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I know what you’re thinking, How in the world can exercise ever be enjoyable? I used to think the same thing. I would hear the dreaded word exercise and immediately my day would turn to crap. Everyone knows that exercise is important if you want to stay healthy and fit, but because exercise is often associated with negativity, no one wants to do it. I’m here to tell you that exercise can be enjoyable. It can even be fun, believe it or not.
The secret to finding the joy in exercising is to try different things until you find the one (or more) that you feel aren’t so bad and you could do them again and again without dreading your workout each day. For me, I do not like doing situps or pushups or planks or any of that crap. I do them occasionally for a change of pace, but I don’t like them at all. I like doing dance type exercises. The one I use the most is the Xbox One game, Just Dance. I love that game. My girls do it with me sometimes, and we have so much fun and burn a ton of calories at the same time!
I also love to run, which is funny because I always hated running when I was younger, but it’s such a peaceful activity for me now. I had to stop running a while ago because I had a bone deformity that caused major pain in my foot. The pain got so bad I could barely walk, much less run. However, I had reconstructive bone surgery on my foot a few months ago, and I can’t wait for my foot to heal completely so I can run again – pain-free! I’m excitedly counting down the days.
For exercise to be something you can enjoy doing, you have to want to do it. If you’re out there exercising just because “it’s the thing to do to stay healthy and fit” and you don’t have any other reasons behind doing it, then it’s going to feel like a chore, and you’re going to hate every minute of it. You need to want to do it. You need to motivate yourself to stick with it. For example, in my case, I want to lose weight and get fit because I’m not happy with my current weight. I want to feel good about myself. I want to be able to believe my husband when he tells me I’m sexy, and for me to believe it, I need to feel sexy, which is something that isn’t going to happen if I stay where I’m at with my weight and fitness.
You have to change your mindset and stop negatively thinking of exercise. If you are constantly thinking about how much you hate exercising and how much it sucks, then there is no doubt that you are going to hate every second of the time you spend exercising. You need to flip your mindset and start thinking about the positive aspects of exercise, such as what kinds of improvements exercise will bring to your life. Think of whatever positive thoughts that will keep you going and keep you motivated to not give up on it.
My final tip to you on this topic is to not rely on the scale to show you your progress. The best way to track how well you’re doing with your exercise is to 1) take pictures of yourself, and 2) take body measurements. Before you start exercising take a picture of yourself so you can see where you were at when you started. Then take weekly pictures of yourself and compare those pictures to the beginning picture so you can see with your own eyes if there is any noticeable difference in where you started and where you are now. Also, track your inches. Take measurements of your arms, legs, waist, hips, chest, etc. Then each week take new measurements so you can see how many inches you may have lost. You shouldn’t rely on the scale because you build muscle when you’re working out, so even though you may have lost a few inches in fat, the scale may not change much from week to week. It can sometimes be disappointing to step on the scale after eating healthily and working out all week and not see a big shift in numbers, but if you have been taking pictures and measuring yourself, you will be able to see that your efforts are in fact working for you.
If you take these suggestions and apply them to your workouts, you will begin to find enjoyment in exercising that wasn’t there before. You’ll be surprised to find yourself getting excited about your workouts each day. When you compare your pictures and see a noticeable difference in your size and shape, you will not only feel proud of yourself for not giving up, but you’ll get excited to see how much change there will be between this week and next week’s pictures.
You can do anything you set your mind to doing, but to be successful at it, you have to believe in yourself and never give up!