Written by: Marlee B
Do you want to know something crazy?
Only 48% of American adults are getting enough exercise to even make a dent in their overall health! Yeah, 48%.
That is barely half of the population! Told you it was crazy. But, do you know why?
Most research studies reveal this lack of physical activity is because people attach the act of exercise along with reasons like it’s too “boring,” “hard,” and “not something I’m good at.”
Another reason that many men and women don’t have a good relationship with working out is that we have been taught to do it for the wrong purpose.
If you are someone who may be struggling with working out consistently because you find it boring, hard, or you’re not good at it, I’ll tell you just how to combat each of these reasons, so stick with me.
I’m here to help!
How to Make Working Out Fun
It’s true that exercise can get boring and repetitive, but just because it can be doesn’t mean that it has to! There are lots of ways to make working out fun, so to help you begin, here are some of my top suggestions to add the element of F.U.N!
F- Work out with a friend, and I’ll tell you why!
First, because when you do, you are much less likely to get bored when you’re catching up, encouraging each other, and having a laugh (not to mention, laughing helps burn more calories)!
Second, you tend to get more out of the workout when you are doing it with someone. Working out with a friend can encourage healthy competition that allows you to both push your physical and mental limits.
You’re more likely to do that extra set, extra mile, or increase the intensity. In fact, research has found that people are more likely to lose weight if their exercise buddy is losing weight. (But remember, exercise is still beneficial even if you aren’t losing weight!)
And have you ever wanted to try Zumba or a boxing class but felt intimidated to go alone? You don’t have to feel that way anymore when you’re with a buddy!
Mix it up and you’ll have more fun and less reason to quit. After all, it’s pretty hard to play a game of tennis by yourself!
U- Uplift yourself with a reward.
For example, for the time spent pounding the pavement or lifting weights, give yourself something in return.
Simply put $1 in a jar for every workout you do, and every month you could use this money for a nice meal out, a fresh hair-do, or a new piece of clothing…anything you want!
Be creative, and imagine what might continuously motivate you to exercise!
N- One word: Netflix.
Instead of heading back from work and flopping your bottom onto the sofa to watch your favorite sitcom, head to the gym, plug in your headphones, and catch up on the latest episode from a treadmill or cycle machine.
This way, you can enjoy your show but get fit at the same time!
But, if a gym isn’t for you, change “Netflix” into “Nature”.
Find somewhere new to go for a walk, enjoy a long bike ride, take a frisbee to the park, explore hiking trails, learn how to ballroom dance, rock climb, kayak, or give martial arts a try!
When Working Out Feels Hard
Another acronym for you is: K.I.S.S meaning, “Keep it simple, silly!” Exercise shouldn’t hurt, nor should you have to push yourself until you are soaked in sweat or every muscle aches to get results.
You can build your strength and fitness by walking, swimming, playing golf, or gardening. You don’t always need a gym, a bunch of equipment, or a long route to run.
Make your workouts simple and short, but also effective, and above all, fun! You’re more likely to follow through on your workouts if they are simple but you can always make workouts more challenging if they get too easy. 😉
When Working Out is Not Something You are Good At
Here’s the thing: even if you’re a senior or a self-confessed couch potato who rarely exercises, you don’t have to be sporty or ultra-coordinated to get fit!
Focus on easy ways to be more active, like walking, swimming, or even working more around your house. Anyone can be good at those things.
Basically, anything that gets you moving is good enough!
Work Out For the Right Reasons
I think it is true that many men and women don’t have a good relationship with working out because we have been taught to do it for the wrong reasons, such as body image.
We all face that feeling when we roll out of bed, feeling a bit flabbier, more tired, haggard, or greyer than usual.
Some of us shrug it off, but for others, a negative relationship with our body image can drive us towards unhealthy behaviors like obsessive exercise or eating disorders.
Most of us work out because we want to lose weight, which is a great benefit, but we soon give up when the pounds fail to come off quickly enough.
Interestingly, women who cite weight loss as their primary motivation for exercise actually exercise less than those who cite other reasons!
This is because exercise has been framed with the negative message that it is something we must force our bodies to do, whether we enjoy it or not, in order to meet worldly standards of “health” and “beauty”.
So instead of working out for the sole benefit of weight loss, be driven by the desire to have improved energy, mood, sleep patterns, reduced anxiety, stress, or depression.
How Many Times a Week Should I Work Out?
In our internet driven world, detailed exercise instructions and workout plans are just a click away. Likewise, so much information and new exercise fads are released on a daily basis.
Because of this, it can be hard to figure out how many times you really need to exercise per week.
However, there are guidelines that you can use as a starting point, but it also depends on your fitness goals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise each week.
Now, this may sound like a lot if you are new to working out, but keep it simple, silly! You can easily break this up into multiple short sessions such as 30-minute sessions five days a week or even 10 short 15-minute sessions if that is easier for you to do.
These CDC guidelines are for adults who want to stay fit and prevent excess weight gain or muscle loss. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you need to readjust to meet your needs.
You either need to increase the intensity of your workouts or increase the duration (up to 250 to 300 minutes of moderate-intense cardio each week).
Exercises for Beginners
If you’re an exercise newbie and you don’t love to work out, but your goal is to lose weight and get healthy, grab your gym clothes because I’m going to let you in on a little secret!
The secret to working out is that it’s only a struggle when you’re just getting started. Once you develop a healthy lifestyle and learn how to stay motivated, you will not want to stop!
That said, to get started as an exerciser, there are many different types of physical activity for you to choose from. The key is for you to explore them, find a few that work for you, and start slowly.
As you build up your fitness level and let your body rest time to time, you will not view yourself as an exercise beginner anymore. Instead, you’ll be an exercise believer!
Below is an easy-to-follow, one-week program that does not require equipment and will only take 30-45 minutes of your time per day! Sounds doable, right?
I would love for you to adjust this program to your fitness level and you are welcome to make it as challenging as you want by adding dumbbells, increased reps, or speed.
Monday: 40-minute moderate-pace jog or brisk walk.
Tuesday: Rest day.
Wednesday: Walk briskly for 10 minutes. Then, complete the following circuits, resting 1 minute after each set but not between exercises. Stretch afterward.
-Circuit #1: 3 sets alternating 10 lunges for each leg, 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups
-Circuit #2: 3 sets alternating 10 chair-dips, 10 jumping jacks, 10 air-squats
Thursday: Rest day.
Friday: 30-minute bike ride or moderate-pace jog.
Saturday: Rest day.
Sunday: Run, jog, or take a long walk for 40 minutes.
Or, if you’re feeling brave and ready to take it a step further, Trainer Kami, our head trainer and nutritionist here at IdealShape, has designed for you a FREE 15-Day IdealShape for Life Challenge that has been specifically designed for weight loss.
Her workouts, created through her expertise, are great for any fitness level, and beginners are 100% welcome!
The challenge focuses on strength training, cardio, and even a little yoga with step-by-step videos to follow along with as you workout so you know exactly what to do and how to do it.
She also includes a meal plan that is suitable for families that also burns fat and builds muscle tone to assist you in your goals. Did I mention it’s FREE?
Yeah, it is, so go ahead and start today because you’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain!
When it comes to working out, just start and be brave! With time you will find enjoyment, it will get easier, you will get better, and you will get stronger!