There’s no point in doing something that feels like a drag, so the way you fit in exercise should be no different. Get back to a place of fun and joy with these 8 tips.
Do you feel joy when you hear the word “workout”? If you don’t, no worries. There’s a lot of hype around the need to have an extreme love for working out such that the more simple concept of joyful movement has been lost.
Joy needs to be part of your workout each and every time.
For most people, getting a workout in every day can be tiresome in and of itself (and this is before you even mention the actual workout). However, there’s no doubt that regular movement and exercise can be incredibly healthy for our bodies, minds, and souls.
But that’s only if we’re doing it with joy! Here are a few ways to help you get there again.
1. WORK OUT IN A WAY THAT WORKS WITH YOUR BODY.
The reality is, we’re not all made with a runner’s bodies, which is totally OK! You don’t have to run 3 miles to have it count as a workout. Walking can also be a great way that all bodies can participate in, which can also be therapeutic when you go with a friend. If you enjoy swimming, find a gym with a pool or, better yet, a friend with a pool! Your workouts will be so much more enjoyable if you stop, and take time to think about the movement that feels natural for you.
2. FIND A FRIEND TO WORK OUT WITH.
Moving and exercising with a friend can not only be motivating, but also uplifting to your life. It combines social health with physical health, which are both important to all other aspects of your body’s wellbeing. Make getting together with friends something that’s regularly part of your schedule. And when you’re able, turn that outing into something active, such as going for a walk, biking, running, or even playing a pick-up sport together.
3. ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE REAL REST DAYS.
A common misconception is that rest days still need to have some form of exercise. While exercise is beneficial for our bodies, it becomes unhealthy any time it goes to the extreme. If your body is telling you that it needs a day to sit on the couch and binge watch Netflix, that’s OK! You don’t have to feel guilty about that. There is the added benefit to having a true rest day, so honor it. Your body deserves it.
4. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY WITH WHAT WORKOUT YOU DO.
Along those same lines, listen to your body with what workout you do. Not every day is meant to be a hard core cardio day. Some days, a gentle walk or yoga session is all you need. One common misconception is that people are made to feel as if they need to work out to the extreme everytime they are exercise. They believe that in order for a workout to “count”, it has to be a certain level of intensity. That mentality is a surefire way to kill the joy.
5. YOUR WORKOUT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE 30 MINUTES TO COUNT.
Many people feel that a workout can only count if it is at least 30 minutes or more. However, if you’re short on time and only have 10 to 15 minutes, that’s OK and far better than not doing anything if movement is what our body is craving.
6. MAKE YOUR WORKOUT MORE ABOUT YOUR MENTAL HEALTH THAN YOUR PHYSICAL.
Focus more on the mental health benefits instead of the physical, which is the default for most people. It’s easy to only think of the calorie burn or fat loss, and quickly forget all about the benefits of stress reduction, mental clarity, empowerment, and productivity that it can bring. Next time you work out, try this simple mindset shift and note how it improves your joy with working out again.
7. WEAR WORKOUT CLOTHES THAT YOU FEEL GOOD IN!
Feeling good in your skin is important, but it can definitely be encouraged through feeling good in your clothes. If you’re wearing clothes fit your body well and make you feel empowered and strong, you will enjoy working out so much. You won’t need a whole new wardrobe of clothes, just a couple of pieces you really love can step up your joy and motivation in moving your body.
8. GET OUTSIDE AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN!
While this isn’t the case for everyone, there’s something extra that comes with working out outdoors that you just don’t get from being inside a studio or gym. As often as you can, try to get outside, look around, and appreciate nature.
Here’s to staying motivated and inspired for your healthiest body and mind.
Adapted from the original article.
Victoria Yates, RN is a Registered Nurse & Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor based in Westchester, NY who focuses on helping women reach a healthier relationship with food and their bodies. She is passionate about guiding others reprogram negative thoughts around food and body image so they may experience a truly joyful life. Learn more about Victoria Yates Nutrition.