Swellness Blog


Ways to Make Exercising Fun

fitness wellness Mar 04, 2024
ways to make exercising fun

Photo by Nina Uhlikova

Let's face it: working out is a chore. And if you're out of shape, strapped for time, or simply feeling unmotivated to get your move on, it's probably the last thing you want to spend time doing.

But the thing is, exercising (and doing it well) is crucial for maintaining your physical and mental health. Scientific research shows that the benefits of regularly working out include: 

  • longevity gains
  • improved brain health
  • weight management
  • cardiovascular health improvement
  • boosts to your immune system
  • decreased chances of sustaining a bone or muscle injury

There are no contraindications for adding at least some physical activity to your daily routine.

So, if you're struggling to keep up with your workouts, feel like your weekly gym session leaves something to be desired, or just want to help yourself enjoy the time you spend on your body, here are some of the best ways to make exercising more fun.

Turn Your Hikes and Runs into Epic Adventures

If you ask people who aren't fans of hiking or running what makes them feel so, they'll probably tell you one of two things. On the one hand, they may feel like these forms of exercise are too exerting. Or, more likely, they'll tell you that moving in a straight line without a well-defined goal feels pointless.

Now, if you're one of the people who hate these types of workouts because the type of movement doesn't work for you, then finding alternative ways to get your steps in probably makes for the most logical way to make your exercising more enjoyable. However, if you just need an end destination, you could experiment with turning your hikes and runs into an adventure.

For example, if you're a Lord of the Rings fan, you could download the Fantasy Hike app to your smartphone and turn your workouts into an epic journey to Mount Doom. Or, if that's not your cup of tea, you could experiment with a bit of competition.

Psychology research shows that people who are in competitive groups put more effort into their workouts. In fact, one study found that a healthy dose of competition made people go to 90% more exercise classes than those who weren't trying to outperform their peers. With this in mind, it might not be a bad idea to invite a few of your friends or family members to share their Apple Watch rings with you and see who does best. For an added dose of inspiration, you could also set up a reward for the winner.

Add Some Music, a Podcast, or Your Favorite TV Show

If your reason for avoiding exercise includes feeling bored while doing it, it might be time to add a bit of background noise to your workout routine.

For example, recent scientific research showed that listening to music for 9 minutes can lift your mood, making you feel happy or excited. So why not put on some of your favorite energizing tunes and get yourself pumped before going to the gym?

Or, if you prefer to immerse yourself in a story, you could make exercising more fun by listening to an ebook or podcast. In fact, if you're going to work out on a treadmill or stationary bike, you could even watch an episode of your favorite TV show while getting your move on. It's the perfect way to motivate yourself to do something beneficial for your health and a helpful aid in ensuring your workout is long enough to see benefits.

Exercise with Friends

Another superb strategy to make your workouts more fun is to simply do them with a friend.

You see, meeting up with your bestie to do an exercise class isn't just a great opportunity for both of you to invest in your physical health. It can be a valuable opportunity to catch up once or twice a week. Plus, it can be the dose of motivation you may lack from time to time.

If your social circle doesn't include people who are into working out, you could also use exercise as an excuse to make new friends. For instance, by joining a run club, a dance class, or picking up a team sport like soccer, you can easily allow yourself to expand your social horizons and make new acquaintances. And who knows, you might meet someone you really dig during these workouts who doesn't just share your hobby but your interests as well.

Track Your Progress in a Journal, a Mirror, or Using a Scale

Are you the type of person who's motivated by progress? Or do you, perhaps, enjoy the process of documenting your journey? If that's the case, you might want to start tracking your workouts to make exercising more fun.

It doesn't matter whether you record your gym sessions in a journal, snap a shameless selfie in the mirror before or after each workout, or decide to use your scale to keep track of how you're doing in reaching your fitness goals. What matters is that you're giving yourself the recognition you deserve for putting in the hard work.

If you look at psychological research, tracking progress doesn't just make you more likely to succeed. It can also be a motivational force — especially if you choose to share your journey with others.

Moreover, keeping tabs on how your exercise habits are working gives you the unique opportunity to recognize whether you need to make adjustments to your workout, nutrition, or supplement regime. 

Something as simple as stepping on a scale every morning can be a great way to tell whether you're building muscle and losing fat or if you need to step up your game. Or, tracking how you feel during your workouts could reveal that you need a pick-me-up before your gym sessions, whether in the form of a thermogenic fat burner, a cup of coffee, or a carbohydrate-rich meal.

Pick a Cute Outfit

Last but not least, if your reasons for taking up an exercise routine involve feeling better in your skin, then you might as well try to make your workouts more fun by ensuring you look super cute during them.

We all know the unique transformative powers of a great outfit. And while going for a run doesn't necessarily leave the door open to too many fashion statements, it's still a great opportunity to look your best.

The great thing about embarking on a fashion-inspired fitness journey in 2024 is that many of this year's trends work well for your workouts. 

For instance, a pair of cargo joggers would look great at the gym. If you're a fan of the dainty ballet-core look, then you might as well try a dance class. A stylish polo or cricket sweater could work perfectly for a tennis lesson. And if you love a brightly-colored pair of chunky kicks, then you could simply opt for a high-performance pair of running shoes to make your daily run more exciting.

Wrapping Up

Whether your relationship with fitness leans towards the love or hate side of the scale, you can rest assured that finding ways to make exercising more fun is guaranteed to help you reach your goals faster.

So, don't hesitate to play around with the strategies outlined in this article. Sure, not all of them may work for your specific needs. But if a small change to your routine or mindset could help you be more consistent with your workout routine or simply make exercising more enjoyable, then that's all the motivation you need.