“The purpose of fun is to live it.” I heard this quote somewhere and want to encourage you to start thinking about putting the “fun” back in your fitness. It takes an attitude shift to move away from the concept of forced daily exercise to voluntary (and fun) daily movement. I always use the example of a child when urging my readers to look at movement as fun. As kids we never said, “I have to go exercise.” We just wanted to play and move and we always found a way to make it fun.
As adults, we most likely aren’t skipping and hopping around town, but if we start thinking outside the box about how to have fun while moving, it can open up a whole new world of staying fit. One example I love to use is the Piano Staircase experiment. By turning a staircase into a musical piano, 66 percent more people were inspired to take the stairs rather than the neighboring escalator. This video demonstrates that more fun equals more movement! (You have to watch the clip – so worth it.)
You probably won’t be turning your stairs into a piano anytime soon, but you can try to add some more movement to your life by considering these four things:
1. What kind of movement is fun to you?
Notice I’m not saying exercise. If you hate exercise, start thinking movement. It all adds up. Do you like to dance, bike, or run? Because what you like to do burns the most calories since you will most likely do it most often and with your best effort.
2. What kind of music motivates you?
Program your iPhone with a few playlists of your favorite songs. Or maybe there are a few books you’ve been meaning to read. Download them onto your iPhone and walk while you get in a few chapters every day. Music is why I love spin class so much—the playlist is everything! I make playlists for my class with songs that inspire…some hip hop, some rock, some instrumental but all with a great pumpin’ beat.
3. Do you have a workout buddy?
Often times people who work out together find they work out a little harder and/or longer together than alone. Whether that’s due to some friendly competition or the distractive nature of social interaction, it’s a plus that will enhance your workout time. I honestly have lots of workout partners: a girlfriend I run with on Saturdays; a group fitness class full of members I work out with in the mornings; and a husband to work out with most Sundays.
4. Are you so caught up in the science of your workout that you can’t be satisfied or have fun?
Okay, some of you are thinking, “What is she talking about?” But I work with all types of people and I know of several who are so focused on the calorie burn and results that they can’t enjoy the workout for what it’s worth—fun! They are obsessed with whether their workout is worthy and therefore skip the fun because it doesn’t meet their standards. I’ll give you an example. I had someone tell me she didn’t want to Zumba because it wouldn’t burn enough calories. So I asked her if she liked to dance and she said, “Oh yeah!” Okay—then Zumba with all your heart and believe me, you will burn it up!
So bottom line—a boring workout will get old fast! Do something that makes you excited to sweat. More movement, more calories burned, more life in your years!