How many times have you picked up working out as a habit, only to find yourself falling off the bandwagon shortly after? You know the importance of exercise, yet for some reason you struggle with sticking to it. Whether it be work, family, or life in general, it’s difficult to find enough hours in a day to exercise. Even as a fitness professional, I have struggled with maintaining an exercise regimen. But this one thing made all the difference.
Find Your Passion
All of our lives, we’ve equated exercise as punishment. Gym teachers and coaches made us run laps or do push-ups when we misbehaved, or we make ourselves run or go to the gym for eating that piece of cake. We feel we must punish ourselves in the form of exercise.
But this is often the root cause for why we fall off the bandwagon. Who wants to live their life punishing themselves daily?! The key to reaching your fitness goals is your ability to stick to exercising. And this comes back to finding your passion. Boredom will set in if you’re not passionate about it. Make exercise fun! There’s no sense in forcing yourself to go to the gym, if you loathe being there.
Contrary to popular belief, exercise does not just equal lifting weights and running. Exercise simply equals movement. Additionally, if you find something you enjoy, you’re more apt to push yourself harder to get better. Maybe it’s pushing yourself a little farther on a yoga pose, or improving your explosiveness on the basketball court. You will find yourself improving more by starting something you enjoy. Here are some ways to make exercise fun that don’t require the gym:
Boxing or Martial Arts
Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu changed my life. Wrestling was my sport all through high school. I trained year round in all three styles: Greco-Roman, Freestyle, and Folkstyle. Wrestling is what inspired me to pursue fitness and nutrition as a career. But after high school, I stopped wrestling and had a void of combat sports. Last year, I decided to start training Kempo Karate and immediately felt inspired again. My sensei suggested I take up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I began training that, as well. Long story short, this has led me to be in the best shape of my adult life. There are very few exercises that are as intense and exciting as martial arts. Give it a try!
Play a Sport
With more and more adults leagues forming, there are plenty of opportunities to play any sport. A pick-up game of basketball is a fantastic way to burn some calories and have fun with friends. Another option could be playing a round of golf, but walk the course instead of using a golf cart. Bring out that inner athlete, and join an intramural sport!
Play Tag with Your Child
If we could bottle up the energy children have, coffee would no longer be an industry. Try chasing a child around for 20 minutes and tell me you’re not tired! This is a great way to bond with your child, while working on your fitness. Not to mention it keeps them off of video games and YouTube.
Take a Hot Yoga Class
Yoga is a great way to improve balance, flexibility, and core strength. All of these deteriorate as we age. Take it up a notch and try a hot yoga class. Very few things test your physical and mental strength then trying to hold yoga poses in 92 to 105 degree temperatures. You will sweat like you never have before, so drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!
Go on a Hike
Being outdoors and enjoying nature is calming and serene. Hiking is a fantastic way to burn some calories and enjoy Mother Nature. Start with easy trails and as your fitness level improves, seek out the more strenuous trails. One of the best hikes I’ve been on was a 3 mile strenuous hike up Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park. The last half mile involved holding a metal chain and going single file up and down. The view was absolutely breathtaking! Make sure to take a camera during hikes. Whether it’s a picture of the view, wildlife, or with your significant other, there is always opportunity for a beautiful Instagram post!