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How to Enjoy Exercise: 7 Ways to Fall in Love With Fitness Again


Are your workouts starting to feel like a task to tick off your to-do list rather than something you enjoy doing? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there!

Working out can feel a lot easier when motivation is high which is often when we are trying something new. When it’s low it can feel like a real challenge sticking to workouts, and in turn keep active. While there are times when it’s good to take a break (resting is just as important), regular exercise is really important for our physical and mental health. Enjoying exercise is key in keeping active and reaping the many benefits of exercising.

Here are our tips to help you develop a fitness routine you love and enjoy:

1. Be kind to yourself

Whether you’re new to working out or you’ve taken some time off exercising and trying to get back into it, make sure to set realistic expectations. Setting the bar too high can often put a lot of self-pressure or result in disappointment which can make exercise less enjoyable. Allow yourself time to ease into your fitness routine. Remember, you can always build up from where you are now and taking time to establish a solid foundation will set you up for success in the long term.

2. Have a routine

Creating some structure or having a plan can help when it comes to staying consistent to your fitness routine. One way to do this is by allocating certain days of the week that you know you can commit to. For example, if you know you can realistically make Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6pm your workout times, adding this into your diary and working out at these times will help you to develop getting into the habit of exercising. However you decide to plan your routine, it’s a good idea to tailor it to your needs, preferences and goals, even if that means making it to the gym just once a week. That way, it will be much easier to stick to and enjoy!

3. Set some goals

In addition to having structure, it’s important to set some goals which motivate you to exercise. Have a think about what it is that you’d like to achieve that will leave you feeling proud. Is it doing a press up with really good form? Is it running a 5k? Is it learning how to lift weights with good technique? It is showing up to the gym consistently 3 times a week? Whatever goals you decide to achieve this can also guide how you go about your training. Check out our article on how to set fitness goals if you’re not sure where to start.

4. Do what you love

There are so many ways to exercise and move your body. Whether it’s walking, running, lifting weights, dancing or playing a sport, all ways of moving your body is valid. Finding ways of moving your body which makes you feel good is important when it comes to keeping active and enjoying fitness. If you’re not sure what you like, don’t worry - you can use this time to explore and try different things to find out what it is that you like doing. It could be that there are certain exercises you really enjoy doing, or certain pieces of gym equipment you like using and incorporating these into your workout routine to  make your workouts more fun.

5. Exercise with a friend

Exercising with a partner or friend can be another way to make fitness more enjoyable. We know that starting something new or getting back into fitness can feel daunting. Having someone to support you on your journey can make a big difference and also help keep you accountable. 

For guidance on training with other people at this time, please see our TrainSafe page.

6. Make sure to get enough rest

Resting is just as important as exercising when it comes to keeping active and can often be overlooked. Overtraining can result in fatigue and even injuries which can negatively impact your wellbeing so try to make sure you get adequate rest in between your workout sessions. If there are days where you have a workout scheduled and your energy is low, it’s okay to listen to your body and take a step back and adjust your training to meet your needs.

Learn more about the importance of rest days with our guide.

7. Shift your perspective

Exercise can and should be fun! Shifting your mindset to focus on the benefits of exercising and exercising from a place of care where you can appreciate your body for all the amazing things it can do can help make your workouts more enjoyable. 

8. Do what you love

There's tons of ways to keep fit, so don't force yourself to do exercises you don't enjoy. Love to dance? Give Zumba classes a try. Enjoy competition? Why not play tennis or badminton with a friend. The best way to fall in love with fitness is to find an exercise you genuinely enjoy. 

When starting a new exercise programme or when getting back into fitness, keep in mind that it is going to take time to settle in. If you’re worried about what people might people think of you in the gym (a very common worry amongst new gym goers), just remember that everyone was once a beginner. If you can, avoid comparing yourself to anyone else and focus on where you are now and celebrating all your wins along the  way. Try to enjoy the process of working on your skills, improving your habits and how great exercising can make you feel, rather than wait till you achieve your big goal - you deserve too!

For more information and advice on returning to the gym, check out our return to the gym guide - it’s packed with tips for getting your body moving in a fun and safe way. With gyms reopening across the UK, we are delighted to welcome our members back in our gyms. Discover your nearest PureGym gym and get started on your own new fitness journey today. You can also find out more about how we’re keeping our gyms safe for members here.

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