I posted this video this morning on the Life-Cise Facebook page. I love the idea of using FUN to encourage people to do what’s good for them.
We all know that we need to get more exercise. We all know that simple steps can make a difference in our health. We know that it would be better for us if we walked up the stairs instead of riding the escalator. As we run through our day, though, how many of us actually make that choice?
Knowing it and doing it are two different things!
Fun. That’s one element that too often is lost in talk of health and fitness. We get bogged down in theory and numbers – how many calories, how many METS, oxygen uptake…. What we need is simply to move more.
Of course, if you’re training for a specific sport or recovering from injury or surgery, you will need some very specific advice. But if you’re just trying to make some changes for better health, try focusing on fun activities that will get you moving more. You are much more likely to stick with it if you enjoy yourself. If exercise feels like nothing but a chore, you’re probably going to quickly look for ways to avoid it.
If you hate walking on the treadmill, don’t do it. Do something you like. Make it fun. If you get a kick out of putting on some dance music & dancing around your house when no one is looking, then make a point to do that. I had a Life-Cise client once who sheepishly admitted that what she thought was really fun was skipping. It reminded her of being a kid. I told her to go out in the park and skip. I mean, it was New York City – you can see all sorts of people doing all sorts of weird things in the park; who’s going to care if she’s skipping? We did add in some weight training a couple days a week as well, but made sure that fun was a key element in everything.
If you’re starting out, if you’re struggling to maintain your workouts, if you’ve gotten bored with your exercise routine, change it. It’s your body, it’s not rocket science (no offense meant to other trainers, but sometimes we in the fitness profession make it way too serious). Make up silly little challenges for yourself. Do something that makes you laugh. I often come up with completely absurd challenges for myself at the gym that leave me laughing out loud. OK, I may look like I’m a crazy person, but I’m having fun and I’m getting a good workout. So, who cares what I look like?
Remember when we were kids? Most of us ran around constantly, playing games – moving. We were exhausted by the end of the day. Instead of just walking to the bus stop, we’d hop over cracks in the sidewalk, leap over bushes, run backwards or sideways.
Why not instill just a hint of that sense of adventure and fun into your ideas of exercise? (Let me know if you need some help in coming up with fun ideas) If you’re having fun, you’re more likely to continue. You’re more likely to actually look forward to exercise. You’ll feel re-energized.
You’ll have fun!