Exercise is necessary in order to maintain a healthy life. It improves our heart health, which improves all of the organs using that healthy blood. Exercise decreases pain by moving the joints and increasing muscle strength. It even increases our mood through the release of endorphins! The list of benefits goes on, and most of us are well aware of the need for exercise in our lives. Yet it is still so hard to find the motivation to increase our heart rate and move our bodies! Well, here is a checklist of ways to incorporate FUN into your daily workout! Because we are all still children at heart 🙂
- MUSIC: this one is top of the list for a reason – it is truly powerful! Music can literally change our brain waves. If you were feeling down as you tied your running shoes, then played the most uplifting song you own, suddenly the world seems more colorful! Notice even that we “play” music – it is inherently fun! So take some time to develop your own fun, positive playlist for your next workout. Or find an exercise that uses music to workout (have you heard of Zumba?…..)
- FRIENDS: we are naturally social creatures. Even introverts long for human contact at some level. So incorporate other people into your exercise! Maybe you have a workout buddy, or maybe you take group classes like Yoga or Zumba. There are bountiful options to include your friends or family in your workout. And having a friend there makes you more accountable, which motivates you further to get out there and exercise!
- NATURE: if you can include nature into your workout, I highly encourage it! Especially if there is sunshine involved (Vitamin D boost, please!). Breathing in fresh air helps improve us physically and mentally, making your workout even more rewarding.
- SMILE: do you ever get the thought in the middle of a tough workout: “what am I doing here?” It’s okay! We all feel that way sometimes… but when your mind starts to move to the dark side, keep your body looking happy. Force yourself to smile, straighten the spine, take a deep breath, and notice the effects. By changing your physical posture, you can change your inner feelings to be more positive! This is a powerful practice that can be used during a workout and throughout your day.
- REWARDS: sometimes a tangible reward can make a world of difference. Try to avoid food related rewards (though I’ll admit, sometimes a protein-packed smoothie after a tough workout is the best reward in the world). Think about other ways you can reward yourself. Workout clothes + equipment are great rewards, too! Maybe after a week of meeting your workout goals, you earn a new workout shirt with a positive message. Self-care acts are motivating rewards as well. You can treat yourself to an epsom-salt bath every time you complete a challenging run. (epsom salt baths also help to relax the muscles, making it easier for your body to recover)
So put those running shoes back on, get out there, and have some fun!!! Because the world could use a bit more happiness 🙂