Being retired is one of the great joys of life. You no longer have to put in hard hours, and you get to spend more time doing what you love. But this does not mean...
Exercise is too commonly seen as a tedious thing. It has a perception of being a painful chore to get done and a burden to your day. However, it doesn't have to be! Exercising is essential, and finding ways to make it more fun can be the solution to improving your health and wellbeing! Here are some ways to make exercising more enjoyable!
7 Ways to Make Exercising Fun!
Choose Activities You Enjoy
This is the most obvious tip. However, many people do the exercises they know how to do but do not necessarily enjoy. Exercise comes in many forms, from swimming and golfing to bike riding and tennis, or even just walking and nature hikes. If you do activities you do not enjoy, you will not look forward to doing it and will not want to exercise as often as you should. For example, if you enjoy swimming, you should be swimming because you enjoy it. You will want to do it more for your love of swimming and less for the exercise. Just because you used to run for exercise doesn't mean that it's the best option for you.
If you're not sure what activity to pick up, try a bunch of them and see what sticks? Consider pickleball, frisbee golf, dance, Zumba, weightlifting, pilates, bicycling, spinning, curling, cross-country skiing, or any other activity that piques your interest! Whether you like to swim, play a sport like tennis or golf, or resistance training or yoga, find something you enjoy, and it will be a lot easier to have fun. Just because
Try Something New
If you do a single type of exercise every time you work out, maybe it's time to try something new. You can get bored of your routine quickly if you do not change it up occasionally. Try some new exercises or new sports or workouts in general. Adding an exercise can be enough to make your workout more fun, but if you are bored of your whole routine, try changing it up completely.
If you weightlift, try calisthenics. If you like to swim, try powerwalking or tai-chi. Maybe you like to play sports like golf. Try that new technique you have been looking at on the internet, or have a fun day where you just mess around. Doing this will still give you a great workout, but having less structure and doing what you enjoy in a workout will make it a lot more enjoyable.
Find a Partner
Working out with others can motivate you to do more and to have a little fun while pushing yourself. If you lift weights or exercise alone, getting someone to do the exercises with you can create a competitive environment where you can enjoy competing against. Who doesn't like a little friendly competition! If you like to participate in sports that involve others, make a group, and find more people to exercise with. Exercising with new, different people will create a new experience that can be fun and competitive. Try it out if you like to play tennis or golf or any other sports or exercises that you can do with others.
Try a Group Fitness Class
This is a step up from working out with a partner. Exercising with a group can be fun because you can also have a friendly competition with others but in a bigger social setting. You can meet more people, work harder, and be in a friendly environment with others rather than being alone or with a single partner. You may also find it motivating to have the instructor lead the class and guide you through the activity. Having the scheduled time will help hold you accountable to complete the workout too!
Set Goals and Rewards
Having goals for your exercise motivates you to keep doing it and get better at the activity that you do. If you exercise and never improve, it can get discouraging and take the fun out of an enjoyable healthy thing. Setting goals to achieve over time and making bigger goals after reaching those goals will keep you engaged in improvement. Getting better at exercise makes it more fun because you will be able to do more challenging things. The basics, which can be boring or tedious, will no longer be a problem as you advance.
Rewarding yourself with exercise should be done carefully but can make exercise more worthwhile. Once you complete the challenging portion of your exercise, you can reward yourself with a fun activity or a more relaxing workout. Usually, if you play sports, you would do the tedious drills first, then you will look forward to doing the fun scrimmages and games after that.
Click here to learn about setting SMART goals!
Track Your Progress
This goes hand in hand with setting goals. Keeping track of your progress makes it easier to improve where you need to and make things more difficult. If you do not track your progress, you can keep the same fitness level forever, making exercise less fun. Giving yourself a challenge and knowing where you are going with the training you are doing will make exercise more fun than just exercising to exercise. You might be surprised how rewarding it can feel to see the numbers or charts of your improvement over time! Consider getting a fitness tracking watch and seeing your progress with apps like Garmin Connect or Fitbit.
There are several fun technologies out there that create whole reasons for you to get up and out of the house. "Pokémon Go" is a fitting example of walking made into a popular video game. You walk around outside to catch Pokémon, which are creatures that have powers and that you can train and use to battle other trainers. You can walk more and unlock more Pokémon and progress further into the game. There is also an app called "Zombies, Run" that puts you into an apocalyptic world where zombies exist, and people need you to go on supply runs and run away from zombies as you work for a community and grow it from your running or walking. There are many apps like this for different types of exercise that you can try and have fun with.
Exercise can be made fun in many ways! You can make your workout more difficult so that you reach new goals, or you can tone it down and try something new that can be more enjoyable. You could also find new people to exercise with no matter what type of exercise you do. If you play individual sports like golf or tennis, you can find new people to compete against or new people to improve with. Just remember exercise does not have to be tedious; it should be enjoyable for everyone! Stay safe while exercising and consult a physician before taking on a new exercise regimen or diet.