If you have fun when you exercise you will workout more often and get far better results.
In the 1977 classic, Pumping Iron, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not shy from expressing his love for weight-lifting:
Although it’s hard not to watch the above video without laughing, there is wisdom in his words. Arnold clearly found fun and happiness in his time exercising, and you can too!
Any form of exercise that raises your thermic level to the point where you start to sweat will begin to activate pleasure inducing endorphin’s in your brain that will lower your stress level and give you fantastic feelings of pleasure.
Here’s ten ways to get those good feelings on a regular basis:
1. Exercise With Friends
Working out with a friend, or with several different friends, will cause you to step your game up.
When I exercise with a friend this causes me to set new goals and then strive to achieve them.
Having a friend who is counting on you to be there will also compel you to attend your exercise sessions.
If you lift weights having a friend there to spot you can really make a big difference.
They say that the last rep in a set does more for your muscles than all of the reps before it put together, and from my experience I have found this to be true.
Have a friend spot you when you are pressing weight and you will notice the improvements before long because being able to push that last rep without worrying if you will drop the weight lets you push yourself to the limit.
2. Reward Yourself
Skinner said that positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior and maintained that positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification.
So reward yourself after a workout by hitting the sauna, drinking a delicious recovery drink, or with another tasty snack like a protein bar.
3. Add Variety to Your Workout
Variety is the Spice of Life.
Experiment with exciting new exercises, and add variety to your routine.
Ping pong, tennis, volleyball, stability ball exercises, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, snorkeling, jumping rope or roller skating, are just a few examples of different exercises that can make your workout more fun and exciting.
4. Avoid Boredom at All Costs
Getting bored with your exercise routine is the best way to kill your fitness goals.
The best way to avoid boredom is to avoid a routine. I don’t mean you should not workout regularly, I do mean you should avoid doing the same exercises over and over again.
5. Workout With Your Favorite Show
If you have an iPod or a smart phone you’re good to go, and if not they are well worth the investment.
Load a few of your favorite movies or episodes of a TV show you like and hop on a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine.
I like to watch Two and a half Men while I run and I have almost fallen off of the treadmill a few times from laughing so hard!
Exercising while you watch a show or read is a great way to make cardio time fly by.
6. Start Your Workout with Light Cardio
Even if you don’t love cardio doing some light cardio is a great way to make your overall workout experience more fun.
The reason why is because it will kick up your heart rate and signal to your brain that it is time to activate the good old endorphins.
According to wikipedia:
Endorphins (“endogenous morphine”) are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters. They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being.
Sounds good to me!
7. Get a Dog
Getting a dog is a great way to get a new friend and a reason to exercise on the daily.
Dogs are a great way to meet new people too. Hopefully your city or town has a local dog park, or at least a regular park, where you can take your dog to socialize.
The canine species are usually not at all shy, so taking your dog to the park to meet new dogs can be a great way to break the ice with their owners and meet some new friends of your own.
8. Sign up For an Exercise Class
Yoga, dancing, and kick boxing are just three examples of classes that you could take to keep your exercise fresh and new.
9. Jump on a Trampoline
Trampolines are a ton of fun. Check to see if there is a trampoline gym in your area and if there is go check it out!
Not only will you have an awesome time jumping on trampolines, you will also burn a bunch of calo
10. Get Some Gym Swag
Everytime I get new gym swag I can’t wait to hit the gym to try it out.
I like to wear tight shirts or shirts without sleeves so that I can see my muscles while I work them.
This tip can be tied back to positive reinforcement. One way you can do this is to reward yourself with a new shirt every ten times you exercise. Before you know it you’ll have a gym bag full of cool shirts and you can reflect on the reason why you have them with pride.
How do you make exercising more fun?
Let us know in the comments below.