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Jul
15

Exercise: Love it or Hate it?

Exercise and fitness have long been a part of my life; I have a difficult time remembering a time when it wasn’t.  I can remember swimming lessons as a child, gym class being my favorite “subject” in school (although it’s everyone’s, isn’t it?), volleyball in college.  As an adult in the real world, I needed to find another way to keep fitness in my life and stay physically fit, that’s when exercise videos entered the picture.  While staying in shape is one reason why I exercise, it is not the primary reason.  I can honestly say it is because I ENJOY EXERCISE.  I do.  I love the endorphin rush after a great workout; I enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I finish a long run; I love the empowerment of finishing a grueling strength workout.  Don’t get me wrong there have been times when I have “fallen off the wagon” whether it was due to illness, pregnancy, or life in general, but I have always gotten back on.  Why?  Because I can feel the difference when I don’t exercise, whether it is reflected in my mood, my sleeping patterns or my waistline, when I don’t exercise, I miss it. 

Unfortunately not many people around me share my passion for fitness.  Most recently I had a conversation with somebody who insisted that they hate exercise.  It was a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around.  So it got me to thinking of ways to help others learn to love exercise.

First and foremost, find something you enjoy.  Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?  Yet people don’t do it.  Fact is when people decide to start exercising they choose an activity based on what results they hope to achieve instead of doing something they enjoy.  What ends up happening?  They quit exercising.  Why?  Because they hate running or whatever activity it is that they chose to do.  Exercise becomes a chore not a pleasure.  So do yourself a favor and choose something you enjoy doing and you will be more likely to stick with it. 

Equally important, don’t start exercising for the sole purpose of achieving a slimmer waistline, smaller hips and thighs or a flat belly.  Most people who begin an exercise program do so with weight loss or a similar goal in mind.  While an admirable goal, if results don’t come quick enough – after all we are a “microwave society” – many people jump ship.  Try to make your goals less about a physical change and more about a physical accomplishment.  Set goals that will motivate you and keep you going.  Make feeling good your goal.  Exercise for the sake of exercising and you are more likely to enjoy it, stick with it and the results will follow!

Another way to ignite your passion for exercise, don’t go it alone.  Research shows that individuals who have an exercise partner are more likely to stick to an exercise program.  Join a class at the gym; find a local walking or running group; join a fitness forum with like-minded individuals; join a check-in or enter a fitness challenge for accountability. 

The more you exercise, the more you will begin to love it.  Here are some other suggsetions to keep you motivated.  Do you like to exercise?  Have you always enjoyed exercise?  What tips or tricks do you have to help others enjoy exercise? 

Take the poll in the sidebar and let me know. 

Want an additional entry in the Squeeze or Squeeze Stronger giveaway?  Head here or here (or both) and leave a comment telling me about a workout you love.

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Related posts:

  1. New to Exercise?
  2. Fitness Goals: See. Write. Speak. An Exercise in Success.
  3. Exercise Intensity: Part 2 – Rate of Perceived Exertion and Talk Test
  4. But I Don’t Want to Exercise…
  5. Smart Exercise Goal. Achieve Fitness Success.

5 comments

  1. Jasmine says:

    I will choose swimming as my exercise any day. I love that you workout everything in your body at one time. I totally agree that you should not exercise just for weight loss, because of the reason Maria has listed. Swimming is my most favorite past time ever and it never felt like exercise which made me choose this as my form of exercise. If you want results plus fun I would recommend this and if you don’t know how to swim, there are classes out there that will help and they are well worth speaking from experience of teaching some of the classes myself. So hopefully everyone finds something that they love and will start today.

  2. HuffandBuff says:

    Way to go Jasmine for finding an activity you love that keeps you active and motivated. Don’t forget to stop by the Squeeze and Squeeze Stronger posts and leave a comment there about your favorite workout for an extra entry to win the workouts! Good luck!

    Maria

  3. Lupe says:

    My first workout dvd set that I bought was the first set of Zumba after my oldest son was born. I feel in love with it………I love to Dance and I even got my husband to join me. For the first time it didnt feel like a chore to exercise, Eventually it helped my lose the unwanted weight but as I enter my thirtes I find it harder to lose weight. I have purchased an assortment of dvd to help me find a program I can sick to, I’m still on my quest………..The one I’m eyeing next is Turbo Fire, the new set instructed by Chalene Johnson

  4. HuffandBuff says:

    Lupe,

    I’m so happy to hear that you found something you enjoy to do that doesn’t feel like work…DANCE!! I am not going to enable you (wink, wink) but so far the reviews coming in for Turbo Fire are quite positive. It is on my wishlist as well!!

    Maria

  5. HuffandBuff says:

    P.S. Again, not trying to enable but I read that Turbo Fire is like Zumba meets kickboxing. I’m sure I will cave…eventually.

    Maria

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