Habits of Fit People: Find Something Fun

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
9/2/2008 3:18 PM   :  134 comments

You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: Find something fun to do. So why does something like this matter?

Exercise is often viewed as one of those necessary evils. You know you SHOULD be doing it, and you know that it has all sorts of benefits, from weight loss to better sleep. But often, just knowing that it's good for you isn't enough to make you work out. It becomes something that people dread. It's boring. It's hard work. And you'd rather be doing something else. You probably have a long list of exercises or workouts that you hate (mine includes the treadmill, most gym machines, and exercising alone). But instead of forcing yourself to do those things, why not take the time to explore things that you just might like, and then create a workout program based around that?

Why it works: I think this is a pretty obvious one. When you're having fun, banishing boredom, learning new skills or simply enjoying yourself, then exercise becomes something that you WANT to do, not something that you HAVE to do.

Keep in mind that there are lots of non-traditional activities and hobbies that can be fun and fitness-oriented. You could try rock climbing, joining and adult sports league, Nintendo Wii, ballroom dancing, martial arts, swimming lessons, playing with your kids, dancing around the house to your favorite tunes—anything that gets your body moving! My own workout program involves very few activities that I don't enjoy. I've discovered that I like Spinning classes (the group environment and great music motivates me), Pilates (it takes major focus and concentration), hiking and walking outdoors (it doesn't feel like exercise) and strength training at the gym (because I like to push myself). I also enjoy a good workout DVD now and then. I know that I'm more likely to work out and push myself if I take a class at the gym than if I do it on my own, too. Since these things are fun to me, I don't dread my workout time—I look forward to it!

I think that if you want to exercise regularly, you should find something that you enjoy (or can tolerate at the very least). When you look forward to your workout, there's nothing stopping you from doing it!

What's the most fun you've ever had while exercising?


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Comments

  • 84
    I ski... I skate... I love both, I look forward to both. I panic a little when they are not available. As I've been getting healthier bit by bit, I'm starting to enjoy more things and it's becoming more fun to get going. Next spring, I'm going to buy a bike! - 11/27/2008   11:08:08 AM
  • 83
    We have apark close to our house where you can rent multi-people bikes, me and my two daughter have been several times and it is a Blast!!! - 11/13/2008   8:39:19 AM
  • TOTTIEGEE
    82
    This afternoon I was in K-mart to buy a new storge unit for the garage,and I somehow wound up in the dvd section looking at the latest workout dvd's and let me tell you there were so many dance, zumba, latin, cha cha, and so on, now it got me thinking that when I was my at my slenderest I was of course younger and no kids so what did I do, went out dancing all the time, so I figure if I cannot make it to the gym why not just throw on some hot tunes and dance, shoot I may look totally stupid, cant move as well as I used to however some moving is better than not regardless of how much jiggles and wiggles, who knows maybe it will work. right. I know that it totally makes me breathless...so I am willing to give it a try. - 11/2/2008   7:56:15 PM
  • DONNCARR
    81
    I love to dance but have a little too much jiggle in the middle to dance too much!

