Life is way too short to hate exercise. Getting healthy and active doesn’t have to be something you dread.
If you are doing types of exercise that you hate, you are suffering needlessly. Even worse, you are probably limiting your progress towards your goals!
[Leans in and whispers] I want to let you in on a dirty little secret of the fitness world. Ready?
Unless you’re an athlete training for a particular sport… you don’t HAVE to do any particular type of exercise.
Yes, you heard me right – you don’t have to run or even lift weights if you don’t want to.
If your goal is weight loss or general health, the list of possible exercise types for you to choose from is nearly endless!
For goals like these, the most important thing is just that you move more, and that you enjoy doing it!
Why It’s Important To Enjoy Exercise
Let’s be real here, if you hate your exercise and have to fight a mental battle to drag yourself to the gym each and every day – odds are that you won’t stick to your goals long-term.
On the other hand, if you do enjoy the type of exercise you are doing then it isn’t a chore or a dreaded task to check off your to do list every day.
A person who actually enjoys their exercise is much more likely to be consistent with their exercise program and stick to it long-term.
Consistency is THE single most important factor in determining whether or not you will be successful in achieving your fitness and health goals.
If you enjoy your exercise, you’ll be motivated to exercise and make it a priority instead of making excuses to avoid working out at every opportunity.
Enjoyment will also make it easier to adopt exercise as part of your lifestyle and continue doing it long-term so that your hard earned results will last!
How To Stop Hating Exercise
So without further ado, here are some tips to help you find a type of exercise that you will love!
#1: Try New Things!
There are sooooo many types of exercise out there! I find it pretty unlikely that you will hate all of them.
If you do hate your current exercise, kick it to the curb and keep looking. You just haven’t come across the right type of exercise for you yet!
I challenge you to find a type of exercise you love to do. Keep trying new types until something feels right!
- Have you always loved dancing? Why not take a swing dancing class or try Zumba?
- Do you love great views and appreciate nature? Why not give hiking or paddling a shot?
- Are you a dog person? Treat those pups to some extra walks!
- Do you need to take out some frustration after a rough day at work? What about trying a kickboxing class?
- Feeling cooped up in the winter months? Snowshoeing and cross country skiing burn tons of calories!
- Is it raining outside? Maybe hit the local rock climbing gym. (If you have kids, take them with you!)
#2: Train For Something!
Some people like to have something to train for rather than just exercising to lose weight or get healthier.
As an added bonus training for something might give you a little motivation to do some of those exercise types that might be a little less enjoyable to you, for example strength training. If training for your event requires it, at least you will have a meaningful reason to do it which can make it a little more bearable.
If you are the type that likes to train for something, consider some of the following options to keep yourself motivated and enjoying exercise.
Sign Up For A Race Or Challenge
If you are a competitive person, maybe consider signing up for a race or challenge of some type. There are so many different types of events out there these days. If you are into running or cycling there are tons of options.
If hiking is more your cup of tea, check your local area for hiking events which are becoming more popular. For example, I participated in the very first Sky Islands Summit Challenge a number of years ago and had a blast! You could choose to complete 1, 2, or 3 summits all in one day for this thrilling challenge.
Finally, one of my very favorite challenges is the 52 Hike Challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to motivate you to take one hike per week for a whole year! This way you get to combine the benefits of being out in nature and having an active lifestyle, win-win! Plus the 52 Hike Challenge has built a super supportive and encouraging community that you can be a part of on their social media pages.
Plan An Adventure Or Active Vacation
If fitness was not a limiting factor – what would you do? Dust off your bucket list, and see if there is something on there that you could start training for.
For example, you could hike or bike a national park you’ve always wanted to visit or train for a whale watching kayak trip. The possibilities here are endless!
Exercise For a Cause!
If you’re the kind of person that feels strongly about a cause, there are many charitable fund raisers out there that involve exercise. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Bike the US for MS – Cross country bicycle trips for multiple sclerosis research and awareness.
- Relay for Life – a 24 hour walking fundraiser to raise money for cancer research.
- Over the Edge – exciting urban rappelling fundraising events for nonprofits.
These are just a few options, check out others in your local area for added work out motivation!
#3 Find An Exercise Buddy
Having someone to workout with can be really fun! Plus, you’re a lot less likely to bail on a workout if that means also cancelling on a friend.
- Inviting a friend/significant other to workout with you.
- Joining an activity group (running, cycling, hiking clubs are very common).
- Signing up for a bootcamp/small group workout class.
If you don’t know of any groups in your area, check out Meetup. They have tons of member run groups for every kind of activity you can think of. When I first moved to Phoenix, this is how I found hiking and climbing buddies.
I really believe that there is a type (or multiple types) of exercise out there for everyone! Keep trying until you find something that is right for you.
And remember:If you are doing types of exercise that you hate, you are suffering needlessly. Even worse, you are probably limiting your progress towards your goals! Click To Tweet
The most important thing, especially when you are first becoming active, is just to move more. So feel free to explore – life is too short to hate your exercise!
Do you currently have a favorite type of exercise? If so, what is it?
What is at least one type of exercise that you would like to try or do more regularly?
Do you have any tips for enjoying exercise more?
Let me know in the comments! Or share some photos of you doing your favorite type of exercise/adventure in our Get Adventure Fit Facebook Group!