Can we really love exercising? Yup, here's how!
You know those people who just love being in the gym, who love training, who just can't get enough of exercise? Well, I am not one of them and more than likely, you're not either. Lots of people fall into this category of not really liking exercise but dragging themselves to the gym or out for a run because they think they 'should'. Why is this?
First, let's break down the benefits of regular exercise. According to the Mayo Clinic (and me!) some of the benefits include:
1. controls weight gain/loss
2. improves mood and energy levels
3. combats health conditions and disease such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, many types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
4. promotes better sleep
5. increase sex drive
Now, I would suggest that all of these are important to us humans on a day to day basis (especially number 5!), so why is it that regular exercise can seem like such a chore?
In my opinion, the answer is 2-fold.
1. we approach exercise from a stand point that something is wrong or needs to be fixed.
2. there's no fun, it's like a punishment!
Huh?! Let me explain myself....
I've spent the last 27 years exercising and training in one form or another; on the basketball court, lifting weights, sprints and running for cardio, HIIT circuits and classes. Why? Because I wanted to get better, faster, stronger, slimmer. Now, all these goals are fine if you're loving what you're doing. Not so fine when you're punishing yourself for having that cake yesterday.
So how do we bring in the fun and start to enjoy exercise? First I need to amend what I said in the beginning... I didn't used to be someone who loves exercise, now I am. I'm not kidding when I say I used to have to be dragged to the gym, complained through the whole session but endured this so I could go and have a frappacino and cake after. Now, I look forward to exercise and it has become an important part of my life; a non negotiable in fact.
Here's my top tips on how you can have this transformation as well:
1. Make it fun!
If I'm training by myself I love to listen to music so I make playlists I love and disappear into those while I'm weight training. I love a good dress up so I'll find a themed fat burning exercise class like Drag Aerobics (www.dollytrolleydrag.com/drag-aerobics). Not only was this a fun dress up, I was sweating and my legs were burning! Yas bitch!
What would make your training fun?
2. Get a training buddy or even better a training community! You can have a killer weight workout with a training buddy. You naturally encourage and motivate each other as well as keep each other accountable and have a cheeky laugh in between sets.
Get some boxing gloves and pads (Hatton Boxing is where I get mine www.hattonboxing.com/shop) and get your heart rate up with a boxing partner. You don't need a gym membership or even much space to do pad work.
Find a gym or studio that promotes community as well as fitness. F45 are one of the best studios for promoting team training above all with partnered workouts, stations of 2-3 members to go around with, they even know your name and welcome you every time. So many locations globally but here's mine https://f45training.co.uk/maidavale/new-to-f45
IRON Zuu are also incredible for this with their ethos of 'People First, Training Second'. I'm sure we'll see many more of these locations popping up around the globe, they currently exist in 3 Australian and 1 UK locations. Find them at www.ironzuu.com
3. Do what you enjoy. Urg, I hate burpees! Guess how any I (voluntarily) do now? None. I love weights so I (safely) lift big heavy weights. I love to feel my body move so I pair the weights with body weight exercises that increase strength and mobility and get my heart rate up. I love pad work so I ask friends to box with me or I go to a Muay Thai Class. It might take a bit of trial and error but find the exercises you like to do and start there. Go Sweat is like the amazon of London fitness classes, check these guys out and find what's in your area. Many classes offer free trials for you can literally 'trial' your way through to find your beloved exercise (www.gosweat.com)
4. Pay attention to the benefits. This was probably the biggest game changer for me in starting to love exercise as I now exercise because I now it's going to make me feel good.
I had this great story that I don't like running. Actually, I love to feel my heart and lungs working (you know, when you're breathing all heavy and it then regulates and your chest feels a little bit like it's on fire.. but in a good way) and running outside is an awesome way to experience this.
I'm now really present to how great I feel immediately after training, how much more energy I have and awesome my mood when I'm exercising regularly. When I'm feeling tired and grumpy its almost always because I haven't been exercising.
5. Last and most importantly; love yourself. Don't exercise because your not fast, strong, thin, muscular, whatever enough.... Exercises because you and your body are worth it.