This is a guest post by Matthew Denos.
In your pursuit of a supercharged life—a life where you fully experience every good thing—your health plays a very important role. Regular exercise is one of the good habits everyone needs for success.
Do you love or hate exercise?
Personally, I love to exercise. I’m addicted to exercise. I’m not afraid to admit it. I guess it’s one of the better addictions to have.
Being an exercise-aholic has to be a bit more functional and healthy than being a druggie, alcoholic, or sex-aholic. Yet, with all addictions, it has its pitfalls.
Ask anybody that knows me, my family, my friends, my girl and they will all tell you the same thing. I’m a grumpy dude when I don’t get a workout in for a couple of days; sometimes I’m even grumpy when I don’t have a workout done by mid-afternoon.
12 Tips to Find Your Love for Exercise
Still, I know many of people out there don’t have my problem and still find exercising to be a chore. If that sounds like you, check out the list below and find your love for exercise.
Make your exercise fun by playing some type of sport or activity. Instead of hitting the treadmill for 30 minutes, find somewhere to play pickup basketball. Not feeling like doing an abs workout for the next 20 minutes? Go play racquetball. Those 5 sets of squats seem like a daunting task? Play a few sets of volleyball instead. Not in the mood to do your regular aerobics routine? Replace it with gardening or landscaping. Mowing the lawn burns the same amount of calories per hour as brisk walking.
2. Find A Workout Partner
We all have those days where we simply do not feel like doing much at all. Getting out of bed sounds awful, much less hitting the gym for a tough workout. Enter a workout partner. A good workout partner is exactly what you need on these days. Chances are he or she isn’t in the same bad mood you are and can help you through your workout for the day. Not to mention, having a workout partner makes exercise a social opportunity, which increases enjoyment for many. Instead of being the exhausted, lonely looking person with their headphones in and head down, you are engaged with your workout partner pushing each other through the tough sets.
3. Drink Caffeine
Basic I know, but it’s hard to have a bad workout after consuming a little caffeine. No matter if you prefer a cup of coffee, tea, or a pre-workout soda, getting a little caffeine in you 15-30 minutes prior to the workout is setting yourself up to have a great experience. Caffeine will give you that extra push to get through that last set of abs or that last few minutes on the treadmill. Also, caffeine is a proven short-term performance enhancer, thus helping you get over the hump and get the results you hope to achieve. Personally, my bench max increases 10-15 pounds on days I take my pre-workout caffeine drink compared to days I do not. Check it out for yourself.
4. Get Outside
Working out inside the same gym every day can drain one’s motivation and excitement to exercise. So go outside. This one is not complicated at all. Walk the dog. Go on a jog. Bike. Hike. Shoot some hoops in your driveway. Play catch. Climb a mountain. Climb a tree for all I care. Just get outside and enjoy the world around you while improving your health.
5. Change It Up
Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes. And exercise is no different. Exercise becomes humdrum, like many things in life, when it becomes monotonous. Nobody wants to run on the same treadmill, at the same time every day. No one enjoys doing 100 crunches at the end of each workout, every day. Add some variety to how you exercise. Instead of hopping on that treadmill, run some sprints today. Not in the mood to do those crunches? Throw in some Russian twists for the day. Mentally tired of pumping iron? Enjoy the simplicity and freedom of a suspension trainer to work against your own body weight. Not in the mood to do cardio? Go dance the night away with your significant other. Keep variety in your workouts and you will enjoy exercise much more.
6. Use Goal Setting And Enjoy Results
One of the best ways to fall in love with exercise is to see results from your hard work. One of the best ways to see results is to set goals for yourself. Once you start achieving your goal(s) or coming close to doing so, you will begin to have more motivation to work out harder each day. This effect increases when others start noticing your results. Your spouse or significant other can’t seem to get enough of the new you, this will equate to more motivation and enjoyment while exercising. That cute girl you walked past on the street gave you some eye play and you are back to the gym, more motivation to see more results. Create a positive feedback loop from exercising for yourself and you will enjoy the act of exercising more so.
7. Get Pumped Up
Need a little more excitement to your workout? A little more push than a bit of caffeine? Get a workout playlist on your iPod that pumps you up. Whatever type music gets you energized, make a playlist with just that type music. Everybody is different, so throw whatever you like on your workout playlist. If you need some suggestions, I prefer a little Disturbed when I hit the weights, mixed in with, sadly, some 2 Chainz. A few other good artists for your workout playlist include: Eminem, Skrillex, DJ Khaled, Linkin Park, Jay-Z, AC/DC, and Lil Wayne. It’s a personal thing, find some type of music that gets you excited and energized to workout, make a playlist, and get to work.
8. Use Technology
Technology is a great asset to help you enjoy your workouts. Don’t have time to make a playlist to work out to? Download Pandora on your smartphone. Need a few different abs workouts on hand so things don’t get repetitive? Download the Nike Training App or Daily Ab Workout on your smartphone. Another great way to use technology to help you enjoy your exercising is to join online communities. There are communities online that are made to support every type of fitness goal, from weight loss to bodybuilding to running your first marathon. These forums and communities help connect you with people who have the same type of goals as you and serve as a great source of motivation and support. A simple Google search will come up with whatever you are looking for.
9. Educate Yourself
Educate yourself on how to do the exercises you are doing properly. If you are doing the exercise as it is intended to be done you will see results faster. Also, learn what health benefits you gain from the workouts you do. For men, lifting heavy free-weights, like squats, deadlifts, and bench press equates to higher testosterone levels in the long term. For women, those squats and lunges you hate doing not only shape your butt nicely, but increase your testosterone levels over time as well, helping you lose weight faster. Finding out what benefits you receive from your workouts can give you the extra motivation and enjoyment you need when squeezing out that last set or rep.
10. Shorten Your Workouts
If the thought of spending an hour working out today sounds daunting, then don’t. Shorten the length of your workout and increase the intensity. Do ten 40-yard sprints instead of jogging for 45 minutes, then call it a day. Play 5 on 5 basketball for 30 minutes, and then go home. Do your ab workout continuously for 10 minutes, then be done with it. Don’t force a marathon workout on yourself if you are not in the mood. Get a short, intense workout in and then relax. Don’t burn yourself out.
11. Generate Endorphins
Now for a little science about exercise. Exercise increases endorphins in the brain. Not just exercise, but strenuous exercise. And why should you care? Because endorphins are stress-reducing, pain-killing hormones. They bind with other chemicals in your brain to block pain, while also sending signals to your body to release more dopamine, which feels pleasurable to you. More intense exercise equals more endorphins which equals more enjoyment of the exercise itself. If you are not seeing a positive mood change after your workout, consider increasing the intensity of your workout to increase your endorphins.
12. Start a Reward Program
Lastly, create a rewards program for yourself. Stick to your workout schedule all week and then reward yourself with a treat, like a hot fudge sundae on Sunday. Lose that first ten pounds and reward yourself with a new pair of shoes. Set a goal for yourself and once you achieve it make sure to reward yourself with something you have been wanting for a while.
About the Author
Matthew Denos is in the pursuit of a super charged life! He offers an exclusive promotion to save 10% on the Flex Belt, an innovative, FDA-cleared system designed to help you strengthen your abdominal muscles. A former biology scientist who has worked in the academia for over a decade, Matthew learns more about living his life to the fullest every day. He is an entrepreneur whose venture relates to the exciting world of the web and can be contacted at matthewpap [at] gmail [dot] com