Wednesday, July 6, 2011

5 Ways to Enjoy Exercise

The winner of four SPF 50 copies of It's No Secret is SueBE.  Congrats! (and send me your addy)

When I asked y'all on July 4th to name something you'd change about the way you live your life, more than a couple of you said, "I'd learn to like exercise more."

I have a few suggestions to help you with that. But first, let me state for the record that I understand your plight. I'm not one to like exercise for exercise's sake.  So here's what helps me.

1) DO WHAT MOVES YOU.  Find a type of exercise you enjoy - or at least that you don't hate.  Hate push ups, weight lifting and crunches, but like to dance?  Forget Jillian Micheals and sign up for Zumba.

What did you used to love?  Ice Skating? Riding your bike? Bowling? Badminton? Swimming? Try that again. Who says you can't do tap or gymnastics past age 21?  I do. You can too. And try new things. Experiment boldly. You might discover you enjoy pilates or kickboxing, water aerobics or surfing. Many studios and gyms will let you take a trial class  for free.

2) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC.  Music is a main way I motivate myself to work out.  I look forward to listening to music I love, and moving to the beat. If I put on my iPod I will work out harder and faster without feeling like I'm working any harder.  Plus, I enjoy the time once I get going.

If you don't have an iPod or MP3 player, get one now. If the technology intimidates you, have a friend or teen  help you learn to use it. And load it with fantastic fast music you love - great Christian music and favorite songs from the decade you came of age. Those songs will get you moving.

3) PAIR UP.  A walk around the track or park goes much faster when chatting with a friend.  Find someone at roughly your fitness level and make a pact to meet twice a week. Walk, jog, bike, rollerblade, hit a tennis ball. Or plan to take a fitness class together. Your friend not only serves as diversion from the exercise but also as an accountability partner. 

Personal trainers work as well. You don't have to be buff or want to get buff to use a personal trainer. You do have to pay, though. Friends are free, and usually offer better conversation.

4) DISTRACT YOURSELF. While I tend to work out harder and faster with great music on, I work out longer without noticing if I watch TV while on my treadmill or on my gym's elliptical machines. My gym has TVs and I have one in front of my treadmill at home.

I also frequently read books, novels, magazines or the Bible while on a cardio machine. I can only go but so fast while reading, but I'm always amazed at how much time has passed when I look up. I've even taken my laptop to the treadmill to read blogs while walking. And I sometimes do my quiet time on my treadmill. Two birds, one stone.

5) UTILIZE BEAUTY.  Set up an inspiring workout space in your home or yard. Go someplace beautiful to walk or hike like a park, or a wooded trail. Drink in the views while you warm up your muscles. Pray while you're at it. I like to walk the beach and jump the waves.  It's hard on my toenail polish but easy on the eyes and great for everything between my heels and waist.

And don't underestimate the power of a cute new workout top either.

What exercise do you love, or what helps you to love exercise?


  1. Hey friend, I like pairing up when I exercise. Our group motivates each other and are great at cheering you to go beyond what you think you can do.

  2. AnonymousJuly 06, 2011

    I'm liking yoga classes more than I thought I would. I started with a beginners class and thought I'd never be able to do it. But I'm getting there and actually liking it. yay!

    Leah P.

  3. I love exercise more when I have music, as well! I just use my smart phone and play Pandora or KLove! :)

  4. I do LOVE the benefits I get from running but I won't say I love every aspect of doing it. But what I do LOVE is the inspiration to write I seem to get often when I run. There's been many a blog post and devotional formulated in my head while on a run and that alone is enough to make me LOVE it!

    How creative and generous of you to offer your sunscreened books to your blog readers - sorry I missed the offer : ( I was too busy doing some July 4th celebratin' with my family!

    Happy summer to you!

  5. My husband and I meet at a local park with a trainer for a group boot camp every Mon/Wed/Fri from 5:30-6:30am. Much more affordable than a personal trainer, and working out that early means it actually gets done before the day gets away. I am in better shape after 3 1/2 months of doing this than I have been in a LONG time!

  6. I love to exercise my body however has another word for it . Tiring. But I love to move to the music. and kick box. I want to lose at least 20by Jan. Goal is to get to 155. total to lose 40. I know so totally not what this was about , but I would like prayers to be healthier for God.

  7. Great comments - y'all are inspiring. And a smart bunch.

  8. I like exercising alone. I turn my mp3 player up loud and walk away. It is about the only time I get "me" time and so I guard it well.

    I also like doing fun things, like learning a new dance, playing sports or anything that doesn't feel like exercise.


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