Having a good attitude about exercise makes the long term journey easier to manage
Make your workouts FUN (even though you don’t like to exercise)!
All human beings are programmed to actively seek out pleasure and avoid pain through a survival mechanism called the “Pleasure-Pain Principle”. In essence, the brain is programmed to constantly move us towards pleasure and away from pain to ensure the survival of the species. Because exercise is most often associated with pain, getting the most out of a workout can be challenging if the body subconsciously wants you to stop. By identifying your association with exercise and pain (negative feelings) and consciously changing your attitude about fitness, you can affect your ability to adhere to your fitness program!
People gravitate to activities that are fun and enjoyable and avoid those that are boring, unappealing or are (actually) painful. Although physical activity and exercise is really good for every human being on the planet (including you) … it’s just not fun.
For most people exercise and physical activity:
- Is extra work.
- Makes you sweaty and is unattractive to do.
- Is awkward and uncomfortable.
- Is inconvenient and time-consuming.
- Is low on the list of priorities.
If you change your own perception about physical activity and focus on the positive aspects of exercise it can be more fun and motivating to do on a regular basis! A great way to do this is by making your workouts (and your fitness program) like a game! Similar to fitness mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet, track your progress and make the process fun.
- Award yourself points for good work
- Remove points for missed workouts or bad eating habits
- Reward yourself with a prize for hitting specific goals or check points
- Enforce negative consequences for bad behavior (i.e. putting $1 in the “bad workout day” jar for missed workouts – the money is then spent on a reward for good behavior)
The only way exercise and activity will become enjoyable and something you are willing to invest in on a regular basis is if you make it fun. Be creative and find new ways to appreciate the exercise experience so it can become a part of your everyday life!
Written by TodaysFitnessTrainer (firstname.lastname@example.org).