That’s right, I said it. Fun workouts!
Fitness is FUN or at least it should be. If you’re dreading every single workout, your run down, injured and totally stressed out then you’re doing it wrong.
I know the world is ablaze with “no pain no gain” mantras and “never miss a Monday“, but sometimes what you need on a Monday is to put your feet up and soak in a good book.
In fact, Monday’s are my active recovery day and I don’t feel bad about it at all because I finally fully understand that without recovery there is no progress.
If you don’t give your body a break for your muscles to repair and your system to relax…you will likely slam headfirst into the dreaded over training syndrome or wonder why you’ve plateaued.
A rest day doesn’t have to mean leaving a dent in the couch from a Netflix marathon, it can always include a great walk, some easy yoga or even a fitness class that’s totally for fun.
But enough about recovery, let’s focus on how to make fitness fun anytime!If you aren't having fun with your #fitness then you're doing it wrong via @runtothefinish Click To Tweet
Fun Workout Ideas
Let’s talk about how to have more fun with your fitness…if you’ve unfortunately lost that lovin’ feeling today we’re going to get it back!
Some of these are no brainers, but we all need reminders!
1. Tried and True: Workout Buddies
One study, showed that we are five times more likely to exercise if our spouse does! No need to fret my single friends, having a consistent buddy who is counting on you to show up or to help them achieve a goal is just as good.
For many of us workout time may be the only real time we take for ourselves, which is why group fitness classes are booming, friendship.
Michigan State University’s Department of Kinesiology found these results:
Participants who exercised as part of a team kept going, on average, two minutes longer than those who exercised independently with a partner — 22 versus 20 minutes — and twice as long as those who exercised without a partner — 22 versus 11 minutes.
The best news about this study?
The results were the same whether the partner was in person or virtual!
- Checkout Bande where you do classes on Zoom LIVE – I did a dance class and it was so fun with friends! Something I would not have done on my own.
- Join the Pelonton App for $12.99 and connect with others during LIVE classes
- Join our Virtual Run Club where we constantly have group goals, are sharing tons of support and kudos for just showing up!
- Checkout your local running store to see what group runs they offer. Even if smaller right now, that’s all you need to get out the door.
- Find a personal trainer to work with over Zoom! You’ll absolutely get the benefit whether they are in person or on a screen and they’ll help you figure out how to work with what you have.
2. Move with Joy (Like a Kid!)
Instead of making every workout about health or a better body, move just because you enjoy it!
I love a dance party at my standing work desk and I love trying out new classes with ClassPass. When you leave the calorie burn or mileage focus at the door a lot of times you might even find the run you were dreading becomes a lot more relaxing.
What are some fun workouts?
- Jump rope with your kids
- Toss on some music for a dance party or do a Zumba class
- Try something totally new like fencing or rock climbing
- Grab a friend for a walk and talk — this is my personal favorite thing ever
- Try driving to a new place to hike or walk and enjoy the scenery
- Snowshoe!! I’m a nervous skier, but I LOVE this exercise to get me out in the winter and enjoy it.
- Mix up your treadmill time by combining it with a strength workout
- Go OLD SCHOOL – I found a TaeBo class on YouTube the other day and LOVED doing it, plus it brought back so many memories I couldn’t stop laughing
Make enjoying yourself the only goal.
Shoot yoga on the rocks isn’t a crazy workout, but it makes you fall in love with yoga all over again and that’s part of how you stay consistent!
3. Get Outdoors
A better mood means a better workout a getting outside has been proven to be a natural mood booster! From the fresh air to the vitamin D, to the variety!
“Breathing fresh air opposed to the recycled kind can create a feeling of euphoria, which comes from the body’s release of feel-good endorphins,” says Robert Gotlin, DO, director of the Orthopedic and Sports Rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
“It’s not that your muscles respond better to it, but rather your mind does, which in turn makes you want to work harder.”
ABC news also reported:
Exercising outside also creates greater feelings of revitalization, energy, and positive thinking than does working out indoors, according to a report published in Environmental Science and Technology.
What’s more, after an 30-minute walk in the park, 71 percent of people feel less stressed, while 72 percent of people who take their walks indoors actually feel more stressed.
If you’re struggling to get out the door in the winter, checkout these winter running benefits – from burning calories to a better immune system.
- Just take your yoga mat outside
- Do your strength training in the driveway (trust me after 2020 no one will thing that’s weird)
- Walk around the neighborhood
- Switch your morning run to a lunch time run so that you can get some sunshine
- Remember you deserve breaks during the day and take a second to step outside and breathe.
