Ten tips to make exercise fun

Collage of photos showing a Sasamat Lake triathlon.

Running is my favourite kind of exercise, but since arthritis in my knee prevents me from running much, I’ve learned to make cycling and swimming more fun. Last summer, I created my own ideal mini-triathlon.

New Year’s fitness resolutions? Here are some tips to help you stick to your exercise plans and achieve your goals:

  1. Choose an activity that you enjoy and that your body can handle. Running or jogging can give a great high, but not everyone is able to jog due to body type, injuries or other reasons. Try cycling or walking instead.
  2. Get outside. Find a beautiful park or quiet neighbourhood that allows exercise to be a time of escape for you.
  3. Take breaks from your usual exercise location. Go to a new place where the trip itself is an adventure. This is a good idea for the weekend or any other “free” day you may have.
  4. If you don’t want exercise to be a time of reflective solitude, find a group of supportive friends to exercise with. You will be motivators for each other. You’ll help each other commit to keeping the time you choose for exercise. You’ll have fun! You’ll share each other’s tribulations and triumphs. You’ll deepen your friendships by exercising together.
  5. Buy clothing that is comfortable yet attractive. Make sure you’re happy with the fit, colours, and textures of your training clothes.
  6. When you achieve an exercise goal, reward yourself with a piece of exercise clothing that you’ve been coveting, or try a gourmet healthy vegetable or fruit smoothie.
  7. If you’re the type who likes writing and recording things, keep a brief exercise journal. You’ll be rewarded and motivated as you see your improvement over weeks and months.
  8. Use an iPod with your favourite music if that gives you an energy boost. However, if you’re walking or running on trails or in a forest, you might love the natural sounds there—birdsong, water running, wind rustling the trees.
  9. Try a new kind of exercise class: yoga, Pilates, water aerobics, kayaking, indoor climbing; something to challenge your body in a new way!
  10. Remember, exercise will get easier as you do it consistently.

About nancytinarirunswrites

I used to be known as a competitive runner, but now I have a new life as a professional writer and editor. I'm even more obsessive about reading, writing, and editing than I was about running. Running has had a huge influence on my life, though, and runner's high does fuel creativity. Maybe that's why this blog evolved into being 95% about running, but through blogging I'm also learning about writing and online communication. I'm fascinated by how the Internet has changed work, learning, and relationships. I love to connect in new and random ways!
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