Some people love exercise and some people hate it. I used to be one of those people who found going to the gym a complete chore. I only did it in my modelling days to keep weight off and stay slim. These days I don’t even think twice about going to the gym, nor do I need to find the motivation for it. That’s because I seriously do love a good sweaty workout. I love the way it makes me feel, I love what it does for my body, I love the mental state it puts me in and I love who I am because of it. The trick to keeping an exercise habit long term is to fall in love with it. I've seen lots of girls on my F.I.T programs go from hating exercise to absolutely loving every minute of it. So if you are one of those people who currently hates exercise, here are some of my tips on how to fall in love with working out.
1. Get rid of the scales
Your weight on the scales is totally the wrong focus to have when you are getting fit. Yes, you may have weight loss goals but it’s important that this isn’t your prime motivator to hit the gym. For two reasons: when you focus on weight alone as a reason to exercise, it’s a very negative motivation and makes it feel like something you “have” to do rather than “want” to do. Then if the scale doesn’t move, you lose the motivation even more and give up completely. When you stop focusing on your weight as a reason to exercise, it is extremely liberating and stops making it feel like a chore. Instead, focus on all the other benefits exercise gives you, liked increased energy, better sleep, improved immunity, longevity and just an overall feeling of improved health and vitality.
2. Don’t overwhelm yourself
If you don’t do any exercise at all, then trying to do everything at first can be extremely overwhelming. If you are completely new or getting back into after a break, ease yourself back into an exercise routine. Start with something small that you can achieve, until you feel comfortable in pushing yourself.
3. Don’t over-exercise
Whilst it is good to have a consistent exercise habit, you don’t want to overdo it. When exercise completely takes over the rest of your life, then it becomes a chore and you will not enjoy it. I always say find a healthy balance between keeping fit and healthy, whilst also still enjoying all the other things you love in life. Being fit and healthy does not mean living at the gym 24/7. Over-exercising can also affect getting positive results and lead your body to store fat. It's important to incorporate a good amount of rest in your fitness routine, so you can reap all the positive benefits from exercise.
4. Change it up
It can be very easy to get bored with exercise if you are doing the same thing day in and day out. That’s why I always have my programs in 4-week blocks, so you don’t get bored and sick of the same routine. If you are bored of going to the gym, then try something new, like a sport or take your HIIT workout outdoors. Keep finding new and exciting ways to get fit and healthy and you’ll never get bored.
5. Set goals and reward yourself
Sit down and write out your fitness goals, then break them down into smaller tangible tasks. Make sure you review your goals on a regular basis and have a system of giving yourself a reward each time you complete a step that is taking you closer to your goals. For example, if a step is going to the gym 4 days a week, for a whole month and you do that, then treat yourself to something you will enjoy. It doesn’t need to cost anything too. It could simply be giving yourself a facial at home, or a manicure. Just make sure you don’t make the reward food or exercise related.
6. Get professional help
If you are trying to develop your own exercise program or are just simply going from what you have read here and there in fitness magazines or online, it can feel very overwhelming. So much so you don’t know where to start and it just becomes another stress in your life. Exercise is a set of skills that takes time, effort and knowledge to learn. To take the stress out of it for you, it can be great to get yourself a PT or even get an online program, where everything is outlined on what and how to do everything. No more guess work, no more stress and you can just focus on what you enjoy.
7. Make it social
Working out with a friend can definitely make it extremely enjoyable. It also helps with accountability and motivation when you are first starting out. Find a friend who has similar health and fitness goals as you and pair up. Commit to exercising together a certain amount of days a week and hold each other to it. Not only do you get your weekly exercise in, you also get to catch up with a friend. Just make sure it doesn’t just turn into a gossip session and your workout falls by the wayside.
Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore, you just need to change the way you approach it and find something you love. When you start feeling better from a regular routine, you’ll want to keep going.