|With a few toys, your home workout can be a “playout”|
Too often, we view exercise as a chore. This is unfortunate because we were born to move. In addition to the numerous health benefits of consistent exercise, it is also a great mood booster.
I didn’t always love “exercise”, so I get it when I hear someone say that they see it as a chore. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One of my favorite workout quotes comes from celebrity trainer Valerie Waters, “You are one workout away from a good mood.” That is so true!
Consistent exercise gives us the strength, stamina, balance and mobility so we can enjoy life more. Daily chores such as carrying groceries become easier and require less of our effort. When I made a serious effort to get back into daily exercise, one of the first results I noticed was that everyday activities started getting easier. This made exercise and life more and more fun!
Four Tips to Put the FUN back in FUNtional Workouts:
1. Play Great Music: Whether it is funk, classical, pop, rock or nose flute. Choose music that literally moves you. I like to match the music genre to the activity. For example, when lifting weights I love the hard driving sound of anthem rock. However, for yoga and Pilates, the internal focus of these activities makes me crave classical music or some world music. When jump rope I love punk music due to the bouncy sound. And for hoop dancing I love dance pop, disco and funk. The right music can make a huge difference.
2. Make it a Game: Choose workouts that provide a fun challenge. Also, record and pay attention to your progress (if you are a numbers person). When I started strength training, I found it fun and motivating to watch my own improvement in both the repetitions for each exercise and in my ability to lift heavier and heavier weights. Another way I “gameify” my activity is by wearing an activity tracker. I can compete against myself or other people to motivate me to stay active throughout the day. In addition, there are a few rewards schemes that link to many popular activity tracker programs so you can also win prizes.Of course, there are also numerous apps and fitness games on the marker–so you can literally make your workout a game!
3. Make it a Hobby: The best way to stay consistently active is to find or choose activities that you enjoy. The best workout is the one you will do! I love to dance. Before I became more intentional in my fitness practice, I was dancing 2-4 times a week (usually at a light to moderate intensity). This was a big part of my motivation to focus more on fitness. I wanted to enjoy dancing longer and better, with less fear of injury. My hobby motivates me to work on my strength, aerobic conditioning, balance and flexibility. And pursuing my hobby ensures that I do a certain amount of activity even if I “don’t have time for exercise”.
4. Get a Few Toys: While I have always loved light to moderate activity, learning to love vigorous activity was a little less natural for me. One tip that helped me… I remember playing vigorously as a child during recess. So I consulted my inner child. She told me that I should jump rope and hula hoop if I want to have fun. So I bought a jump rope and a cute glow-in-the-dark Hula hoop. Now when I want a fun, vigorous workout, I put on fun music, set a timer app for interval training. Then I alternate between jumping rope and hula hooping. I do an intense interval workout in 20 minutes without leaving home! I have added some other fun “toys” to the mix (see photograph above), but this started with me reflecting on what I enjoyed as a child. Whatever it is you enjoyed, see if there might be a grown up version you can incorporate into your workout.
Consistent exercise and activity improve our functional fitness so life’s chores can be easier and we have more energy. But this exercise also can be fun! I am interested in reading about any fun activities that you enjoy! Feel free to leave a comment if you want to share an idea.
Other Posts from Feeling Fit, Bit By Bit You May Enjoy:
- Ten Tips to Increase Your NEAT Daily Activity
- A Detailed Review of the Fitbit One
- Sunday Social: Sweat Pink Autumn Instagram Challenge Picture Essay
- Get Rewarded For Your Activity: A Round-Up of Five Activity Incentive Programs
Some of My Fitness Toys:
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