Results come faster when we enjoy what we do! Bring the fun back into your workouts with these 12 easy steps!
Have you ever dragged yourself to the gym - full of dread - then surprised yourself by actually having a great time?
You’re not alone - Research shows that people end up enjoying their workouts much more than they think they will. What these studies reveal, is that this sense of dread actually comes from the experience of starting a workout - which is typically less than pleasant while the body transitions between a state of rest and working hard.
This initial unpleasantness makes up only a small fraction of a whole workout, but nonetheless, it’s enough to drive our motivation to a grinding halt, whilst sending our procrastination time soaring.
Fortunately, there are many ways to solve this psychological problem, and they all involve injecting the real, genuine fun back into exercise. You know… that kind of fun too many of us left in our childhood? That’s what our workouts should be about!
1. Gamify Your Workout
Gamification is used throughout many fields, and is defined as the application of game-design elements and game principals in non-game contexts.
Workout gamification is getting really hi-tech these days, but it can also be as simple as using a deck of cards.
Games are inherently fun, so when your workouts send you on exciting quests and reward you with points, or even send you running from zombies… the addictive power of gaming will have you unlocking your fitness goals in no time
2. Exercise Outdoors
It’s not only kids who benefit from playing outside. Get out in the fresh air and enjoy the view, because not only do outdoor workouts lead to greater stress relief than indoor workouts, they can also be a lot more fun.
Rain, hail or shine, outdoor exercise can invigorate our sense of adventure, while reclaiming and repurposing that childhood notion of going outside to ‘play.’
3. Motivate with Music
When we choose the right songs, music lifts our mood and makes moving our bodies almost unavoidable - so no matter how much you’re dreading your workout, a good playlist is guaranteed to get you in the zone for a fun and focused session.
Aside from making it way more fun, there are more reasons to crank the tunes while you workout - learn about some of them here.
4. Find Friends
If your workouts are a drag, then you might be missing one of the best fitness accessories there is: company. To make your workouts more fun, and maybe even something you look forward to - recruit a friend, or maybe even a group of friends.
Not only can friends encourage and motivate you but they can also be fantastic to help keep you accountable.
5. Choose HIIT
Despite its intimidating name, research shows that most people find High Intensity Interval Training much more fun than low-moderate intensity exercise. HIIT workouts are also convenient, fast, and a highly effective way to reach your fitness goals.
Opt for HIIT workouts over long, boring sessions on cardio equipment, for a quick, intense and fun way to get those results.
6. Learn New Skills
Whether you set out on a mission to master handstands, or challenge yourself to try a new piece of equipment at the gym, learning (and mastering) new skills not only provides our brains with a boost, but it’s also really fun because it gives our workouts more purpose.
7. Nerd-out Over Workout Data
Progress tracking apps can fuel your fun by igniting a little healthy competition, whether it’s with your friends, total strangers, or even just with yourself.
Tracking your steps, calories burnt, heart rate and other aspects of your activity is not only fun (and maybe a little bit addictive), but it also makes you more aware of how much exercise you’re actually doing.
8. Join a Sports Team
Joining a sports team is a great way to make new friends, have fun whilst getting fit, and to give your workouts more context and purpose. If you’re hitting the gym so you can do your team proud at the next match, then the excitement for your upcoming game is likely to make your workout a whole lot more fun.
9. Do Kid Things
When we were kids, running and jumping around all day was never a chore - so why is it that 50% of adults are failing to meet the minimum physical activity requirement for general health?
Getting in the best shape of your adult life may be as simple as bouncing on a trampoline, jumping with a skipping rope, throwing a frisbee or even hooning around the park on rollerblades.
10. Mix It Up
Even something that started out awesome can eventually go stale if you’ve been doing it for some time. This doesn’t mean you should quit that activity, but it does mean it’s time to change things up.
Varying your workouts has many benefits for your body and brain, from breaking through a weight loss plateau, to sharpening your mind and boosting your memory - but it also keeps things fresh and fun.
11. Don’t Overtrain
If you’re pushing yourself so hard that you’re no longer buzzing during or after your workouts, there’s a possibility that you’re overtraining.
Without adequate recovery, you’re no longer getting sufficient benefit from exercise and, despite working extra hard, you may be pushing your goals further away. Take a little time to rest, recharge, and rediscover the fun side of fitness.
12. Fuel Up For Fun
Working out is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle - so when it isn’t accompanied by other healthy habits, exercise isn’t likely to be much fun.
Paying attention to your nutrition and making sure you’re eating a healthy and balanced diet will increase your energy and boost your mood in preparation for fun and focused workouts.
However, life can get a little hectic sometimes, so make sure you’re getting some top quality nutrition in the easiest possible way.