By now I think we all know we’re supposed to exercise, and quite a few of us have figured what exercise works best for us. However, that doesn’t mean that we all love it.
Starting, and sticking to, an exercise plan can be more difficult than expected. This is especially true if you dread your workout before you’ve even started.
There may be a good reason you aren’t enjoying your workout, and a simple fix to make exercise enjoyable. If you find yourself groaning every time you lace up your shoes or strap on your bike helmet, it may be time to take a look at why you don’t like to exercise and do something about it.
It’s hard to get started
For some, just getting a new exercise program started is the biggest hurdle. Not knowing what to do and making the transition from sedentary to more active can be a daunting task. If you find yourself in this situation, call on a friend to be your workout buddy. Getting started will be a lot easier when you don’t feel like you’re on your own.
You chose the wrong workout
You’ve started exercising, but you’re still not loving it. If this sounds like you, you may be doing the wrong workout. Everyone has their own exercise preferences, so find something you enjoy doing. Personally, running makes me grumpy (and I really hate to sweat), but I find that spending quality time with my yoga mat or in the pool keeps me active and happy. Find what works for you, and you’ll enjoy your workout more.
You’re in pain
If you’re in pain, something is not right. It’s as simple as that. When you’re exercising, you may experience some discomfort if you’re stretching or moving in new ways, but pain is a different story. Conditions like arthritis, a bad back, or old injuries can make exercise a challenge, so work with your doctor to find an exercise or physical therapy program that works for you.
You’re only exercising to lose weight
Many people begin to exercise to lose weight. However, weight loss isn’t a terribly good motivator in the long run. In a study it was discovered that women who exercised to feel better and curb stress were more likely to consistently exercise than those only working out to lose weight.
You push too hard, too soon
It’s tempting to go that extra mile, spend an extra few minutes, or lift that extra weight. Doing so all the time is also a great way to make sure you don’t enjoy exercise, or worse, quit because you’ve overdone it. If you’re not active to begin with, it’s important to ease your way into an exercise routine. Start with something like short walks every day and work your way into more intense workouts.
You are uncomfortable with your body
The clothing you exercise in often falls into one of two categories: either it’s so tight it shows everything, or it’s so baggy you’re rendered shapeless. Neither is anyone’s best look and they can both make you feel uncomfortable with how you look. For some, the solution may be to exercise in the privacy of your own home. For others, joining gyms where you know a variety of people with all body types will be can make you feel more comfortable.
You try too hard to stick to a schedule
The pressure to stick to a schedule can stress you out, and make you unhappy about whatever activity you’re doing, even if it’s something you like. Stressing over exercising when you don’t have the time to do it at the moment you planned can make you resent exercising altogether. Know when exercising works for you in your day, but don’t put pressure on yourself to stick to that schedule 100 percent of the time.
You’re feeling the (peer) pressure
Say your friends decide to attend Zumba together every week and you have two left feet. Definitely give it a shot, but don’t feel like you have to stick with it if you really don’t like it. Just because your friends have an exercise they absolutely love, doesn’t mean you have to love it too.
You don’t really know what you’re doing
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed and frustrated by an exercise or workout you don’t know how to do. If you’re unsure how to work a machine at the gym, ask someone who works there. If you’ve always wanted to try a certain workout, see if there’s a class available in your area. Use your resources to make sure you know what you are doing, and you’re doing something you enjoy.