I was having a chat with my husband last night, and he said to me, “I think you should come to my gym.”
A few years ago, I pledged myself that I’d never sign up to a gym again because, as history tells it, I sign up, go a handful of times and then stop going and waste my membership. The other thing history tells me is that I am not one for doing workouts that make me feel uncomfortable. When my husband gets home each morning after his gym session, the words ‘hard, painful, tough and brutal’ are always thrown around. This is not the type of exercise I find enjoyable, and it’s certainly not going to motivate me to keep going!
So that gets me to the topic of this post. Getting fit should be about having fun. Pain, discomfort, struggling to breathe…this is definitely not the way you’re going to get me exercising. What about you?
It’s all about mindset.
When it comes to fitness, we all know deep down that it is about mindset. If you go into it with the attitude that it is going to be a lot of pain and hard work, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. Getting fit feels like some awful chore that makes you feel dreadful and takes up your time. You do it through gritted teeth, not enjoying any of it. That’s no way to proceed.
The alternative, however, is to reframe it as a way of having fun. You’re not going to the park to put in a new personal best on the jogging circuit. Instead, you’re going to enjoy nature, get away from the stress of work or enjoy the sensation of getting healthier.
Changing your perspective to making fitness about fun helps enormously. Suddenly, it becomes something that is worth doing for its own sake and ceases being such a chore.
If you’re currently jogging or doing gruelling workouts in the gym that leave you feeling mentally exhausted, then you’re probably going about the task of fitness the wrong way. It’s not about pushing your body to the limits. Instead, it’s just about finding something that feels fun and becomes sustainable.
So how do you make fitness fun?
Choose Activities Carefully
Nothing is duller than going to the gym and spending an hour grinding away on the stepper. You focus continually on the clock instead of enjoying the activity itself.
A much better idea is to do something that feels like fun. Jetpilot has the right idea here. The watersports equipment brand recommends people try water skiing, wakeboarding and other activities that keep you engaged.
When you’re getting fit, you don’t want to focus on the fitness itself (or even the sensations produced by your body). Instead, you want to do something that takes your mind off the physical activity itself and produces enjoyment. This is one of the reasons so many people take up walking. They focus on being outdoors in nature. Then, once they build their stamina, other activities, like jogging, suddenly become much more accessible.
Focus On The Activity Itself
Some people love fitness because they’re continually working to improve their personal bests. For most people, however, this kind of pressure is counterproductive. You have one bad training session, and suddenly, you pack it all in and go back to being a couch potato.
Focusing on the activity itself, however, produces a different kind of reaction. All of a sudden, you’re not so concerned with whether you broke your previous record. Instead, you’re more interested in the positive feelings the sport or training is bringing you.
Make It Competitive
For some people, competition is a lot of fun. That’s why so many individuals base their training around a competitive sport of one kind or another. Having a team of players with you can do a lot to make the experience more enjoyable. You always have banter and something to aim for.
So, if you’re like me and you tend to focus on the pain and the clock, why not try switching your mindset and do fitness activities that don’t feel like exercise at all.