Fitness is FUN!!! Or is it for you? Calling something “fun” doesn’t automatically make it feel like a party, does it? For many people, workouts feel more like work than anything else. If that’s the case, it’s definitely time to ditch the drudgery and focus on how joyful physical movement – whatever that might involve for you – can fuel your fitness.
If exercise makes you happy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. How can you incorporate pleasurable movements into your day? It’s pretty easy to pinpoint activities that aggravate us or make us feel uncomfortable. But, what makes you smile? How do you play? Maybe you love 10-mile runs. Maybe you don’t. One movement does not suit all when it comes to fitness. Identify your joy. Model your movements around it, and you’ll find your best fit.
When It Comes to Joyful Movements Consider This…
Activities like gardening, walking to work, biking to do errands, playing with your dog, dancing at a wedding or in your kitchen, and other things you might not ordinarily count as exercise (but that you do because you enjoy them!) deserve to be celebrated and expanded upon. All of those types of informal activities outside of the gym can keep you healthy.
Spirited movements you recall from childhood can automatically make you smile.
Pepper those joyful movements into your life without apology. Jumping rope, biking aimlessly, running barefoot in the grass, skipping, swinging from a bar, red light/green light drills, running swiftly downhill, playing tag, balance walking on a curb, defying gravity on a trampoline and like activities can feel liberating. If movements that you find joyful aren’t part of your workouts, figure out how to include them so that you can’t help but grin as you develop grit!
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A change in venue can spur creative movement.
Swiping your membership card at the gym might feel satisfying, but that might not be enough to sustain your happiness through a workout. Remember, fitness can be found in many ways outside those doors, too. Go out and explore the options. Do some tricep dips on a park bench, lunge while pushing a stroller, or go find a playground to create your own obstacle course.
Play a game.
Whether it’s a cooperative effort or a winner-takes-all competition, play with your friends. When was the last time you bowled or played catch? Have you ever tried a team scavenger hunt? Things like Pokemon Go and geocaching have gotten many people moving and exploring.
If you want to rest, by all means, rest.
Maybe movement doesn’t sound fun to you on a given day. Keep the joy in movement by giving yourself a break. Listen to your mind and body. Maybe stillness is what you need to find your peace.
When it comes down to it, emphasizing joyful movements means losing the judgment about what constitutes exercise. In that way, you can put inhibitions aside and focus your joy as you move into a healthy space.