Many people struggle to get settled into an exercise routine. That may be because they dread it! There’s no denying the benefits of exercise. But actually doing the exercise is easier said than done for many people. It can really help you stick with it if your routine is fun and you see the results you were hoping for. Here are some tips on how to make exercise more fun, and how to prevent injury, so that you can make it a part of your regular routine.
Benefits of Exercising
In order to take exercise seriously and actually hang on to the motivation to do it, it is helpful to first understand why it is important to exercise regularly. Some benefits of exercising include:
- It extends your lifespan. Exercising regularly can reduce your risk of developing chronic disease, helping you live longer. When you exercise, it promotes weight loss and heart health, helping to improve overall health and increase vitality.
- It increases energy levels. If you exercise regularly, it will help your energy levels increase. While that sounds the opposite of what it is, exercise gives you more energy because you’ll sleep better and feel better when you get up.
- Exercise ensures strong bones and muscles. As we age, our bones become brittle and weak, making breaks and injuries more likely. Exercising helps to maintain muscle mass and build stronger bones.
- It improves mental health. Exercising causes your body to release endorphins which are the body’s “feel good” hormones. It can also increase dopamine levels, both of which improve mental health and make feelings of depression and anxiety less likely.
- It supports the immune system. Your immune system is your body's defense against sickness and infection. Exercising regularly can help your body fight off illness and infection. Studies have found that exercise encourages the mobilization of immune cells, which help the body stay healthy and fight off any bad bacteria or viruses.
- It can help you prevent disease. Your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer can be lowered by exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.
How to Make Exercise More Enjoyable
It can be difficult to get into a workout routine when you haven’t exercised much for a while. Finding the motivation to get up and get moving can be one of the hardest parts, but if you find ways to make exercise enjoyable, it will make it easier to get into a routine.
Start with an Easy Routine
If you place too much pressure on yourself, then it will definitely make it hard to get into a workout routine. Start with easy-to-accomplish goals, such as going for a walk or doing some stretching. These activities are still going to get your body moving and prepare you for more intense workouts later on. Getting into a daily habit of doing easier types of exercise will help make exercise a daily activity for you. Remember: small, regular habits are powerful. It’s a lot better to do a light workout daily than to do one intense workout for the whole month–or none at all since you’re so overwhelmed by the unrealistic goals you’ve set for yourself.
Track Your Progress in an App or on Your Watch
Tracking your progress can give you more motivation. Use an app or fitness tracking watch to see how many calories you burn with workouts and how you’re progressing. If you’re starting with walking, you can use an app to track how many steps you’ve walked in a day or how far you’ve walked. Slowly ease into jogging a little bit while you’re out walking and see how your distance and time improve with time. Fitness tracking apps are a great way to hold yourself accountable and watch your progress.
Workout With Friends
Meeting up with friends, whether it’s 5 am or 5 pm, will help you stick with a schedule. You’ll look forward to not only seeing your workout pals, but will also get to experience the workouts together including soreness that you might experience afterwards. It’s a bonding experience! Really!
Distract Yourself While Exercising
Let’s be honest; exercise isn’t always the most pleasant experience. You may feel short of breath, tired, and sweaty while you’re doing it–which may make you want to give up. If you have some positive ways to distract yourself, it can help you push through the discomfort so that you can get out on the other side, feeling your best.
Try listening to some upbeat music or an interesting podcast to keep you motivated. By occupying your mental energy with something you find interesting or music that you enjoy, you’ll think less about how uncomfortable you are so that you can keep pushing forward. You can also distract yourself by exercising in an area that has a nice view. If you live near a nice park or a beach, try exercising there so that you can enjoy a beautiful view and put your mind and body at ease while exercising.
Once you’ve put in the hard work of exercising, it is time to reward yourself for your hard work. Think of some fun and creative ways to reward yourself for exercising, such as purchasing some new exercise clothing or shoes or just taking some time to relax, such as watching a movie or taking a bubble bath.
Find Fun Ways to Move
There are plenty of fun ways to get moving. Try taking a dance class, going for a walk with a friend, hiking in nature, jumping on a trampoline, or participating in a sport with friends, such as tennis or soccer.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Everyone is different in their fitness journey. If you’re just starting out with exercise, then you’re obviously not going to be at the same level as someone who has been working out consistently for years. Look to others for inspiration and encouragement but try to avoid comparing yourself.
Chiropractic Care is a Great Injury Prevention Strategy
We’ve already mentioned that you might feel some stiffness after your workouts. That’s normal. But you shouldn’t experience sharp pain that makes it difficult to move. That would be a sign of an injury. To help you prevent injuries it’s a good idea to see a chiropractor for regular spinal adjustments. A quick adjustment once a week can really help your body stay aligned which helps you feel better during and after exercise.
Some other therapies are helpful if you’re feeling muscle stiffness or maybe you’ve strained a muscle which makes it harder to get your workouts in. These include therapeutic massage, electrical muscle stimulation, cold laser therapy and cryotherapy.
By bringing in preventive chiropractic care, you can often avoid treatments for back, neck, knee, hip or shoulder injuries. And if you experience one, you’ll know just who to talk to about creating a plan for treatment and getting back to your regular workout schedule.
If you’d like to talk more about how to bring preventive chiropractic care into your routine, request an appointment with one of our chiropractors at Village Chiropractic. We’re located in The Woodlands and we’re available to help you whether it’s to prevent or treat an injury.