It’s no question that exercise is good for you, improving both physical fitness and mental health. But knowing something’s good for you doesn’t automatically make it fun, and sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated even if you know that the results will be worth it. So how do you make your workouts a little more exciting?
Whether you’re trying to find an exercise regimen you’ll actually stick to, or just looking for a way to spice up your usual routine, check out these eight tips to bring everyday smiles to your workout.
- Go outside. Instead of heading to the gym and jumping on the treadmill, take a walk around the park or go for a hike. It’s a great way to change up the scenery when the weather cooperates, and giving yourself a concrete destination might help your mindset more than running in place.
- Put on some music. Boost your mood and move with the beat! Listening to music helps you keep pace and distracts you when you’re getting tired. It’s also a quick and simple way to bring up the energy for any activity.
- Let’s dance. Once you’ve got the speakers turned up, a dance party is a fun way to bring up your heart rate and get moving at home. Get the furniture out of the way and just rock out—don’t worry, no one’s watching! Or if you’re interested in something more formal, find a dance class in your area. From Zumba to ballroom, there are so many different ways to express yourself while getting your steps in.
- Relive the good old days. Remember the hula hoop you had when you were a kid? This fun game is actually great ab training as well. Jump rope? Perfect for cardio. Your workout feels less like work when it’s connected to your childhood games.
- Play around. Speaking of games, there are some video games that are designed to get you moving without leaving the house. From Wii Fit to Beat Saber to Dance Dance Revolution, you can work on your fitness and your coordination at the same time.
- Try something new. Pick up an activity you’ve always wanted to try. Rock climbing? Horseback riding? Goat yoga? The sky’s the limit, and exercise you enjoy is easier to make a habit.
- Find a buddy. Working out with someone else can help motivate you with a little friendly competition, and keep you accountable if you have a habit of slacking on your routine.
- Break it up. Exercise just a bit at a time throughout the day, and make it part of your routine. Try setting up rules for sedentary activities—for example, do a few pushups every time you finish a chapter of your book or a hit a commercial break in your TV show. Or, try something like the “pull-up tax”: set up a pull-up bar across one of your commonly used doorways, and do a pull-up (or a ten-second hang) every time you cross it.