Exercise is supposed to be fun. We’ve literally been built to enjoy it. And that makes sense seeing as it’s one of the keys to a healthy body.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that exercise releases endorphins - awesome little hormones that act as natural painkillers and bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being.
In short, exercise makes you feel less pain, and feel happy.
Isn’t nature clever?
It’s like Mother Nature basically thought to herself: “Right, I need to make them want to do this thing that takes effort and uses up energy and might make them a bit sore if they haven’t done it in a while because it’s going to keep them healthy and strong and basically live longer. I know! I’ll make it feel great, too.”
Well thanks, Mother Nature!
And YET… a lot of us still find it hard to enjoy it. Maybe it’s because we forgot how to have fun when we grew up.
I was walking my auntie’s dog, Ruby, through the park the other day, when we walked past a little family out for a stroll. There were 3 kids, and the youngest boy had decided to toddle off ahead of everyone as fast as his little legs would take him. Then, the little girl who must have been about 7 decided she should catch up with him. So she ran a solid 50 metres, caught up with the little boy, then just smiled and said “Hi!”.
As I walked along I couldn’t help but smile to myself of how amazing that was. This little girl ran full pelt for a solid 50 metres just to giggle and say hi to her brother.
For her that exercise wasn’t even thought of as exercise. It was just part of the fun she was having in the park. We don’t learn about this thing we call “exercise” and that it’s apparently supposed to be awful until we grow up.
Let Yourself Be A Kid Again
When you go to the gym, do you enjoy it? Or even when you just think about exercising, does the thought fill you with feelings of fun or dread?
If you do enjoy it - awesome. You go glen coco.
But if not, stop thinking that that idea you’ve got in your head of “exercise” is all there is.
Try something new! Google what’s going on in your area. Join a yoga class, find a local hiking or cycling group, go stand-up paddle boarding on the Albert Dock (if you’re in Liverpool - yeah that’s a thing!), or anything that takes your fancy!
If you know me you know I have a tendency to get bored with things quickly. In the past few years I’ve done hot yoga, learned to do a backflip off a wall at a freerunning gym, done a couple of 100-mile bike rides, spent a few months at salsa classes and loads more.
And they were all super fun! And serious exercise. I was sweating like a bitch coming out of those salsa classes.
Be a kid. Be curious. Explore the world. Go on mini adventures and find your fun when it comes to exercise.
If You Find Your Fun, You Stick With It
One of the big reasons we fall of track in trying to get healthy is because we don’t enjoy the things we’re trying to do to get there. So when other things come up, it’s easy for them to take priority.
But, if you LOVED the way you exercise, you’d be far more likely to prioritise it over the other things that come up. Because who wants to to let the little things get in the way of the things they love?
I don’t care how much you think you hate exercise, or how long you feel like you’ve hated it for. If you’re willing to put yourself out there, you will find something you enjoy. Also, don’t be scared that you’re gonna look silly. We all make mistakes.
See? That bit in the middle was a serious mistake. But, I got up, kept going, and had a great time!
The only question now is…
What are you going to try first?