Sometimes exercise really sucks. Yeah, I said it. And I know most, if not all of you, agree. I work out anywhere from 4 to 6 days a week now. But it took me a LONG time to get to this point. So I’d like to share with you the best exercise advice I ever got. And hopefully exercise won’t seem like such a chore after you read this.
This tiny little piece of advice changed my entire philosophy on fitness. I went from out of shape and struggling to someone who absolutely loves working out. I used to dread my work outs, especially after spending a long day at the office. Now I look forward to it. Here’s why.
The best exercise advice I ever got can be summed up in four words:
Do what you love.
Let me explain. For years I struggled to stick with an exercise plan because I was doing things I didn’t want to do.
For example, I started a running regimen several years back. Guess how long that lasted: about two weeks. But I was destined to fail before I even started. Why? Because I hate running. I always have. I always will.
I also belonged to several different gyms over the years. But they never lasted either. That’s because I hated going to the gym. I realized that gyms don’t work for me because I don’t like large crowds of people and having to wait to use equipment.
So I thought about it: what do I really like doing that will help me stay in shape? And the answer was easy. At the time I loved lifting weights and boxing. So I began to build up a home gym in my basement, and I got a punching bag with some gloves. And then I started working out like crazy, and haven’t looked back since.
I now do a combination of weight training, boxing, yoga, stretching, biking, hiking, and playing basketball. These are all things I love doing. And I can do any of these exercises in the comfort of my own home or in the great outdoors on the trails behind my house.
So think about it: when was the last time you exercised and really enjoyed it. Take some time and write down the exercises you actually like. Then set a schedule, and start doing them. I have a daily planner that I use to set my exercise schedule for the week. I highly recommend doing the same. It’s a great way to set goals and hold yourself accountable to sticking with them.
If you can’t think of any exercise you like doing, then you need to keep looking for something that works for you. The benefits of exercise are too numerous to ignore. That should be motivation enough to get off your butt NOW, if you haven’t done so already. Being busy is not an excuse either. We’re all busy. Either you make the time to get in great shape, or you keep making excuses why you don’t make time. The choice is yours.
Now let me throw a quick disclaimer out there. If you want to get in the best shape of your life, you’re going to have to do some exercises that you absolutely despise. For me, these are squats, shoulder presses, and sprints. The benefits of doing these exercises and results I get far outweigh my hatred and resistance toward doing them. The great part is, these exercises only make up a small portion of my overall workout. If I do 3-4 sets of squats once per week, I still have to look at the big picture: I’m still doing what I love (lifting weights), where I want to do it (at my house).
So whether it’s running, biking, yoga, playing sports, lifting weights, etc., DO WHAT YOU LOVE and make exercise fun! This, my friends, is why it’s the best exercise advice I ever received.
What’s the one tip you’ve gotten that’s changed your exercise habits for the better? I’d love to hear it!
Want More Tips on Getting Tight and Toned?
This article is #1 in my free 12-part tutorial called “Exercise 101: How to Get In Shape“.
Next up is article #2: Yoga Poses for Beginners.