5 Ways To Make Exercise Not Feel Like Exercise
Exercise is an essential ingredient in the formula of a healthy life, and for women who have dealt with breast cancer (or any other serious medical issue or event) it becomes even more important. But the fact is that no matter how much we may know it’s good for us, we are still human. Things like work, personal and social lives, and simply rediscovering who we are after such a traumatic health crisis, can all get in the way.
In addition to all of those factors, sometimes the routine itself just gets stale and tiresome. But since we already know how vital it is to make working out and being active a steady part of our lives, quitting is simply not an option. With that in mind, here are five ways to help you shake things up and keep your fitness activities fun yet challenging:
1. Get Outdoors
One of the things that tends to make exercise seem dull and repetitive is when it takes place in the same location (house, gym, garage, fitness studio) and the scenery never changes. As we all know, monotony can ruin even the most fun activities and working out is no different. When you take your fitness program out on the road, you not only get to enjoy different sights and sounds, but the fresh air and sunshine will also add to the benefits of what you are already getting.
2. Plan an Active Vacation (And Then Train for It)
What better way to find that extra motivation and excitement that you are lacking in your exercise than by taking a trip and spending time with those that you love the most? Maybe it’s a ski vacation you would most enjoy. How about braving the Whitewater Rapids? Perhaps mountain climbing is more up your alley. Whatever it is, having a goal in front of you can help you tremendously in the here and now.
3. Workout with a Group
Just as continuously working out in the same setting (Tip #1) can become boring and unfulfilling, so can constantly working out by yourself. Having someone there to chat with, joke around with a little, and help to encourage you can do wonders for the overall enjoyment of the activity. If you don’t have any friends who are able to exercise according to your schedule or style, joining a fitness class or social workout group at the gym can give you the company that might be just what you need.
4. Eat Healthy
While this may seem like a no brainer, for many people the connection between unhealthy food and lack of motivation for physical activity doesn’t seem very important. When you make healthier and more nutritious choices in your diet, it not only helps to motivate you to exercise more, it also gives you more energy, higher endurance levels, and quicker recovery time. Part of this is making sure you get enough protein from sources like lean meat, but also trying superfoods like hemp hearts, leafy greens and berries.
5. Make Recovery as Important as the Workouts
What not to do when you are trying to find ways to improve your fitness routine and enjoy it more? Push yourself too hard. We all see the commercials and read the motivational posters at the gym with the catchy slogans and little quips of wisdom. “Fitness doesn’t take a day off” or “When you think you can’t do one more rep, do two.”
While these are nice in the moment and may help sell memberships and T-shirts, the truth is that if you are constantly pushing yourself to 110% every workout and not listening to your body, eventually you could crash and burn.
This is not a race, and there is no finish line. It is a way of life. It is about listening to our bodies and what they are saying to us. If yours is telling you it needs a day of rest and recovery, listen to it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still eat healthy, take your vitamins and supplements, and drink plenty of water.
It also doesn’t mean that you can’t push a little bit harder tomorrow with that extra day of energy reserve stored up and ready to blast off. It just means that today, like tomorrow, and every single day after that, you are simply doing what is best for your body and your health and wellness.
Madison Adams is a beauty and health blogger who is just as focused on her next lavender latte as she is on writing. Using her psychology degree, she likes to draw on human insights to make her writing (and life) more impactful. When she’s not writing, Madison can be found being walked by her giant labradoodle, Grover.
Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer and are interested in exercise? Here is what you need to know.