    I would have to say that outside roller skating with my daughters on the bike trail at a local (huge) park about 15 years ago. We would skate for a couple of hours and it was great. Now I am afraid I will fall and break something so I don't skate. I still look at skates at Target and think about going for it but I have a house payment to make and if I break something, I would have trouble!! - 10/27/2008   3:59:32 PM
  • 80
    Contra dancing, an american folk dance form sometimes billed as the most fun you'll have with your clothes on. easy, fun, low judgment, taught stuff (hey, if I can dance while having an absence seizure, you can do it too). - 10/13/2008   4:44:53 PM
  • DUCHESSDORIGHT
    79
    Dancing, especially back when I could go see my brother's band. Working in the yard on a nice day with my boyfriend. Playing in the ocean (when I'm near an ocean). I used to love riding my exercise bike, but lately I've gotten out of the habit & it's lost its appeal. Amazing how fast that can happen... - 10/11/2008   11:18:50 AM
  • 78
    I need some suggestions for dance-based workout DVDs. I think I would love them and hope no one is around to see the show! - 10/10/2008   10:20:08 PM
  • 77
    Amusement parks,the zoo & playing with your kids-grand kids! Even play wrestling & tickling each other on the floor, burns calories. It doesn't feel like your exercising! - 10/10/2008   1:12:18 PM
  • 76
    The most fun I've had exercising lately has been last night when I played soccer for the first time in a very long time and my pole dancing classes. - 9/25/2008   3:29:44 PM
  • RUBY26
    75
    Dancehall and step aerobics classes! and I've recently taken up walking everywhere. I also have a intermittent love-hate relationship with jogging :) - 9/16/2008   5:32:19 PM
  • 74
    Paint-balling!!! Tons of fun and burns lots of calories with constant running around dodging, ducking & shooting. - 9/13/2008   12:42:28 AM
  • EMMAJAY7
    73
    golf golf and more golf
    - 9/10/2008   11:21:04 PM
  • 72
    Turbo Jam by Beach Body is great. My kids actually get up and do it with me. It's like Taebo and dance combined and it really works the abs. It doesn't feel much like exercise at all. - 9/9/2008   12:57:16 PM
  • 71
    Quiet water kayaking is the most fun I've ever had exercising. The exercise isn't just the paddling, but carrying the 'yak to the water for launching. When you paddle correctly, it's a great core-muscle workout. - 9/9/2008   10:59:09 AM
  • 70
    The most fun I've ever had working out has been at organized walking events for charity. I've met some cool people and made a contribution to a worthwile cause in the process. Very best one I participated in had one leg of the course where we walked on the beach on the shore of Lake Michigan--breathtaking! - 9/7/2008   11:57:53 AM
  • 69
    I do all type of activites that I enjoy. I love horseback riding and go usually once a week; I take some dance classes at school and after school; I also train for my school's track team (I hope to do the 100m sprint this year!). One of my favorite things is to workout at the gym which is sort of like Curves. 30 minutes of 30 second intervals of cardio and strength training. I've been at the Swann (the gym) for about a year now so it feels like a family when I go there. I also enjoy biking, skipping, pilates, yoga, tae bo, hiking, walking my dog, playing tennis, etc. Exercise is just fun to me and it boosts my mood! - 9/7/2008   8:49:23 AM
  • CHERIBEARI
    68
    Oh,man, this one time I got on the elliptical at the Y and I just went to town because I felt like the person inside me, the one buried underneath layers of fat, had finally been set free for the first time. I feel like there's a me underneath the padding that has no problem with running, picking up my kids, or playing soccer. I want to find that person, everyday. - 9/6/2008   3:56:43 PM
  • MAGGIELOU4
    67
    Iis harder to exercise by yourself, but I joined the local ymca and I just go. I have met a couple of people. I talk to different people everyday. I still wish I had a buddy to hang out with. - 9/6/2008   4:47:07 AM
  • 66
    Working out alone is definitely a drag. Unfortunately, I haven't met very many people since moving, and the people I DO know aren't interested in exercise. I wish I had a fitness buddy or two to keep me motivated and make exercising more fun. - 9/5/2008   2:35:57 AM
  • 65
    I Love BellyDancing! You burn 300 calories an hour doing it!Woo-Hoo! Not to mention how HOT it makes you feel! - 9/4/2008   7:47:04 PM
  • 64
    I LOVE Dragonboat racing! This sport is so much fun, I got myself fit so I could be better at it! It's a lot of work, but the work feels good, and the camaraderie that comes of being on a team is like icing on the cake! :D - 9/4/2008   5:39:37 PM
  • A*L*P*
    63
    LL Curtis, spinning is an indoor group cycling class. It is an amazing cardio workout. I do spinning 3x's a week. I love exercise, didn't think I would, but I can't NOT do it!! Amazing what happens when those healthy lifestyles take over!! - 9/4/2008   3:19:25 PM
  • 62
    What is spinning? - 9/4/2008   11:48:58 AM
  • 61
    A good "sport" i enjoy is GeoCaching... It gets me out walking/hiking and using my brain too... I mean where else could you use billion dollar satilites to look for tupperware in the middle of nowhere and get the thrills of treasure hunting without the extreme cost of all the equipment.

    Indiana Jones watch out here I come LOL! - 9/4/2008   9:48:19 AM
  • 60
    I am still working on things that I CAN do.. I have limited access.. but I do enjoy my morning workouts with my dumbells.. and the ballancing possitions. I absolutely love yard work.. taking care of my plants and such and believe me i found that painting the fence in our back yard can be a bit of a workout.. But I like doing it. :) - 9/4/2008   8:59:17 AM
  • 59
    I think the most fun are the dance classes at my gym, or the Masala Bhangra Workout DVD's. :) VERY VERY FUN. - 9/3/2008   9:08:39 PM
  • 58
    I love bike riding and dancing, I have always liked "exercising" and never find it boring or tedious. - 9/3/2008   7:34:02 PM
  • 57
    When I used to dance at clubs in my early twenties, my good girlfriend, who I used to go with, used to call me "Wild Hips Woman". That was really fun! It was always fast dancing, and we stayed for hours, and I always drank Coke so I had plenty of energy to keep up with the music. - 9/3/2008   6:04:48 PM
  • 56
    I love doing dance-based workout DVDs. I am sure I look like a complete fool doing them because I lack skills, but I love them! It's a great workout and it's fun. - 9/3/2008   3:30:48 PM
  • 55
    I'm probably the only person in the world who does not like any physical activitiy. I work out because I know it's essential to live a better, healthier life. But, if I had the choice, I would be doing one of my hobbies, all of which happen to be sedentary. I've tried all kinds of activity, and I've stuck with the ones that don't feel like I'm pulling my own teeth out. I'm simply not someone who likes being active! - 9/3/2008   2:40:22 PM
  • 54
    i love to conoe and play tennis.I find it hard to find people to be active with,i am competitive and if there was someone or a group to be active with i would be a lot more active.How do i find groups that dont charge money to have fun with ??? - 9/3/2008   2:37:01 PM
  • JAZZERCISEGENIE
    53
    I love it all but jazzercise is the best. Just ordered some pilates and yoga stability ball dvd's so excited about trying something totally different for me. - 9/3/2008   2:30:18 PM
  • 52
    This is exactly what I try to do, I LOVE to dance! In my mind I always tought I wanted to be a back up dancer...lol But hey we can all dream! But yeah, I love to dance the weight off, and it works great!! - 9/3/2008   1:20:15 PM
  • 51
    I like to do water aerobics with a group. I also like to geocache with my husband. - 9/3/2008   1:03:08 PM
  • 50
    I recently tried disc golf. It takes about 2 hours to finish 18 holes and you are walking up and down hills, digging your disc out of trees(if your not that good :x), and trudging through who knows what else the whole time. It goes by really quick because your just hanging out with your friends. - 9/3/2008   1:02:24 PM
  • 49
    I just tried Zumba and absoultly love it!! It's mostly dancing, and after an hour you don't even realize that you have just exercised. If you don't madke it fun, it won't get done!!! - 9/3/2008   12:23:36 PM
  • 48
    I love walking, especially nature walking. I also like dancing around the house to my 70's albums...they just don't make music like they used to! I also like doing strength-training with 10 minute solution dvds, very short and focused with great instructors. I'd like to hike with a group, and imporve my swimming in the future. - 9/3/2008   11:10:04 AM
  • 47
    My favorite workout, that I love doing is dancing with my kids. It really kicks your butt to dance with an 11 year old, 9 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, and even the baby that’s 1 1/2. 30 minutes of that, I'm huffing and puffing! But not them, so we keep going. I consider that my cardio, I have never been big on the videos and I don't have any equipment or belong to a gym, so I dance, mow the lawn (push mower), go for walks with the kids, but dancing is my favorite!!!

