5 Strategies to Become Addicted to Exercise

by in Health 22/02/2016

Do you truly enjoy exercising? Or does it seem more like a chore? If the thought of putting your body through strenuous drills is keeping you from working out, then it’s time to switch things up.

With some adjustment and focus, you can create a positive relationship with exercise today!

I’m addicted to exercise, but it wasn’t always that way. I used to dread going to the gym or getting in a workout at home. I made a few changes and now I feel deprived if when I miss a workout. Sure, there is still the occasional day I don’t feel like going. Maybe if I have a lot to do or I didn’t get enough rest the night before, but for a majority of the time maintaining my fitness schedule is not a problem.

How did I become addicted to exercise? I have some suggestions below but not everyone is the same. We are all motivated by different incentives. Read my tips and use them as examples to find a way to make fitness more enjoyable.

Try these strategies to help change your mindset about exercise:

  1. Play a sport you love or find a new one. One of the easiest ways to ensure you get a great workout is to choose something you enjoy doing. That could mean identifying a sport that you’ve played leisurely or trying out a new activity. Remember you burn calories through movement, so you’re really not restricted to time in the gym!
    • Racquet sports are excellent calorie burners and a lot of fun! Consider tennis if you have a partner or choose squash if you’re working out on your own.
    • Swimming is extremely effective at building strength and endurance. If you’re looking for structure, try a water aerobics class. Otherwise, swim in a pool on hot summer days!
    • Sign up for a dance class. If you like to dance or music, many fitness centers offer hip-hop and other dance classes as a form of aerobic exercise.
    • Remember, you don’t have to pick just one activity. You can go hiking one day, swimming on another, visit the gym the next day and so on. In the winter when swimming is too cold you can play basketball at an indoor gym with friends, or ice skating. Just make sure you’re consistent and have something planned each day.
  2. Reward yourself after completing a challenge. Before you start working out, set goals for yourself with accompanying rewards.
    • Knowing that there’s something enticing waiting for you at the end of an exercise session can motivate you to get through it.
    • Pamper yourself with manicures, pedicures, facials, or massages after you’ve made it through a grueling workout or reached a specific fitness goal. Taking a day off from the gym is also a great reward.
    • Don’t forget that a smaller you might require some new outfits!
  3. Incorporate a favorite activity into your workouts. Focusing on something enjoyable while exercising can be a welcome distraction from the physical challenges. Entertain yourself or catch up on reading and learning. Then you’re done before you know it! In my hectic life, my daily visits to the gym have become personal time to myself that I look forward to everyday.
    • When using the treadmill, plug in your earphones and blast your favorite tunes on your MP3 player or phone. Listening to music is a great diversion that can also be very energizing.
    • Bring a book to read during that first 30 minutes on the spinning bike. This will keep the muscle burn from feeling so intense. A great suspense novel could be the perfect choice so that you’re completely engaged.
    • I love to listen to my favorite podcasts while I workout. The ones I subscribe to are about 45 to 60 minutes long, which is about the same amount of time I exercise and adds closure to my routine.
  4. Focus on the physical and mental health benefits. The easiest way to develop an appreciation for exercise is to consider all the benefits to your overall health. Keep in mind that exercise helps maintain healthy vitals, yet on the other hand, limited exercise can result in developing ill health.
    • Are you genetically prone to high cholesterol or hypertension? Check your family history to find out. Remaining active will keep your risks minimal or non-existent.
    • Note how you’re feeling when exercise is a regular part of your daily life. You’ll find that you’re more energetic and your mind is sharper.
    • Think about the positive outcome of losing weight, looking good, feeling better about yourself.
    • Fitness has a positive impact on mood and reducing stress. I love this aspect of exercise and one of the benefits I look forward to everyday.

    These are all benefits to that you can look forward to and will help you appreciate working out. Conversely, not exercising will cause you to lose out on these rewards.

  5. Start your day with your exercise routine. I love working out in the morning, it’s become my daily ritual. When I exercise in the morning, I feel great physically and mentally all day long, and I believe it helps me perform better at work and deal with stress. Plus I feel good that I have put in my exercise for the day and it’s one less thing I need to do.
    • As I mentioned before, we’re all different. Perhaps working out at the end of the day is more motivation for you, giving you something to look forward to after work. The point is finding that time of day to exercise that will help you form a positive association with and create a daily routine.

Take a shot at these strategies and you’ll see that in no time, exercise will be more like an enjoyable part of your day and less like an undesirable imposition. Before you know it, you might become addicted to exercise!


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