Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but let's face it, a lot of people don't exactly enjoy working out. To some it may feel like a chore, to others there may be some anxiety when entering a gym, and to others there may be some stress just not knowing what they should be doing. However, there are many ways to make exercise more enjoyable and dare we say it, even fun. So if you're not 100% loving your workout experience, here are five simple ways to make your workouts more fun:
Change Up Your Routine Every Once in Awhile
Doing the same workout every day can quickly become tedious, and it isn't exactly optimal for seeing significant results. Try switching up your routine by trying new exercises or activities. For example, if you normally go for a run, try biking or swimming instead. Sick or the same old bro split? Try a Push-Pull-Legs Routine. Mixing up your routine can also help you target different muscle groups, improve your recoverability between sessions, and prevent boredom.
It's important to note that doing a new workout every day is not an optimal way to see real results. The days of "muscle confusion" are over; we know better now. We usually recommend sticking with something for 3-6 weeks, increasing the weight, reps, etc progressively over that time, then changing it up. If you need some help with this, we have a staff of coaches ready to help! (Click here to book a free consultation)
Find a Workout Partner
Working out with a friend or family member can make exercise more enjoyable for you. Having someone to talk to and motivate you can help make the time go by faster, and having someone who depends on you just as much as you depend on them will keep you accountable. Many of our clients have said that having a coach has kept them coming in situations where by themselves they may have hung up the towel, killing their progress. If you are interested in finding your own coach but don't know where to start, you can read our article "What to Look for in a Coach".
You can also try working out with a group by joining a fitness class. Wherever you live, there's a good chance there is a gym nearby that offers group fitness. Classes are a great way to meet new people, a lot of our members come to classes for that social interaction and connection with other people. They're also a great way to try something new. We operate a Strength & Conditioning model, other gyms may do Kick Boxing, others may do Bootcamps. Find what you enjoy, can do safely, and give it a go! You may learn that you actually enjoy working out, you've just been participating in a method that doesn't agree with you and your values.
Listen to Music/Podcasts
This is not a knock on globo-gyms, but we all have different tastes in music, and many of us have walked into a gym and groaned once you hear the first song on the speakers. If you enjoy some heavy metal but are forced to listen to bubbly pop music, chances are you'll be pulling your hair out by the end of your warmup. Listening to music or a podcast can help you get in the zone and distract you from the physical exertion of exercise. Create a playlist of your favorite songs or listen to a podcast that interests you.
At the end of the day, results are king. Setting goals and tracking your progress can help you stay motivated. When we sit down with a client, it's important to take the big goal, figure out where the halfway mark is, then work towards that. That way you can complete tip #5. If you want to learn how to create realistic and smart goals, you can learn more in our article "How to Create SMART goals".
This is going to be different for everyone. A powerlifter may want to add __lbs to their back squat, the busy professional may want to use exercise to deal with stress, someone else may want to lose ___lbs of excess body fat.
The goals determine your program, and getting those goals down on paper give you clarity and perspective. There's a saying that says awareness precedes change. Tracking your progress can help you see how far you've come and give you a sense of accomplishment.
If you've worked hard, and accomplished something new, don't be afraid to reward yourself! Now for the person who has a goal of losing 10lbs, celebrating by going to the "All You Can Eat Wings Night" at the local pub may not be the best idea. But going out for a day trip to the lake, buying that new shirt you couldn't fit into before, etc are great ways to stay motivated.
I hope that this article has given you a couple ways to make the gym a little more enjoyable. We love to workout, that's a pretty big reason why we became coaches, but we also understand that you may not enjoy it as much. If adding even one of these things to your routine can help you, then for us it's mission accomplished. If you are interested in learning more about our programs, we'd also love to chat.
And as always, thanks for reading! Enjoy your day.