Christine L. Snyder, PhD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Hate exercise, but want to be more active? OK! Finding ways to make physical activity more enjoyable and fun is key to building lifelong physical activity habits. Luckily, there are ways to make physical activity less of a chore and more of fun. try lust Here’s how to combat the dread you feel when you put on your workout gear.
cRestore activity opportunities by building physical activity into your day. Walk or bike to complete an errand without driving (bonus! It’s good for the environment and your pocketbook). Work from home? Consider walking to work as your “commute.” Walk around your home or office during work calls. Schedule walking meetings if possible.
Andeach to the others. An easy way to make the activity more enjoyable is to make it a social activity complete with people you enjoy. This can be as simple as finding a walking partner who lives in your neighborhood or as complex as joining an activity league with friends. Ideally, interact with a variety of people so that you don’t rely on any one person to combine physical activity with socializing. They may also hate exercise and this can be another way to connect. By reaching out to others, you get the added benefit of having an accountability partner for physical activity.
ADetermine what you dislike about exercise. Do you hate all aspects of physical activity? Or once you leave, do you feel better and enjoy it? If the latter, you may need to spend more time on physical activity instead of jumping right in. If it’s the former, are you pushing the intensity of the activity to the point that the activity is painful or uncomfortable? Consider slowing down and reducing the intensity to see if this improves your enjoyment of the activity. Paying attention to how you feel during physical activity and the circumstances that enhance your enjoyment of exercise can provide guidance on how to engage in more enjoyable physical activity.
Values Identify what is important to you, what is important to you, and connect those values to physical activity. For example, if you value adventure, you might identify physical activity adventures, such as trying a new activity class, that seem fun. If you value contributing to a community, find a volunteer organization like Habitat for Humanity or Back on My Feet that requires you to engage in physical activity as part of the organization you work for. Engaging in valued activities can remove some of the focus on the actual activity and how it feels and highlight other reasons for engaging in physical activity.
EExperiment! For some, disliking exercise may not be true of all forms of physical activity. If your aversion to physical activity stems from traumatic gym classes in childhood or adolescence, traditional forms of physical activity like team sports may not be for you. Consider experimenting with different types of physical activity that can be linked back to the values you hold. Do you value spending time in nature? You may consider volunteering with the maintenance of a nature trail.
use lust The method can help you start physical activity instead of dreading it. Whether or not your enjoyment of physical activity improves, make sure you develop compassion for yourself. Maintaining a regular activity habit is not easy, especially when you don’t enjoy the activity. Congratulate yourself on any amount of physical activity, as nothing is better than any movement to improve your health and well-being.
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