Enjoy Exercising?

Tips to Make Exercise More Enjoyable

There are many short-term and long-term benefits of physical activity and exercise, but it is hard to stay committed to being active. Many people think that you have to go to a gym or health club to exercise, but the reality of it is that there are many opportunities for exercise that are fun, convenient, and cost free.

Often we look at exercise as a chore or just another thing on a to-do list. Common barriers to exercise include time, being tired, money, work, class, or even not enjoying exercise. To overcome these obstacles exercise has to be something that you want to do and not have to do. Everyone is different and enjoys different activities; find something that you enjoy doing and incorporate that into physical activity. Here are some tips to make exercise more enjoyable.

  • Be Social- Exercising with a partner or group is a great way to develop community and keep each other accountable.
  • Listen to music or Watch TV- Some people need a distraction during exercise to make it more enjoyable. Many gyms are equipped with treadmills/bikes that have built in TV’s to get your mind off of the exercise and increase enjoyment.
  • Change your setting- Physical activity does not have to be limited to the gym. Try going outside; this could include hiking the Konza or linear trail, and fresh air is always great.
  • Find Balance- Intensity and Duration often affect enjoyment. Find an intensity that is good for you and an equal duration to match that. Exercise does not have to follow the “Go hard or go home” stereotype, but can be as simple as walking the dog on a daily basis.
  • Variety- Often traditional types of exercise are found to be boring and unpleasant. Find something you enjoy: if you enjoy video games try playing the Wii, Xbox connect, or another active video game that gets you moving. Dance and Zumba, sport-based activity, and yoga are all great ways to get active as well.

If you have pain or other issues preventing you from exercising, the therapists at Mathis Physical Therapy can help resolve the pain and design a program to get you started.

Sources:

Segar et al.: Rebranding exercise: closing the gap between values and behavior. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2011 8:94.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2000). Healthy people 2010 (Vol.II,2nd ed). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Lanningham-Foster, L, Jensen, TB, Foster, RC, Redmond, AB, Walker, BA, Heinz, D, Levine, JA. (2006). Energy expenditure of sedentary screen time compared with active screen time for children. Pediatrics 118:1831- 1835.

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