    Strength training is a passion for me, I like the burn when I push myself for that extra 15 reps. Weird, I know. I know that I'm doing good when it gets to that point. - 9/3/2008   10:42:21 AM
  • 46
    I like to run outside. Not for the running itself - it is pretty hard but I love the sence of accomplishment after I'm done. Just when I think "that's it, can't go anymore" I find strenght to go a little longer. It makes me proud of myself. I would also love to try cross-country skiing (since I live so close to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and we see a lot of people doing it when we go there in winter) but I don't have a buddy to do it with. Need to look into it... - 9/3/2008   10:26:00 AM
  • 45
    Walking and gardening are my favorite things to do. - 9/3/2008   10:08:14 AM
  • 44
    I love my bicycle! My favorite moments this summer have been spent on it. I also love hiking, swimming, and my Wii Fit! I prefer being active outdoors, but the Wii Fit will come in especially handy for the colder months in the northeast. This winter I'm already planning to get out and cross country ski (something I loved when I was a kid, but haven't done in about 25 years!) and I am going to try snowshoeing! - 9/3/2008   9:19:14 AM
  • BING272
    43
    I like gardening. Planting, digging, raking and mowing I work up a sweat. - 9/3/2008   8:51:50 AM
  • 42
    My most fun exercise is definitely the horizontal tango, if you know what I mean. Other than that, I like walking my dog, hiking, playing tennis, and DANCE DANCE REVLOUTION! - 9/3/2008   8:20:58 AM
  • 41
    Very true. Just like school. If it's not fun or entertaining, I don't learn, nor do I CARE if I learn. I think most people are like that.
    Keep if FUN and then you don't even REALIZE that you've worked out!
    My Most Fun Exercising? Well, not RECENTLY, but (30 years ago) my mother and I would go 'Disco Hopping' in Spain - and DANCE our BUTTS off all night long! It was GREAT! :) - 9/3/2008   7:11:34 AM
  • 40
    I like to go on walk, ride bikes, and swim and my goal is to climb Mt Fuji next summer. Another fun thing for me is the WII FIT! It is so much fun! - 9/3/2008   7:09:58 AM
  • 39
    I am getting into walking... - 9/3/2008   6:25:05 AM
  • 38
    I have started the Couch to 5K programs, and I enjoy cycling or walking when the weather is nice, but the thing I really look forward to all week is my Tai Chi class. Over a hour of stretching, twisting and turning while deep breathing and calming the mind leave me both alert and wonderfully relaxed at the same time . Just what I need at the end of a hectic week. - 9/3/2008   6:03:23 AM
  • 37
    The most fun I've ever had exercising was the day I spent at a water park with my family. We did a lot of walking to get to the top of the water slides and the rides down were a blast. We did a lot of splashing around in the water that day too. By the end of the day we were all exhausted and had burned a lot of calories too. - 9/3/2008   1:55:43 AM
  • 36
    I enjoy horseback riding, swimming and what I call functional exercise. That's exercise that accomplishes something at the same time. In that category, I often pick blackberries or blueberries at this time of year, or I walk around the farmers market or go to an art gallery etc. - 9/3/2008   1:25:51 AM
  • 35
    Nice article. I love walking and I do have a dvd workout exercise tape. - 9/3/2008   1:23:42 AM

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