How can I ENJOY exercise?

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #1

I know they exist, people who enjoy exercise, but I’ve never been one of them. It’s always been a chore and a struggle, even when I was fit. I procrastinate getting my gear on and going, I sit in the car and fiddle around, I do the things and sweat and get my heart rate up for the correct amount of minutes, but I can’t wait for it to be over.

So for those of you who enjoy exercise, can you give a gal some tips on changing my mind about the whole experience?

(less is more, more or less) #2

Do you enjoy walking?

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #3

That’s what I do. It used to be my favorite thing but it’s boring now. But yes, it’s my go to.

(Little Miss Scare-All) #4

I know for me, number one, is a great playlist. I have Spotify Premium and I have playlists galore for everything. I usually use very fast paced music, catchy and something I can zone out to. For me, that’s often punk, industrial or techno. But a good playlist for whatever your taste, is essential. Sometimes I’m in the mood to make it meditative, so I’ll play something like Enya or relaxing and blank my mind.

Some days, my mind wants to fixate on all the other more relaxing, lazy or other things I can be doing instead. I turn those times into exercises in watching thoughts and strengthening my ability to do things mind over matter and pretend Im a robot running on a program.

What I find to make the time seem faster, is breaking my cardio into intervals. For instance Ill say “im going to go 5 min at a level 10, then 5 minutes at a level 5”, then I do that and it makes me dread every other 5 minutes’ and when we dread things, the time seems to arrive quicker lol. Its a mind trick that works for me. 5min intervals of elevated resistance or speed or both, gollowed by 5min of lesser resistance or speed. Intervals can be made into whatever works for you, theres no wrong way to do them.

Audible books also work if youre into that. Mix that with the intervals and even if you dont enjoy it, time will seem to go faster.

I focus on how the workout is an investment in me and a time I can br selfish and work on myself and my health. I practise visualizations of all kinds and try to program my brain while getting my body healthy.

(Carl Keller) #5

I’m in the same boat. When I was younger, I enjoyed sports that involved a lot of physical exertion but if there is no competitive element, I also tend to get bored. A few things I’m sure I might enjoy would be hiking trails in unexplored areas but I never get out of my little corner of suburbia… or something like laser tag, but I’m afraid I might injure something that might keep me from working. So I’m resigned to counting steps at work where I put in about a mile’s worth every day. It’s boring but at least I get paid for it. :stuck_out_tongue:

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #6

You know, I did used to make playlists and they were by era and gender and I had MP3 players always on me when I worked out. I would program them beats per minute and it would direct my HIIT training on the treadmill. I had totally forgotten about that. I think there’s a website to tell me which song has what bpm. I subscribe to Amazon Music so I can make them easily.

Thanks Dena! That was very helpful. At least it gives me a place to start. Usually near the end I start to feel good and that helps but it is never enough of a motivator to initially get excited about it. I’m actually a twinge excited about the playlists. Creating them, anyway. Using them…we’ll see!

(Little Miss Scare-All) #7

Yessss Amazon music I have also and it has lots and lots of stuff. There may even be pre-made bpm playlists, but I know the music nerd fun of making my own. That’ll get you through for a little while. I hope it all helps and you find your groove. And good work on putting thw effort in. Youre worth it.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #8

Aww, shucks. Thanks for saying so!

(Cindy) #9

I used to weight lift. Used to do Tae Kwon Do and then karate. I’ve worked with personal trainers, used to be an aerobics instructor, etc…so certainly done my fair share of exercise. My advice now? Find something to do that you don’t consider exercise. Find a dance studio. Learn to bellydance, or tap dance, waltz, etc. :wink: Volunteer with a local dog shelter to be a dog walker for them. We have that in this area…they wear a “You can adopt me!” vest so it serves a dual purpose.

Learn to roller skate or play tennis. Join a rowing team. Put in a garden. There’s so much that’s NOT “formal” exercise that’s healthy. And honestly, so much of what’s done in a gym, because it’s repetitive, is NOT good for the joints. That’s why I don’t go back…I’d rather walk around our property, pick up rocks, pile sticks on the burn pile, plant some flowers, work the horses, etc.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #10

Cindy, can I come work your farm? I miss it so much!

(Jennibc) #11

I walk just about every day about 4 miles - the days I don’t it’s typically because there is electricity coming out of the sky so I head to the gym for the elliptical trainer. But to make my 4 miles more fun I have my i-phone with a headset and call friends. Essentially I turn it into social hour and visit over the phone. Also I have created many different play lists of songs that I love so the music means I am never bored. Both those things keep me doing it.

(Khara) #12

Do you have a house with a yard? Yard work is really active and would accomplish two things at once.

(Cindy) #13

Any time! Just let me know when you’re arriving. :smiley: There’s horses to groom, Izzy to play with, you can mow, garden, use the tractor for something “tractor-ish,” fish in the pond…or you can just relax on the deck and watch the sunset.

And I’m serious about that. We have a hospitality building with a full bath and kitchen, with a small bed tucked away in the corner, so you could stay overnight in your own space.

We built this place to host horse clinics, but I wanted it to be a place where people could relax and unwind. It’s just 10 acres, so not totally out in the boonies, but it’s still a small piece of “country.”

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #14

Well that just sounds amazing!

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #15

We rent so there’s only so much I can do but like you guys mentioned, I should view my chores and yard work as exercise and not just think of the gym as the only way to get it!

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #16

I almost walked to the library today, before going to the gym. I think I may have enjoyed that much more. Something for me to consider. I do love a good map and exploring!

(Little Miss Scare-All) #17

Urban exploration is awesome. Sometimes Ill jump on the train into midtown Manhattan and just wander around. Cheap fun.

(Stickin' with mammoth) #18

Exercise is an activity requiring physical effort. That’s it. So, if yer movin’, yer exercisin’. The intensity is up to you.

Cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, pulling all the dandelions in the yard by hand, walking around a new neighborhood, hiking a local trail, playing with kids on playground equipment, chasing the dog/cat around the inside of the house, snowball fight–it doesn’t have to occur in Spandex on a machine that says “Please consult a staff member before using.”

Get sweaty and laugh, that’s my goal. Every day.

(Little Miss Scare-All) #19

Says you.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #20

Pilates reformer.