4. Explore Variety with Apps
Maybe your lack of fun is because every workout feels the same? No cash to try out a ton of classes? Good news, there’s an app for that!
- DailyBurn 365 – try a new workout every single day (most are good for any ability level)
- Zombies, Run! – just in case you need to be prepared for doom’s day
- KrowdFit – join group challenges, get entries to big giveaways each time you workout
- Thank Dog – get fit while teaching your dog obedience, that’s multitasking at it’s finest
- Strava – I’m not in to it, but man the competitive streak it brings out in a lot of you is incredible
Added bonus? New research has shown that “gaming” can both enhance your motivation to work hard and to stick with a program! Checkout these free apps for runners>>
One study by Dr. Natalia Lawrence, concluded this:
“It is free, easy to do, and 88 percent of our participants said they would be happy to keep doing it and would recommend it to a friend. This opens up exciting possibilities for new behavior change interventions based on underlying psychological processes.”
5. Set Yourself Challenges
One of the reason I LOVE the online community is you can always find a challenge that will tap in to our primal drive to measure progress and have a bit of friendly competition.
You can also challenge yourself by changing your goal!
- Run for time instead of miles
- Try an obstacle race
- Try running stairs
- Test your skills at pull ups or push ups instead of cardio
- Focus on increasing your run/walk intervals
- Try lifting heavier for less reps instead of max weight reps
- Try doing something every single day for an entire month
- Try doing something new every day for an entire month!
Head over to Facebook to show off your fitness fun!!
How do you keep it fun?
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See, I'm not the crazy one who runs outside all winter! Turns out it's the other way around!
My recent post Road therapy
I absolutely agree. Great list.
Keeping it efficient is another thing that helps me feel great about a workout (and have more fun). For example, if I’m going to an easy run, I’ll sometimes listen to an audiobook or my favorite podcasts.
We hiked this a.m. and then mountain biked this afternoon in the chill and snow! So fun! Everything (every workout I do!) is all about having FUN! Tomorrow- a trail run!
Mary Beth Jackson
A friend always makes that workout better! The long run is so boring by myself but I do love being outdoors! Everything is better outside. New adventures are waiting I hope to find something fun this long weekend! :)
by ALWAYS MAKING THE WAY I MOVE MY BODY PLAYFUL!
I totally associate the no pain no gain with jane fonda.
Hopefully that will some day be all over and passe…
My recent post National Adoption Month
I definitely need to add more fun into my fitness and I love these ideas.
My recent post Family Meals Made Fun: Tips for Cooking With Kids
Great ideas! I completely agree that fitness should be fun. And then when my rest day comes I am ready for it and fully enjoy it, too!
My recent post Get Fitter and Stronger in the Off Season [Challenge]
I have been taking more time on my runs to enjoy nature, take pictures, and just breathe. It has helped remind me why I love running so much!
My recent post Meal Planning + Weekly Workouts + Grief
New apparel or work out clothes always help me keep things interesting and trail running is my all-time favorite way to keep running fun! As far as other fitness, I love anything with an element of adrenaline like rock climbing or mountain biking!
My recent post Soundtrack to My Weekend
Great ideas! Fitness should absolutely be fun, especially if it's done outside! Pretty scenery and fresh air always makes a workout fun, and so does a furry little running buddy.
My recent post Mile Markers 11/16/2015 – 11/22/2015
I'm lucky in that just a gorgeous day for a run is FUN for me :-) I'm so thankful for every day my legs and lungs work!!
My recent post The Rundown – Love/Hate Relationships
Once fitness changes from a "grind" or a "chore" and becomes a habit, that's when it becomes fun. I go to the gym because it's a habit now, like brushing my teeth, and I love every minute of it.
My recent post Tips on What to Do To Build Lean Muscle
I would love to have a fitness buddy but it’s so hard to find someone with the same schedule!
These are all great tips! I think variety is key, as well as being outside, and honoring rest/recovery days. I have a friend who runs the exact same 6-mile route everyday, always in the same direction, and almost always at the exact time of day as well. And, her toes are constantly in bandages and her back needs ongoing chiropractic attention…a rest/recovery day would serve her well….
I love getting outside with my husband as we walk the dogs right now. I am recovering from knee surgery, so we don’t go too far, but it is a great time to get some walking in and be able to connect during the hectic holidays! Do you think that qualifies as still getting a workout in? My at-home PT exercises are probably more of a workout, right? Hope you have a great holiday!
I call walk and talks one of my favorite things!