The benefits of exercise are well known. From combating stress and boosting your mood to improving sleep quality and brain function, it’s clear that exercise is a necessity for many aspects of wellness. In order to reap these benefits, though, you’ve got to keep up with it. Staying motivated, however, can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to keep exercise fun and engaging. Try these hacks to stay on track.
1. Exercise with a friend
The next time you want to catch up with a friend, invite them for a workout session. Whether you’re walking around the neighborhood, hiking a trail or just meeting up at the gym, working out with a friend makes exercise feel like more fun. Having a fitness partner will also help keep you accountable. Let yourselves splurge afterward with a massage, fresh juice or cup of coffee or tea to further boost the motivation.
2. Exercise for charity
There’s joy in giving, and even greater joy when you get to exercise while you’re at it. Find a group that organizes charity runs or marathons and register for a race. Get a friend or two to participate so the giving is increased. Charity runs are an amazing way to make a difference while also taking care of yourself.
3. Use social media for accountability
Social media is an ideal way to get the cheering you need to wake up each day and start your workout. Take advantage of this by documenting your fitness journey on your social media channels. Knowing that your ‘cheerleaders’ will be waiting to see your progress will inspire you to put in more effort. Social media also can instill a sense of accountability that will help you avoid missing exercise sessions.
4. Move your exercise to morning
There’s always so much to do in a day — work or school, parenting, chores and more. By the end of the day, who wants to exercise? Spin this around by starting your day with exercise. When you exercise in the morning, you’ll have increased energy and a boosted mood to carry out your day’s work with ease. Also, it’s much less likely that anything will get in the way of your exercise time when it’s scheduled first thing in the morning.
5. Do some bed exercises
Even with workouts scheduled in the morning, there are days you might not feel like getting out of bed and exercising. So go ahead and stay in bed! Just do some bed-friendly exercises. Some good options include planks, side planks, scissor legs, ab crunches and jack splits. This will help you to get energized before your feet even hit the ground for the day.
6. Combine your TV time with a workout
Another hack to make you look forward to your workout session is to do something fun at the same time. Instead of watching your favorite show or a new movie curled up on your couch, save it for your workout time. Run on the treadmill while watching, and you’ll be amazed how far you can go. You might even find yourself moving on to the next episode for a longer workout and even better results.
7. Have some fun with an electric bike
Skipping workouts to avoid feeling pain and decreased energy? Consider trying an electric bike. Although they’re motored, electric bikes still require some pedaling and arm work. This, coupled with extended ride times (because, how fun is it to go further and faster?!), will help increase your heart rate and contribute to cardiovascular health.