Do you hate exercise? 4 Ways to Make Workouts More Enjoyable

When working out feels like a chore, it can be incredibly difficult to maintain a consistent routine, no matter how disciplined and motivated you are. But exercise doesn’t have to be miserable. By tailoring your workouts to your preferences, you can have fun while getting in shape.

Haley Perlus is a sports and exercise psychologist, fitness trainer, and author. She says that to find the exercise you love, you need to ask yourself what you already love.

“It’s really more, what do you like to do? And what already gives you energy?” said Perlus. “There are hundreds of different exercise programs. We can find one that already satisfies your current love.”

For example, if you are a social person who likes or needs the company of others to exercise, find classes where you can feel the energy of others or even work out with friends (which could be via online classesas through a ApplePlus subscription). If you’re someone who’s driven by a healthy dose of competition, sign up for a 5K or another run, she says, giving yourself a goal to work toward.

And if you like learning new things, says Perlus, “Don’t get on a treadmill because you already know how to walk right-left, right-left.”

Likewise, if you like to be outdoors, do not exercise indoors, she says. Whatever your boat, there’s probably a drill for it, and with a little trial and error, you can find a routine you’re proud (and happy) to call your own.

Resistance exercises for people who don’t like to lift weights

Resistance or strength training and keeping your body strong is an important part of our physical health, especially as we age. It’s often associated with bulky weight racks at the gym, but when it comes to strength training or strength training, you don’t need anything in your hands.

“Body resistance is the best,” Perlus says, noting that she prefers body resistance to actual weightlifting. For strength training using only your body (which sounds pretty powerful, by the way), add resistance by placing your body at different angles, according to Perlus. For example, do push-ups against the wall if you don’t need a lot of resistance and change the angle for more. Squats, lunges, planks, and yoga are great ways to stay strong without the intimidating feel of gym weights. Just make sure you’re using good form, she says.

Read more: 3 ways to get stronger without lifting a single weight

Find cardio if you hate running

Perlus calls our “I hate” narrative bluff.

“We really have to tackle the ‘I hate it,'” says Perlus. “Why do you say you hate? What’s the story behind it all? Because sometimes we can reframe that story. »

One way is to realize that running is not necessary for cardio. Dancing around your house can be just as healthy as long as you make your heart beat. There are many other ways to do cardio, including jumping jacks, hiking, and riding an elliptical trainer. Circuit training can also be more fun if you choose which exercises to rotate. Don’t want to jump rope? Choose a different exercise.

Importantly, says Perlus, you don’t need to do cardio for long. “It’s actually more quality than quantity,” she says, and the goal is to get your heart rate up.

Two women in workout clothes dancing next to each other and smiling

By incorporating what you love into your workout routine, like music, you can create habits for life.

FatCamera/Getty Images

Still don’t like it?

So you’ve taken inventory of what you love to do for a living and found a workout routine that reflects it. If you’ve had a “good try at college” and you’re still not having a good time, Perlus says, the next step is to figure out what you don’t like about the routine you’re doing and find some. another one. specifically addresses this issue.

Another tip from Perlus: don’t wait until you’re at the gym (or ready to dance in your living room) to start motivating yourself. Music is a great way to motivate yourself. Learn more about a science-backed workout playlist trick.

Make your routine sustainable

We have heard of “yo-yo diet“, but “yo-yo exercise” is also to be avoided, Perlus says. .” For this reason, she encourages people who are just starting their exercise journey going out seven days a week, taking a little time out each day. Although it sounds daunting, it doesn’t mean “high intensity” every day, she said. Rather, it’s just a way to form a routine. If walking is your chosen exercisetake a leisurely walk one day and brisk walk the next, but make time in your schedule for that.

If you’ve decided to add exercise to your routine and change your life that way, it’s important to meet where you are. (Shaming yourself or your body is not an effective motivator to exercise.) To do this, Perlus says to ask yourself two questions: What have I achieved today? with my health and what should I do next?

This could mean getting up every hour from your desk to move around, or walking your dog. It could also mean that you stretched for 5 minutes while watching TV.

The focus of your efforts should be, says Perlus, “on what you accomplish and what you obtain to do next, in relation to what you have to do next.”

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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