#ExcusestoExercise Blog Series Topic #3:
When does exercise become enjoyable?
A friend posted the question of all questions on her Facebook page and I am writing about it because it’s such an an important question to address. When exercise becomes enjoyable there are 5 key elements to this equation.
1. Prioritizing Yourself & Trying Everything!
You are committing to the exercise routine because it’s good for you. You have health goals. Right on. Remind yourself that you are the priority here. That exercise is not only meant to make you healthier, it has to make you happier. Therefore if you haven’t found a sport, exercise or class you enjoy. Try everything.
I used to bash yoga and then I tried it. Now it’s my primary source of exercise. Others say they enjoy exercise outside more than a gym. Consider a sport that requires as much mental work as it does physical. Yoga, skiing, climbing, trail running, Zumba.
It’s an easy transition from prioritizing to finding satisfaction in exercise because exercise becomes more enjoyable more quickly when you are happy. Look at your activities now. Where do you find happiness? Is it a walk with friends? Do that more often. It can be that simple! As I said before, don’t be afraid to try something new until you find that joy. Grab a friend for support and take that Pilates class. Love it, GREAT, hate it? Move on.
3. Mental Dedication
Exercise, like anything else in our lives take dedication. It’s not always easy or enjoyable so use mantras that you can repeat to yourself to get through the challenging workouts.
I’ve used “I have limitless mental and psychical strength” to get through my most challenging trail runs and races. It’s a distraction that gets me through the times when my mind wants me to quit.
If you like music or podcasts or audiobooks. Great. Listen to ‘em! Studies have shown listening to music not only improves your workouts, it increases intensity but decreases the mind’s perceived exertion! Check out’s ACE’s article on this study.
4. Motivation & Goals
Beware of why you are exercising. Is it a intrinsic motivation – one that comes from your inner goal to be healthier and happier? Or does you motivation come from an extrinsic source? One where you feel that if you attain a certain weight, you will be liked more by other people? I encourage you to find intrinsic motivations for exercise. It will help your commitment levels and enjoyment of exercise, monumentally.
I am sure you have heard of SMART Goals before but one of the biggest motivation and joy-killers in exercise is setting unrealistic goals and expectations for your specific level of fitness.
Set goals using the SMART acronym meaning:
Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic or Relevant & Timed
5. Progression & Results
Finally, when we exercise we like to want to see/feel results. And by results, I don’t mean 6-pack abs or some other physical result. I mean improved heart and lung functioning, reduced blood pressure and cholesterol, improved quality of life, better mental health, more confidence, better sex, more strength and so on.
Remind yourself that every step you take, weight you lift, mile you log, or exercise you complete, your body gets stronger, your brain gets better, and your life improves.
Know that exercise can be simple. Simplicity often leads to joy because it’s something easy to do. So if you want to walk, walk. If you want practice yoga, practice it. Also, please leave a comment on how exercise has become enjoyable for you!
If you haven’t found that joy yet, it’s out there waiting and I am here to help you with that journey. If you are struggling to find joy in your exercise routine, it’s my passion to help you find it. Let’s talk about it in a free sample session!
Here are a couple sources I found to be good about how exercise gets better and more enjoyable each time you workout.
Why You Hate Exercise and What you Can About It
This is slightly technical, but a short and powerful insight into your body’s work to get in shape!
Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It
This can be applied to any exercise routine
3 Tips to Make Your Health Goals Become Habits
One of my older blog post about goals