5 Ways To Find More Joy In Exercise
How do you feel about exercise? Love it? Hate it?
Much like how you take your coffee, your fitness routines are a matter of personal preference. I talk to people all the time who tell me they hate exercise or they only do it because they “should” and so today I want to share with you how to find more joy in exercise!
#1 Choose exercise that brings you pleasure and joy
I get asked all the time, “What’s the best exercise to do?” I believe the best exercise the the one you’ll actually do and do it consistently.
Take myself for example. I hate running…. With a passion. If you see me running, I’m probably about to be mauled by a bear. So if I had to run every day for the rest of my life because it was “the best exercise,” I’d never do it.
Moving your body has so many amazing health benefits so it’s important to find a way to move your body that brings you pleasure and joy. When you create pleasure instead of punishment, you’ll enjoy exercise more and want to do it.
All you need for an ideal fitness plan is two simple things: 1) any activity you enjoy that you’re willing to do that gets your heart rate going and 2) a commitment to start When you create pleasure instead of punishment, you’ll enjoy exercise more and want to do it.
What are ways you enjoy moving your body?
#2 Make Movement a Mandatory Form of Self Care
Self care is about taking care of your body. When you make some amount of feel good movement part of your daily priority, you’ll see a ton of benefits.
Studies have shown that exercise has been just as effective as Prozac in treating depression. People who exercise regularly are more creative, more productive and more resilient in times of stress. People who exercise regularly have a higher self esteem and better body image regardless of their size.
I don’t know about you, but these all seem like great reasons to include some joyful movement for the sake of self care.
#3 Weight Loss Can’t be Your “Why”
Most people will say that they exercise to lose weight. Guess what? That’s the worst motivator. Why? Because when you don’t see immediate results, you quit.
This is the #1 reason why gyms are packed full in January and by February, most of them have given up and moved on. You’re why has to be bigger than weight loss.
When appearance is the primary goal, there will always be work to do and you’ll never be satisfied, even when your behavior and your physical health indicate that you’re doing well. In fact, of all the benefits of exercise, weight loss actually falls at the bottom of the list.
The greatest myth of exercise is the expectation that it leads to weight loss.
Well documented research studies point to the conclusion tha exercise alone is a poor at efforts to control weight.
I used to try to fit myself into some version of perfection that I hoped to see in the mirror-my idea of what a certified health coach should look like in order to be worthy of filling my client list. These days, my motivation behind working out is to have more energy and make my body feel better.
Here are just some of the benefits of exercise:
- Better sleep
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Alleviate mental and physical stress
- Improved confidence
- Increased energy
- Can help you manage anxiety and depression
- Boosts your immune system so you get sick less often
Breaking News: You can be fit and fat. Inactivity, not fatness, is linked to mortality and heart disease. A fit person, regardless of size, has half the risk of death from heart disease.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t ever want my appearance to dictate the success or undercut my achievements. I want this for you too!
#4 Exercise Gives You More Energy
Exercise is a great way to rejuvenate your body. As someone who deals with chronic fatigue, exercise is a great way to naturally boost my energy. Just a 5 minute walk around the block can do wonders for that 3:00 pm slump.
Feeling tired and groggy in the afternoon? Stop reaching for that third cup of coffee or energy drink and go take a walk. When you’re tired, exercise may not seem like the logical thing to do, but post-exercise energy bursts are a natural way to increase your energy.
#5 Exercise Improves Body Image
Most people assume that body image improves with weight loss or changes in body composition, but that’s not what scientific data shows. In fact, actual measurable improvements in fitness (such as pound lost) play only a minor role in creating a positive body image.
The greatest improvement in body image come from believing that exercise is meaningful. When a person chooses to focus on why exercise matters, and when they acknowledge their efforts instead of their appearance, they have a healthier body image.
When you’re engaged in enjoyable physical activity, your belief in your capabilities naturally improves. You’ll begin to change how you see yourself and develop a healthier mindset as it pertains to exercise that fuel lasting habits.
Unlike dieting, there are virtually no downsides to regular, enjoyable exercise. Being active makes you a healthier, stronger, happier person. You’re more likely to develop a lifelong habit of exercise when you make movement meaningful and fun!