Exercise fun? Seriously, yes
Healthy Food Guide fitness expert Sarah Cowley is full of ideas to get you active.
One of the best ways to stay motivated and keep your exercise mojo is to make it as enjoyable as possible. Here’s how.
Exercise, at times, is a necessary evil. On one hand, we absolutely know it’s good for us – when prescribed correctly – but, on the other hand, it can be really hard work.
The shaky legs, your heart jumping out of your chest, the feeling that you just can’t take another step – it is absolutely not everyone’s idea of a party. Learning how to push through those difficult times helps us appreciate the fun parts.
As an Olympic athlete, I’ve had to endure some pretty hideous training sessions in my time. Not fun at all. But the fun I take from them is getting through those hard sessions with my mates and having a real sense of satisfaction when we’ve finished for the day.
When we have enjoyable experiences, we’re more likely to do them again. While the enjoyment may not always be apparent at the time during exercise, there are ways to have fun through the pain.
Over the years, I’ve developed some tricks to up the fun stakes when I know I’ve got a horrible workout coming up that will be beneficial but not a leisurely walk in the park:
Workout as a group or head to an exercise class
There’s a real movement for group fitness and there’s a reason for that. Together is better, particularly
when you are huffing and puffing through exercise. Huff and puff together and cheer each other on.
Being outside does wonders for the soul when exercising. Feel the sun on your face, the wind, hopefully, at your back and embrace the elements. Fresh air also helps when sucking in oxygen on a walk or a run.
Music is a mood lifter
I have some go-to tunes when I need to dig deep. So, whatever revs you up, get it on repeat if you have to and just move.
When you get through those tough sessions, celebrate your tenacity. If you need to put a carrot in front of you as a motivational reward, do so. I would just avoid making the reward food related – unless it’s a green smoothie.
Side plank lifts with varation
Use this core exercise in your Kick-start fitness plan.