Do you view working out as an obligation or chore? Does this make you put off exercise? What if you started to associate exercise with pleasure and anticipation instead? If you’ve spent most of your life dreading working out or associating exercise with discomfort, it’s time to adjust how you think and learn how to enjoy working out.
So, can you go from hating working out to enjoying it? The answer is yes – if you are committed. Like mastering any new skill, learning how to enjoy exercise is part mindset and part practice. By adopting the attitude that exercise is enjoyable, you’re able to embrace fitness as part of a holistic wellness strategy. Learning how to love working out becomes a powerful tool for getting the body you want – and the extraordinary life you deserve.
Want to learn how to enjoy exercise? It all starts with examining your beliefs and replacing negative beliefs with empowering ones. Many of your beliefs were set in childhood. If you participated in boring P.E. classes or were forced to be on the track team when you disliked running, you likely developed the belief that working out was something to be endured instead of enjoyed.
Take time to examine your beliefs regarding exercise: Which are negative and which are positive? When did the negative beliefs form? Are they still true in your adult life or are you clinging to outdated beliefs that no longer serve you? Once you identify which beliefs are preventing you from learning how to like exercise, you can work on changing them to positive beliefs that help you achieve your goals.
When you start focusing on energizing your body, improving your health and enhancing your life, you can view exercise as a healthy decision instead of an obligation. From here, working out becomes a natural extension of taking care of yourself. This shift in your mindset can also help you learn how to enjoy working out at home: when you are exercising for yourself and not for others, it’s much easier to feel inspired.
You can’t learn how to enjoy exercise if you feel rushed or that you’re sacrificing other parts of your life to get a workout in. Maybe you always fit your workout in on your way home from the office, and with remote work, your routine has gone haywire. Or perhaps you feel if you don’t have time to exercise in the morning and that you might as well not bother – but this isn’t true. While morning workouts are energizing and set a great tone for the rest of your day, working out at any time is better than not working out at all.
Music is another invaluable component of learning how to enjoy exercise. In one study, researchers compared three groups of participants: those who listened to music while exercising, those who listened to a podcast and those who listened to nothing. Music increased enjoyment by 28% compared to those with no auditory stimuli and by 13% compared to those who listened to a podcast. Researchers concluded that because music elicited a more positive emotional state during exercise, music is a valuable tool for learning how to enjoy working out – and you can use it whether your workout space is the gym or in the great outdoors.
Humans crave certainty, even in our exercise routines. We’re also extremely social beings, hard-wired to work together and enjoy gatherings. When it comes to learning how to enjoy exercise, it’s even proven that there is strength in numbers. One study demonstrated that our social networks influence our exercise-related behaviours. Participants who spent time with fit friends were more likely to successfully lose weight and enjoy exercise than those whose peers were not oriented toward healthful living.
Don’t focus on the difficulties of adding regular exercise into your routine, focus on what you will gain! Not only can you get a better sleep when you work out you may also find that you have more energy. Exercise can help with mental clarity so you’ll be more focused at work and throughout your daily life. Doing a fun workout in the middle of a stressful week can reduce your stress and help you to feel more balanced and in control. There are heaps of physical benefits to working out, including a healthier cardiovascular system, stronger muscles, and generally just feeling great! We bet that once you start making working out more enjoyable, you’ll find it much easier, and you’ll push yourself harder too!