2017 is a month underway! How are your resolutions going? Fitness is one of the most common New Year’s Resolution. We thought, who better than our own Fitness and Nutrition Manager, Janelle Avery, to speak into finding a fitness routine that you can stick to AND enjoy! We’re so excited to share her encouragement and wisdom in today’s post!
Have you ever gotten to the point where you know that working out and exercising is good for your body, but you just don’t enjoy it? Or maybe you are someone who would love to incorporate fitness into your life, but vowed not to EVER walk into the gym. Or you may be the person who really wants to enjoy working out, but it just seems miserable to you. Besides, who wants to put themselves through achy muscles and soreness?
I get it! Working out can become unpleasant and flat out BORING!!!
Below are six ways you can incorporate FUN into fitness and your workouts! At Mercy, I have found that introducing these key elements into our fitness time helps residents discover what motivates them and how they can easily continue healthy ways of living when they graduate and leave our program
1. Think Outside The Gym
Working out is not just about spending money for gym memberships and walking into a room with intimidating machines. While the gym is great for many people, it could also be stressful to many others. Don’t let gym membership stop you for working out and moving your body.
I once read an article from the Psychology of Eating, called Happy Exercise vs. Stress Exercise. In the article, they found that people who work out (particularly run) doing exercises they don’t like did not see any health benefits. However, the people who did exercises and activities they enjoyed saw major improvements. The article concluded that people can cause the body to release cortisol (the stress hormone) by simply doing exercises they don’t like. All to say, do physical activities and exercises that are in your comfort zone and that you enjoy!
Below are some options:
- Horseback riding
- Rock Climbing
- Walks at a park
- Paddle boarding
- Ultimate Frisbee
2. Buddy Up!
It’s a lot more fun working out with a buddy. This helps with accountability and consistency. Your friend can be your cheerleader and someone you can relate to. Friends understand the effort you’re putting forth in the activity. Socializingwith friends can help keep you motivated. For those who dislike competing, a running club or aerobics class would be great for you. Others may find competing with others motivating. Do what works for you.
3. Combine Exercise With Things You Enjoy
Think of things that you like and enjoy, then be creative and see how that can bring your health benefits. For example, many people have a favorite TV show. You could watch your favorite TV show while riding a stationary bike or elliptical. For those of you who like dancing and listening to music, you can dance while doing chores or hiking. If you like playing basketball, think about joining a recreational league in your local community or college.
We encourage our residents to use exercising time to pray and spend time with the Lord. Think about it! You may be outside running or inside shooting basketballs, and you take some time to share with the Lord your thoughts, emotions, and prayer. Exercise can represent a sacred space to commune with Jesus. How redeeming is that?
4. Celebrate Small Victories Each Week Or Month
Every victory is worth celebrating! For example, if your goal is to work out three times each week, at the end of the month you can reward yourself by purchasing a new water bottle or by keeping a victory journal and adding a new sticker. Another victory may be that you didn’t have any negative thoughts about your body for a full week. That is an awesome victory worth celebrating! You could reward yourself by making or purchasing an encouraging room décor. Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate!
5. Run or Walk for Cause
If you are motivated by helping others, runs and walks for causes are a great fit foryou! Signing up and training for a 5K, half marathon, or a full marathon to benefit others is a great motivator! Fundraiser races and events are a great way to raise awareness and honor the Lord with the abilities He has allowed you to have. You are loving yourself and loving others. WIN-WIN!
If this is you – Mercy Multiplied has FOUR Run For Mercy 5K and Family Walks this spring!
6. Try a New Style Every Quarter
Every season, try a new training style. For example:
- Winter = Kickboxing
- Spring = Running
- Summer = Water Aerobics
- Fall = Hiking
Mixing up your workouts quarterly may help you stay motivated and excited about exercise and taking care of yourself. It prevents the chance of boredom and ushers in embracing change. I personally do this in my own life as a health coach, and it’s my favorite thing to do!
Implement one or all of these tips to help you care for your health!
Find ENJOYMENT in working out this year!