becomes tedious and boring. Exercising with a partner, on the other hand, has a number of benefits. You become a source of encouragement and a personal coach for one another. Picking the right person can be tricky, but the ideal exercise partner is someone who has the same skill set you have. Maybe there’s someone at work who desires to lose a couple of pounds but can’t find the motivation. Talk to that person and suggest that the two of you do something simple like walk around the block during lunch break or swim together for twenty minutes before work.
In grade school, few of us liked doing homework, but we were proud of those gold stars our teachers would give us for excellent work. Likewise, the quickest way to make exercise enjoyable and sustainable is to provide yourself with periodic rewards for a job well done. Pick out a dress you’ve been wanting and tell yourself you can have it after reaching your first exercise goal. Don’t make it too easy or too hard. Make your goal attainable yet stimulating, requiring extra effort to attain.
Remember, if exercise becomes work, you will lose your motivation. Most of us are overworked already. But if we start slow, find something we can enjoy, and make it a party, even exercise can be fun.