Putting the Fun in Fitness

August 22, 2008

One thing I always tell my class members is: “If staying fit was easy, everyone would be fit. You wouldn’t see any fat people anywhere”. And it’s true. You could say the same thing about being rich. If it was easy to get rich, you’d be tripping over billionaires every time you walked down the street. There’d be no poor. But it’s not so easy, is it? Both things require diligent, hard work. But just because the work is hard, that doesn’t mean you can’t also be having some fun along the way.
When it comes to fitness, fun, in my opinion, should definitely be a part of the mix. Because if it’s not enjoyable in some way, you’re not going to look forward to doing it. It becomes a task, a chore, something that you have to get through. If that begins to be the way you view your workouts, you’re going to be fighting an uphill battle when it comes to staying in shape. Then you will eventually want to quit.

So here are a few good ways to get and keep the “F factor”, Fun, alive in your fitness regimen.
First of all…

– Choose activities that you already like.

Think about the games you used to play as a kid or the sports you participated in in school. If you can find adult leagues and organizations that offer those or similar activities, join up. You can also just add elements of those particular activities into your workouts. If dancing is something you enjoy, try adding dance based classes and workouts to your weekly lineup. Whatever your favorite physical activity is, you can be sure that there is someplace you can go and join in. Find it and get involved!

– Create your own perfect exercise environment

The right setting, the right music and sometimes also the right people can make a difference. Like the outdoors? Start doing your workouts at a park so you can enjoy the fresh air. Prefer a calm, quiet place where you can focus without any distractions? Find the least used space in your gym or park and set up camp right there. Inspired by being around other exercisers? Then the gym or any active place where you can be around such folks is where you need to go.

– Roll with the beats

Music is emotionally motivating and is a perfect, easy way of adding in the F factor. Choose music that you really like and use it every time you do your routines. You’ll find yourself more pumped up and enthusiastic, and whatever you’re doing, you’ll probably go at it longer and with more energy. Also, you will look forward to workouts, knowing that you’ll get to listen to your favorite “pump me up” tunes whenever that time rolls around.

– Feed off the positive energy that can be found in a group

Working out alone kind of dull? Then join a group of like minded people to work out with. Not only will it be more fun, but you’ll have camaraderie, more energy to feed off of, and also extra support from those around you. That will really keep you motivated and looking forward to the next time. Each workout will be like one big party! The more, the merrier!

– Let the gym be your stage

Are you a natural show off? Well, if that’s the case, you can turn work out time into your own little show time. Don your hottest exercise threads, get in there, and flex to impress with the best of them! You know you’re going to have a captive audience, so step up front and center and show ’em how it’s done! Knowing that you’re being checked out, you thrive on rising to the occasion and giving a high caliber performance. Whether you’re the fierce diva in the aerobics class, or top stud in the weight room, take your rightful place, show ’em what you’re working with, and let your talent shine! No shy wall flower are you! Make that work for you, and pump it for everything it’s worth! Your fans await!

And finally…

– Tell your trainer that he/she is boring

Well, not quite like that! What I mean is don’t be afraid to tell your trainer that you’re getting bored with the workouts. Those of you working with trainers know that sometimes confronting your trainer with any suggestions can be scary. We sometimes put our personal trainers on such a pedestal that we are intimidated or reluctant to question or suggest anything other than what the trainer is already doing with us. But remember, while your trainer is certainly a knowledgeable and motivating force, he or she doesn’t know you as well as you know yourself when it comes to your likes and dislikes. Also, sometimes trainers can get locked into a certain mindset and particular way of training that focuses only on achieving the result. You can have the results and a little more fun here and there if it’s done right. If you want a more fun workout, don’t be afraid to let your trainer know. Challenge her/him to make your workouts both fierce AND fun! Remember, it’s YOUR dime, and if you don’t let your trainer know that you want something different in your workouts, you’ll never get it.

The bottom line is, working out does not have to be this torturous, monotonous chore or trial that you have to drag yourself to, suffer through, and hope to soon be over with. With the right elements in place, you can turn your workout into some good, quality “me” time; a bright, shiny spot in your day that you look forward to and can’t wait to be a part of. Add in the F factor, and soon you’ll find yourself speeding through your work and knocking every obstacle that pops up out of your way so you can get to that happy time where it’s all about you, you body and some serious fun and sweat! Now get to it!

: article by Yvonne Bridges [ Yvonne Bridges is a top fitness instructor residing and teaching in New York City. In the fitness business for over 12 years, she is an accomplished boxer, kick boxer, writer and musician, among other things. You can get more weight loss and fitness tips by Yvonne Bridges at http://thefitnessdiva.blogspot.com ]