Top 12 Ways To Make Exercise Fun

By Kelli Calabrese, MS, CSCS 2004 Personal Trainer of the Year

For eDiets

Tired of the same old exercise routine? Are you burnt out on fitness? I don't expect everyone to "love" exercise, however if you dread your workout, below you will find 12 ways to renew your routine, and in the process have some fun and get the results you have been looking for.

The fitness pros at eDiets can show you how to combine exercise and nutrition to get the best results. This is what you've been looking for. You will need to make the commitment, but isn't it time to finally take care of you?

1. Take a Class -- Going it alone can be a drag. There are daysyou don't push as hard or simply don't exercise at all. A class adds the excitement of a live knowledgeable instructor, appropriate music, variety, group support, and oh yeah – mirrors which can keep you motivated to make and see.

2. Get a Partner -- Those who exercise with a buddy increase their chances of sticking to their routine by almost 90 percent. Choosesomeone who is at or slightly above your fitness level. Make acommitment to each other to show up and even weigh in. You will keep each other accountable, workout when you would have slept in, and push a little harder than you would on your own. Spouses can make the best exercise buddies.

3. Enroll in Boot Camp -- Thanks to Oprah, boot camps are all the rage. You can find outdoor boot camps in just about any town USA. They typically meet early in the morning for 5 days a week for 4 – 8 consecutive weeks. Then you take a week or two break. You will work your little tail off and in the end be in a new body. Keep visions of Demi Moore's shapely body from GI Jane in mind as you get through your first set of push ups.

4. Use Your Library Card -- What, I can get fit with my library card? Yes! Libraries house shelves of exercise videos which you can check out for free for 7 days. You can try a new exercise video every week. Choose from a variety of formats and instructors. Very little if any equipment is typically needed. Oh and if you are late in returning, the fees are only ten cents a day!

5. Watch Your Watch -- Have you seen those people at they gym who seem to be there for hours and working their jaw muscles more than any other? They are the ones whose bodies never seem to change for the better. Cut out the jabber and you can streamline your routine to 25 minutes a session. Time and intensity are inversely proportional. If you work harder, you don't need to work as long. If you know you only have 25 minutes to get through, you can focus, give it your best effort and be done before you know it. You may be panting pretty heavily, but know you are burning fat and will be off to the showers in no time.

6. Divide Up Your Body -- If you have been training using a total body routine, it can be fun and productive to break up your workouts by body parts. For example, Monday would be upper body, Tuesday lower body and Wednesday core (abdominals and lower back). Then take a break and repeat that cycle again.

7. Change Your Time -- You can get a renewed feeling by changing your workout time. If you normally exercise in the mornings, try switching to afternoons or evenings. You may find you have more energy, it helps to work off the days stress, and you eat a healthier dinner and sleep better.

8. Join Your Kids -- Get involved with the kids' activities. If they play a sport, help them practice by going to the field and engaging in drills with them. You can also ride your bikes, play Frisbee, inline skate, hike the trails in your local parks or sign up for a self-defense class together. The time with your children is priceless; you will be a great role model, and set the stage for a lifetime of good habits for your children. They may even think you are cool!


9. Always Be Dressed To Move -- You never know when the opportunity may arise to go for a quick jog. If you find yourself feeling energized or with time to kill, instead of sitting around and waiting, get up and get your heart rate up. Keep your sneakers handy at all times.

10. Three Sets Of 10 -- Cardiovascular exercise can be broken up into three 10-minute sessions. You can get the same health benefits as one 30-minute session without taking a chunk of time out of your day. If you do this throughout the work day, you will have more mental clarity and give your metabolism a boost.

11. Bust Out Of Your Comfort Zone -- Has there been something you have always wanted to try but have been a spectator instead? It's time to get off of the bench and be a participant. You may just find a favorite new activity and feel like a kid again. From ballroom dancing to kickboxing, and from rock climbing to swimming, there is no shortage of activities to choose from. Check out your community calendars and sign up.

12. Hire A Pro -- While personal trainers were once available to only the rich and famous, anyone can afford a personal trainer today. Seeing a trainer even once a month can help to keep you accountable, provide you with a fresh fun routine, measure your progress, help you establish new goals and attain the body of Hollywood's hottest. Your health is priceless.

You may never be an exercise junkie. However there are ways to make working out enjoyable and to fit into your lifestyle and preferences. Don't forget to set up rewards for yourself.

When you reach certain milestones such as walking 100 miles or completing 20 workouts in 1 month, reward yourself with something you enjoy. Oh, and keeping a positive mental attitude always helps.



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