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How to make fitness fun again

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

As some of you know, I started (and by starting, I mean somewhat attempting) P90X this week and it's really kicking my butt. And I'm even modifying most of the workouts so I don't collapse on the floor and die! haha

I decided I would take it easy today since I'm in pain and I'm already filled with guilt about not working out or doing cardio. I just started thinking to myself tonight, "Since when has working out become such a chore and burden to me? Have I always felt like this? Have I ever really enjoyed working out?" I absolutely dread starting my workouts because I don't enjoy them at all and just want to get it over with so I can track my calories burned on SP.

When I recall my younger days, I never had a workout regimen. I only had the outdoors to go on bike rides and sports to be involved in. To me, that was NOT working out and I loved it. I could spend hours doing what I loved and somehow (miraculously to me) I was always healthy.

These days, I am not strong enough or fast enough (or so it feels) to be involved in sports and recreational activities; I feel like I have to work myself back up so I don't look or feel like a fool. I know most people would reply that I shouldn't feel that way and just do what I love, but it's really hard...harder than most know. To add to that disgusted feeling of myself that I have, I just think about how easy it was for me to do those things before...and look at me now!

I know I need to work on loving myself for what I am right here and now and forever. But how do people stay interested? How do I make these workouts more appealing until I feel comfortable enough to join a sport? Does it go back to motivation and inspiration? What are your thoughts?
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    I'm a cyclist. Not a racer mind you... I just tool along the back roads and thoroughly enjoy the ride. I only wish I could do it all year long. Bicycling makes me feel like a kid again. Once the winter is finally over, I'll be commuting to work on the bike every day, weather permitting.

    But I hate strength training. It's just something I know I have to do. I schedule it and get it done. I don't like to do it, but I like the results, and I'm proud of myself when I'm done. But I don't push myself so hard that I'm exhausted for the rest of the day and in pain the following 3 days. It's a balance. I have to push myself enough to gain strength and endurance, so the next day I feel the workout, but not so much that I'm crippled.

    I have never done P90X. It seems really grueling. I'm sure it's a great workout, but it's 6 days a week, 1-1/2 to 2 hours a day. For me, I'd rather do 3 workouts of 30 minutes than do one 90 minute workout. I usually schedule 3 workout sessions: 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch (walking) and 30 minutes in the evening. If something interferes with one session, I still have the other 2 so I won't end up with a zero. My lunch session is just walking. In the morning it's either strength training or spin bike, and in the evening it might be walking, strength training, spin bike or yoga, depending on what I did for the other 2 workout sessions. When I start commuting to/from work on the bicycle, I'll drop the spin bike from the plan.

    Keep trying until you find a plan that works for you. And then keep tweaking it. There's no perfect fitness plan. You'll always have to keep adjusting it as your fitness level changes, or your schedule changes, or other circumstances come and go.
    1801 days ago
    You are both right. I really feel like I have a lot of catching up to do, which is probably why I'm pushing myself into things too fast or things I don't really want to do. And when I can't exercise the way I used to, I feel like I'm failing a little which makes me hate the activity I'm doing. I will try and slow down a bit to enjoy the run. I'm getting better, especially with my breathing so it makes it a little more enjoyable. Do people eventually grow to love their workouts? I mean does anyone seriously grow to love a program like P90X? Serious question! :o) Because I wish I loved it and wished that I didn't want to end every workout early.

    Don--I LOVE Zumba. And I'd probably love salsa and swing, but I don't want to touch anyone when I'm all sweaty. I know, it's probably something ridiculous to say, but I've become very self-conscious. Maybe Ill just check out some Zumba classes first!
    1805 days ago
    Variety is the spice of life AND workouts!

    Fun and enjoyment is a big piece of having a successful workout also...who is gonna stick with a workout that's all sweat and grunts and aches and pains?

    That is why cycling has been such a wonderful outlet for let's my "little kid" come out and WHOOP it up whizzing along streets and down hills. For me, taking it outdoors helps to considerably bump up my enjoyment of activities...which is why I try to incorporate activities such as kayaking, cross country skiing, hiking, Nordic walking.

    Think back to your earlier years...what kind of activities did you really LOVE? What brought you "out to play"? How can you do more of that now?

    Another fun activity to build into your routine is dance! Our area has a number of outlets for dancing, whether it's the Southern Tier Swing Dance Society or the Salsa Music Appreciation Club or the bazillion Zumba classes that are everywhere.

    Hoping you'll come up with some fun inspiration for yourself!

    1806 days ago
    Start off slow and ease into it. Back in my running days, my first objective for every run was to enjoy it, then to finish it.

    A lot of it has to do with building up your strength and endurance, gradually doing more...persistence and consistency are key.....then one day, you'll wake up wondering when you GET to work out, rather than thinking you HAVE to work out.

    Good luck!
    1806 days ago
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