Hate Exercise? Try these tips that may just change your mind.
You don’t have to be a gym hero to get enough physical activity to improve your health. There are a lot of ways to make regular activity part of your life – which can help you have more energy, handle stress better, reduce your risk of illness and disease, and look and feel good! It’s pretty much a no-brainer. But most of us (about 80 percent of Americans) don’t make exercise a regular habit. And many say it’s because they just don’t like it.
So how can you stop being a hater and get over exercise aversion? Here are some tips to help you add physical activity to your life – and maybe even learn to like it!
Instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy, find ways to exercise that fit your personality. If you’re a social person, do something that engages you socially – take a group dance class, join a recreational sports team, or start a walking group with friends. Connecting with your peeps is a great way to stay motivated and avoid working out alone. If you’re more of a lone wolf, running or swimming might be a better fit. And if you’re not a morning person, you’re not likely to get up at the crack of dawn to make a boot camp class.
It can take a while for a new behavior to become a habit, so give yourself time to get into a regular routine. One way is to try to be active around the same time each day. Exercise can become addictive in a good way. Once it becomes a habit, you’ll notice when you aren’t doing it.
It’s OK to fit in physical activity when you can. The American Heart Association recommends a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, but if that sounds overwhelming, try adding two or three short activity sessions most days of the week. It all adds up! You could do a quick yoga routine when you wake up, take a brisk walk after lunch at work, and if you commute with public transportation, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way home.
If you miss a day or a workout, don’t worry about it. Everybody struggles once in a while. Just make sure you hit it again the next day. And if what you’re doing just isn’t working for you, revisit this list. You may need to try a different activity or a different time of day. Don’t give up!