Many of us go through the motions of doing our exercises because we know that it’s necessary for our health and wellbeing. We know all the positive elements that it provides us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we enjoy it. It just means we do it because we must. Just like we close our noses and swallow awful tasting medication because we know its good for us, not because we like it.
Doing exercises mindlessly however, just because you know you have to “put in your time” reaps a lot less benefit than being conscious of each workout. Sure, it will get you some benefit because 50 percent of something is better than 100 percent of nothing. However if you’re going to put any effort at all into working out, shouldn’t you put into it as much as you can so that you can get out of it the maximum benefit? Isn’t your time worth that?
Here are some ways you can make exercising fun!
- Most gyms these days offer a wide array of classes, ranging from the conventional step aerobics, kickboxing and the like to the unconventional pole dancing (yes, it’s a newer form of exercise, which we’ll talk about another time).
- If you don’t belong to a gym, there are still choices for you at your local YMCA or community center. Be sure to check with them.
- Many stand-alone studios offer Yoga and Pilates classes for really reasonable prices (the more you sign up for, the cheaper the rate), and most studios offer you the opportunity to test them out with one free session.
- Dance Classes — mix up your workout by signing up for a tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop or salsa dance class. This way you can learn a new dance and get fit doing it!
- Martial Arts Classes — an excellent way to burn calories and learn a few self-defense moves as well.
Boot Camp — No, we’re not sending you to the Armed Forces. Adventure boot camps are quickly becoming popular. An intensive immersion with instruction program, these boot camps promise to deliver results typically with four to six weeks.
- If you’re into running, and are thinking that it’s a solo sport, think again. Runners are among the most social groups. Find a local running club, which is great motivation to stay on course. You’ll get the benefit of a professional coach, access to a track (perhaps) and most importantly, you’ll find people to run with at your pace, while being motivated by some of the exceptional athletes who train there with you. There are groups in every city that also help you train specifically for marathons, should that be a goal of yours.
- If you’re a new mom or have a young child that you want to workout with, there are kid-friendly options, too. Here are a few:
- Moms in Motion is an international club with local teams in more than 50 cities, 18 states and 4 countries momsinmotion.com
- Stroller Strides is another international fitness club with local franchises. The group offers moms the opportunity to get a great workout along with their baby. strollerstrides.com
- Tennis, football, soccer, baseball, softball, basketball etc. — whatever your game, you can find a team to play on, or a league to belong. Apart from providing the camaraderie of like-minded individuals, leagues are another great way to stay committed to the sport of your choice.
If none of these options appeal to you, or you’re not really looking to add to your already full social calendar, then create your own exercise group with like-minded friends. Instead of meeting at a local coffee shop or at the mall — meet at the gym. Work out side-by-side on cardio machines, spot each other with your weight regimen, or commit to sharing your food log. Accountability is the best way to stay on course. You’re less likely to hit the snooze button if you have someone waiting for you at the gym.