What can I do to make exercise more fun and enjoyable?
Exercise can be a chore and chores are not fun or enjoyable. The thought of setting foot in a gym probably makes most of us cringe. We all know that we need to exercise and that it is something that will make us healthy but it can be very hard to make regular exercise a habit.
Exercise is medicine and if it were a pill everyone would be taking it. The positive effects of exercise can influence every system and tissue in your body.
One way that you can make exercise more engaging and dare I say fun is Gamification. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing such as tracking points, competing with others, etc. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like games in some way shape or form. Some of the principles I share below can make exercise more like a “game” than “exercise”.
Here are a few examples of what gamification with exercise would look like:
1. Walking or running as far as you can in set amount of time (i.e. how far can you go in 10 minutes?)
2. Performing a certain number of reps and sets as fast as possible (i.e. how fast can you perform 3 sets of 15 reps of air squats?)
3. Doing an exercise at a predetermined speed. (i.e. every minute on the minute perform 30 air squats)
4. Literally play a game!
If you are into video games play the Wii or do virtual reality gaming.
If you are into word puzzles or Sudoku type games set a rule of every time you complete a task you do a physical activity (i.e. every word you find in a cross word you do 3 sit to stands)
Play a board game standing on one leg or perform a squat every time it is your turn.
Play a traditional (basketball, golf, baseball, etc.) or nontraditional sport (pickleball, bocce, etc.)
I hope that you are starting to see that the only thing limiting you is your creativity with your exercises. If you are getting bored doing the same exercises over and over again try adding some of the above principles to your routine. If you are having trouble thinking of something talk to someone else about it and see if they have any ideas. Feel free to ask me either on this blog, in social media (I’m the only Ben Toolson that I know of) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could even have some friendly competition with a friend or specific group comparing results of a specific workout.
While adding some of the above ideas to your exercise can make it more fun and competitive make sure that form is still foremost on your mind. Pushing through the last few reps and sets or going that extra couple of minutes with terrible form can lead to injury. This is especially true if you are doing this on consistent basis.
Let me know what you are doing to make your exercise and physical activity more fun and engaging with a comment below!