9 Ways to Make Exercise Fun

Need encouragement to move more? Follow these easy exercise tips.

Posted in , Jul 24, 2017

Millie and two friends smile after taking part in a triathlon

Are you intimidated by exercise, as Millie Jackson once was? Don’t be. Like most activities, exercise gets easier with practice. “You’re more likely to stick with something if you enjoy it,” says Pam Rodgers, well-being coordinator and personal trainer at the Good Samaritan Society’s Las Cruces Village retirement community, in New Mexico. “Make it fun!” Her tips for getting the most out of exercise:

Start slowly. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate cardio (such as brisk walking) three times a week, and build from there. If you have a medical condition or injury, check with your doctor first.

Work with a trainer. “It’s a good way to begin if you’re new to exercise,” Rodgers says. “Many gyms offer a free fitness assessment and training session with membership.”

Make it part of your daily routine. “Put exercise on your schedule, just like any other appointment,” Rodgers suggests. “You’ll be less likely to let something else get in the way.”

Move to music. “Music adds so much to a workout,” says Rodgers. “It helps you set your pace, and it elevates your mood.” Studies have shown that listening to music makes exercise, even high-intensity interval training, feel easier.

Switch things up. Do different types of exercise—cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance—not only to avoid boredom but to improve overall fitness. “Balance training helps prevent falls as you get older,” Rodgers notes.

Take classes. “Exercising with others is motivating,” Rodgers says. A new study suggests that any activity that involves moving and socializing, such as group fitness sessions, helps maintain brain health.

Buddy up. No classes? Find a workout partner. “You’ll encourage each other and keep each other accountable,” Rodgers says. “You won’t skip a workout if it means letting your buddy down.”

Think positive. Remember Proverbs 23:7? As you think in your heart, so you are. Don’t let defeatist thoughts deter you. For example, instead of “I’m too old (or too fat) to get in shape,” remind yourself “Day by day, step by step, I’m getting stronger.”

Set a goal, whether it’s running a 5K, walking without a cane or dancing at a grandchild’s wedding. A trainer can design a fitness program to help you reach your goal.

For more resources to help you ease into healthier routines, visit good-sam.com/guideposts

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