Having children has taught me so much about myself, or at least reminded me of things I use to know, but have ‘forgotten’ as I strove to be a mature adult. I won’t get into all of that since this is a health-related blog, but one thing in particular is health-related. If it’s going to keep your attention, it needs to be fun. I can harp on my kids to do what I want them to do all day long and sure, they’ll probably reluctantly do it. If it’s fun, however, it will keep their attention. Fitness is the same way. You’ve got to have fun doing it or you won’t.
I’m reminded of that episode of Friends where Rachel and Phoebe go running. Rachel is appalled by Phoebe’s crazy running style and won’t run with her anymore. Phoebe tells her that it’s fun that way and who cares what everyone else thinks. Later on, Rachel tries Phoebe’s run and guess what … yep it’s fun! Sometimes a girl just has to embrace her inner dork.
One reason people don’t meet their goals with weight loss is because they look at a diet as a negative thing. I can’t do what I want to do. See how negative that sentence is? If instead, you approach it as a change in your lifestyle, then it’s about you making a conscious choice to change the direction of your life. You are making a positive change. That said, you still need to have fun. You’re not going to keep up workouts that make you miserable for the rest of your life.
One small way I’ve been having fun with my workouts is how I name them on my tracking program. Since I got my heart rate monitor, I can now track my personal calories burned on My Fitness Pal. Yesterday I logged my run, “I just felt like runnin'” (you know, from Forrest Gump). The other day I ran on the treadmill so instead of calling it something generic like “run”, I called it “I hate running on the treadmill.” Which is true, I do hate it.
But, Julie, you just said you needed to have fun, you hypocrite, doing something you hate. Now I never said that everytime you worked out it had to be something that was fun. It does all have to balance with your goals too. I hate going to the dentist, but as a mature grown up I do it every 6 months because I need to in order to maintain my health. That particular run was on the treadmill, because I chose to sleep in that morning (which was fun!) and so that left me with naptime in which to run. And I wasn’t about to leave a 2 year and a 2 month old alone in a house for 40 minutes by themselves while I ran. So that left me with skipping the workout (not what I wanted) or using the treadmill. Easy choice for me.
I guess my point is that if I only ever ran on the treadmill then I wouldn’t keep it up because it’s no fun for me.
What types of activities are fun for you?