If you don’t like to break a sweat and think exercise is a chore, it will be a chore. Most of us will avoid chores, given the opportunity. That’s why trainers and fitness pros say the single biggest thing you can do to enjoy working out is to fundamentally change how you feel about it. Putting a positive perspective on exercise makes you more likely to do it, but successfully reprogramming yourself to love a sweat sesh is easier said than done.
The first step to making exercise feel less miserable? Know that you’re normal for feeling like it’s hard in the first place. And these tricks from fitness pros can help too.
- Realize the first eight minutes are always terrible- Runners have a saying: “The first mile is the worst mile.” And just knowing the first few minutes of exercise may be brutal will help you keep going until those endorphins kick in.
- “Date” exercises, don’t “marry” them- The one area of your life where you should be promiscuous? TrainerJeanette DePatie says it’s exercise. Instead of committing to the first class or activity you find, take the time to keep searching for the right workout for you.
- Use self-talk- Don’t underestimate the power of telling yourself, “You got this!” According to one study, cyclists who used self-talk before a race saw a 39% increase in endurance.
- Phone a friend- Need some motivation? Recruiting a pal to join you for a workout will help you get over it and help hold you accountable to your fitness routine, too.
- Think beyond your body- Instead of connecting your workout to just your body, trainer Rohan Arora advises that you focus on what it can do for other areas of your life, like confidence, stress relief and overall mood improvement.
- Practice gratitude- Being thankful for the body you have and its ability to move freely can also help put a new spin on working out.