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‘Where’s the fun’ in your fitness routine?

How to make your exercise goals stick long term

WTF?

This is an important part of working out for me; Where’s The Fun? You thought I meant Wednesday, Thursday, Friday didn’t you? Nope.

Working out is a requirement to be a healthy person. If you have a physical job that keeps you active all day then you are better off than the higher percentage of us that sit too much, and do too little. Exercise is critical for optimal health, but when you factor in the issue of our need to enjoy life, there can be a conflict here. Working out isn’t always easy if you want to see results.

You have to challenge yourself, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!

I run a fair bit as one of my preferred methods of fitness, and to make it fun, I run outside.

To me, a treadmill is not fun at all. A treadmill is a tool that is helpful in winter, but I will run outside up to 30 degrees below. I was on a business trip in 2015 and ran 24km outside in the sun.

When my watch indicated that the 25km was done I was sort of surprised the run was done already. The next week I was back home in Sylvan Lake, and my schedule showed a 26km run.

Only 1 more km, but it was nearly 40 below zero outside, so I needed to be on the treadmill for this one.

It was awful. I got off the treadmill at least a dozen times for any number of made-up excuses. The time dragged on and was so hard for me! If this was to be my only source of running, I would certainly give up. For me, the fun is outside when running.

Same goes for strength training.

You can work out on your own, and even look at videos on your phone or tablet as you wander around by yourself trying to get motivated. WTF? Where’s The Fun? If you did a Bootcamp or Warrior class instead, with other people cheering each other on, an instructor making jokes, playing great music, giving you encouragement etc. We play games in class, challenge each other and have a blast! The FUN just went way up and so did your odds of success!

Same goes for sports like basketball, volleyball, curling, hockey, football, cross country skiing, etc. You don’t notice the time go by, because you are having fun!

I am not saying you cannot get results without fun, but it’s just that much harder.

If your workouts are fun, you are more likely to stick with it!

My wife doesn’t love doing cardio like I do but she does love to read. So she reads while she works out on the elliptical trainer. That way she combines something she loves, with something she tolerates.

I do the same thing when I am training for a big race and need to get in an eight hour bike ride inside in the winter. I watch a whole season of a TB series – it’s very efficient and makes it fun.

We have a 90-minute bike class each Saturday where we watch a movie. It’s just more fun.

This again, is why working out with a friend, or being part of a group or a team makes sense – it’s just more fun! If you know your friend is going to meet you, you know it will be more fun, and it is so easy to get your fitness in.

So to keep fitness in your life long-term, always ask yourself: WTF?

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.