For years I’ve had a love-hate relationship with working out. I typically hate it before I go and love the way I feel after I’m done. Regardless, it’s one of my intentions for this year to make fitness a big part of my life and to go from love-hate to full on love. In doing so, I’ve come up with some fool proof ways to actually have fun while exercising so that I look forward to my workouts and meet all of my 2018 fitness goals in record time.
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Hiking has been one of my favorite things since I was a kid. Mountain girl, born and raised. But even now that I live in a city, I feel very fortunate that there are so many great hiking trails super close by. It’s become a favorite of ours to go hiking in Umstead State Park after work. If hiking isn’t your thing, just getting outside for a walk around the block can help you shake off the office and get some fresh air in your lungs. Of course, furry friends love the outdoors as well, so it’s really a win for everyone.
Find a Gym Buddy
Whether you workout with a friend or with your significant other, a partner can make all the difference. The trick here is to find a friend that will hold you accountable, not one that is going to bail every week or be annoyed to go. Having a friend to talk to as you bike, to look stupid with you in a fitness class, or even just provide emotion support as you die during your sit ups, will ultimately help you stay on track in a big way. It’s even more fun if you use it as your weekly catch up time with a good friend, in the gym or outside the gym. Call up a friend and say “hey, I want to catch up, but let’s go walk around the lake as we talk.” A buddy makes everything more fun and it won’t even feel like working out.
Join a Sports Club
Think about it, you were probably in great shape as a kid because you played outside or played sports. So why stop now that you’re an adult? No matter what your preferred sport, dancing, soccer, basketball, softball, tennis, you name it, there is an adult league out there that caters to it. Even if you don’t want to join a structured league (maybe you are a little out of practice) follow my first advice and grab a friend that also likes this sport and practice together. Some of my friends get together over lunch to play soccer, others meet up weekly for a friendly game of tennis. The point is to do something you enjoy so that you aren’t dwelling on the actual fitness aspect of it.
Listen to a Book or Podcast
I swear by this one. I’m learning (trying) to love running, but I can’t seem to stop focusing on feeling like I’m dying about 10 mins in. That being said, I’m all about tricking myself into enjoying my workouts. So to keep my mind on other things I tend to listen to a book or a podcast. The trick here is to save this book or podcast specifically for your workout and make it a really great one that holds your attention. I’m currently working my way through the second Game of Thrones and it’s perfect because I find myself focusing on the intriguing story, plus it’s super long so I have plenty to listen to each time I run. It actually gets me looking forward to my run. Seriously! Sometimes I’m sad my run is over because I won’t let myself listen anymore. Never thought I’d say that.
Watch Your Favorite Trash TV
Again, it’s all about tricking yourself into forgetting you are working out. One of my favorite ways to work out at home is to put on some trash tv show and work my way through a planned circuit of squats, sits ups, etc. I recommend a tv show that you like, but one that you don’t have to focus on the tv the entire time. For instance, reality tv is perfect because it’s mostly mindless, holds your attention with needless drama, and yet you don’t have to be staring at the tv the entire time to keep up with what’s going on. Something more serious like The Crown (obsessed!) that requires you to sit and focus may not be the best option since you’ll be doing all sorts of moves and may miss something important to the story.
Workout During Commercial Breaks
If you’re the ultimate in lazy (me, me!) you can purposefully watch something that has commercials, like Hulu, and every time there is a commercial break you power through a set of push ups, squats, sit ups, holding a plank, whatever you want for the duration of the commercial break. My brother used to do this with old video games that had long loading screens and he got in great shape. It sounds silly, but it works, especially if you watch a lot of tv.
Find an Upbeat YouTube Workout
I’m all for working out in the comfort of my own living room where no one can judge me. I’m also always up for a fun workout class that switches things up doesn’t require me to count a million reps. YouTube in an absolute gold mind when it comes to finding workout classes. A simple search will bring up the best workouts the internet has to offer.
Some of my favorite at home/youtube workouts:
PopSugar has some of my favorite at home dance classes. The 30-45min ones seriously kick your butt and you will be feeling sore for days. They have other classes that aren’t dance related that are also super great workouts, like their kickboxing class. It’s an insane core workout!
Obsessed with this girl! Her yoga classes tailor to various needs and you can pick and choose your favorites with her shorter videos or you can do a longer yoga class that targets a whole number of areas. Yoga works your entire body with slow movements and stretching as well as helping to improve your balance and peace of mind. Win-win!
Who doesn’t want to look like a Victoria’s Secret Angel? This collection of youtube videos is awesome because you gain access to the trainers that help the Angels stay fit and you can train right along side them. My favorite is the one with Tracy Anderson because it’s fun yet SO difficult.
What are some ways you’ve learned to enjoy your workouts? Any at home workouts I should try?