We’ve all been there. You’re on the treadmill with your best upbeat playlist going and you think you’re about halfway through your workout, when you look down and see that you’ve only been going for … five minutes!!
Some exercises are just monotonous and boring. No matter what you do to make it less painful, it’s just a struggle each and every time.
There are ways to get exercise that can be fun. Give yourself permission to not be perfect while learning something new. If that is too much to ask (which it really shouldn’t be), then at least change your thinking to make whatever you are currently doing more entertaining.
Try Something New and Maybe Scares You A Little
Yes, running burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but if it makes you want to scream in agony while you are doing it, is it really worth it? Life is short, spend it doing something you really enjoy.
Brainstorm some new kinds of exercise. Think of something that you’ve been wanting to try but are afraid you would look silly. Enjoy the adventure and learn to laugh at yourself already.
Take a dance class, try archery, paddleboarding, rock climbing, tennis or ice skating. Go on a real journey and try something different once a quarter or even once a month.
Grab a few friends and go to a place like Main Event or Round 1. There you can try a multitude of things in one night; bowling, ping-pong, billiards, air hockey, arcade games and even, let out your inner rock star singing karaoke.
My personal favorite, whether you like to do something with others or solo, is hiking. Not only do I get a workout, but it also recharges my soul. Find something that does that for you!
Get In Your Head and Play Some Mind Games
If you really don’t want to give up your normal go-to exercise, at least make it more interesting.
For instance, if you like to run, pretend you are being chased by zombies. If you usually swim, pretend a great white shark is coming up behind you. Yes, the ideas may make you laugh, but they will also make you go a little harder and your workout will probably fly by.
Use silly rules to intensify a workout. If you normally go for a walk in the evenings, make a rule that every time you see a dog you have to walk twice as fast the next block. Or every time a silver SUV passes by you have to skip to the end of that street.
There is no limit to your imagination and what you can use to motivate you. I sometimes pretend that someone I want to impress is watching me workout and I always go a little harder. Sometimes just imagining that you are already in shape can trick your body into going farther than it normally would.
Or use a hypothetical, for example, if you accomplish 2 more reps when you are feeling tired, someone you don’t like will spill coffee on themselves. Whatever it takes, ladies! This is all in your head. No one will know what you are thinking so let your imagination go crazy.
Get A Little Creative and Think Outside of the Box
Use randomness to combat the boredom. Write several exercises on popsicle sticks and then draw out 8 to 10 sticks. You have allowed the universe to create a personal workout just for you. If you’d like to take the easy way out, there actually is a product that is a deck of cards that has random exercises on them.
If you are walking around a track, do something different every other lap. Try skipping, running, walking really fast, walk backwards, hop or basketball slides. This would be a great one to do with a friend. You’ll probably laugh off a few calories as well.
Speaking of walking, every time you come to a set of stairs you have to go up and down them before you can continue your walk.
Raining outside? Stay in, but turn up the tunes and just dance like noone is watching.
Cleaning the house? Make it a race against the clock to get each chore done and do them as fast as you can.
Get the kids involved and you not only are combining exercise with spending time with your kids, you are also setting a great example for them.
Make up crazy games to play with them. Play kickball, but make extra rules, like if you kick the ball and it hits the swingset then you automatically make it to third base, for example. Encourage them to use their imagination as well.
Set up various “silly” stations in the backyard then compete to see who can get through them the fastest. You can have a jumping jack station, a limbo station, a station where they have to toss clothespins into a bucket, run through an obstacle course balancing a book on their head… you get the idea.
If you take the kids to the park, play on the equipment with them. Swing on the swings, play on the monkey bars, spin them on the merry-go-round. Don’t just sit there and look at your phone while they play. Your kids will appreciate the attention, and you’ll get the exercise benefits to boot.
Don’t do shit that you don’t like thinking it’s the best way to exercise. Make it fun!
You’re turn! Leave a comment with your ideas for a more enjoyable workout.
Currently avoiding eye contact with the dog while I’m busting out my best dance moves.