How to Enjoy Exercise!

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Simple ways to really enjoy exercise

For most people, those New Year’s exercise resolutions made at the beginning of the year are now only a memory. In fact, more than 70% of Americans never make exercise a habit, even though they have honest intentions to do so. The reason is because the most common motivator for starting an exercise program—to lose weight in time for a reunion, for example—are weak long-term motivators.

 How to Enjoy Exercise!But we really can motivate ourselves to make exercise a regular part of our daily routine.  Here are some tips from Robert Hopper, Ph.D. …

    • Make your first experience positive.The more fun and satisfaction you have while exercising, the more you’ll want to pursue it and work even harder to develop your skills. Even if your first experience was negative, it’s never too late to start fresh. Choose a sport you enjoy, and work to improve your skill level. “
    • Focus on fun, not fitness.Forcing yourself to hit the gym four times a week sounds like a chore, and you’ll likely stop going before you have the chance to begin building your fitness level. But lawn bowling, dancing, Frisbee throwing, hiking, even table tennis—those all sound fun, and you’ll still be getting physical activity that helps promote weight control…reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and cancer…stronger bones…and improved mood. As you start to have more fun, you’ll want to become more involved and your fitness level will improve over time.”

No strategy is more crucial than this: Get hooked on the fun, and you’ll get hooked on the activity for life.

    • Find your competitive streak. “We all have one, and you can tap into it, no matter what activity you choose. Jogging outside? Make it a game by spotting  How to Enjoy Exercise!landmarks in the near distance, like trees or homes, and push yourself to pass them in a certain number of seconds. Swimming laps? Try to match the pace of the slightly faster swimmer in the next lane. Or keep track of the time it takes to swim 10 laps, and try to beat your time. Even riding the recumbent bicycle at the gym can be turned into a competition by moving your workout to the spin studio, where you can privately compete against other class members for pace or intensity.”
    • Practice the art of the con. “If you’ve ever overheard a pair of weight lifters in the gym, you’ll recognize this tip: The spotter encourages the lifter, “One more, just one more!” and then after the lifter completes one more lift, the spotter again urges, “Now one more!” Make this tip work for you by learning how to self-con. Let’s say you’re too tired to work out. Tell yourself, I’ll just drive to the gym and park. If I’m still tired, I can leave. This is often enough to kick-start your workout. And while swimming laps, tell yourself you’ll just do five, then two more, then just three more.”
    • Cultivate a mind-set of continuous improvement.Tennis great Jimmy Connors once shared what keeps athletes motivated—”Getting better.” Lifelong exercisers have a yearning to improve that acts as both a motivator and a goal.”

Study and learn all you can about your exercises of choice. To do this, read articles and blog posts about them. Consider private coaching if it will motivate you.

Reward yourself for reaching health and wellness goals.  You earned it!


Tony Guthrie – // 404-933-0418


Adapted from Robert Hopper’s article Bottom Line Publications (Click Here for the article)

Source: Robert Hopper, PhD, a Santa Barbara–based exercise physiologist and the author of Stick with Exercise for a Lifetime: How to Enjoy Every Minute of It!

 How to Enjoy Exercise!
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