Best news ever: new studies suggest that making exercise fun can help you lose more weight. (YES!) The reason? According to Marketing Letters, you're less likely to indulge in a slice of tres leches as your "reward" for exercising if you already got your reward: a fun and energetic workout!
Since we're all about looking good and having a good time, here are seven ways to make exercise fun:
1. Mix It Up!
Let's be real: the idea of running on the treadmill for an hour a day, every day, for the rest of your life sounds horrible.
But beyond being boring, performing the same workout routine every day can plateau your weight-loss and strain the same muscles over and over again. Our suggestion? Mix up your workout routines with a combination of gym days, pilates, swimming, cycling, or yoga.
If you're a treadmill and elliptical kind of gal, adjust your routine by increasing the machine's difficulty level, upping the incline, or performing interval training.
2. Get Outdoors.
Summer means warm weather -- and plenty of opportunities to take your workout outdoors.
Aside from changing your workout physically, the outdoors affects you mentally and spiritually. A number of recent studies found that those who exercised outside enjoyed the activity more, and experienced higher levels of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure, and self-esteem. Skip the treadmill -- and take a run at a local park instead. You'll be surprised at how rejuvenated you feel afterwards!
3. Amp Up Your Playlist.
We all know that the right song can help you power through the last mile of a tough run... and the wrong one can slow your progress to a grinding halt.
Truth is, it's scientifically proven that music can change the dynamic of your workout. Studies have found music distracts you -- in a good way. Listening to music actually makes you less aware that you're exercising, while boosting your athletic performance and increasing your heart rate.
4. Rock A Bright Pair Of Sneakers!
We get it: it's raining outside and you definitely do not want to walk to your 8am yoga class.
The solution? Bright workout clothes. It sounds silly, but when you look fabulous, you feel fabulous -- and you want to show it off to the world. Next time you hit a workout slump, slip on a bright yellow pair of sneakers or a neon pink sports bra. It's a simple way to make your exercise routine a little bit happier.
5. Skip The Gym!
If the words "gym" or "yoga studio" make you break out in hives, no worries. There are plenty of exercise alternatives for people who hate the gym.
Why not try something a little more... unconventional? Joining an intramural sports league can help you exercise regularly and make new friends. Most cities offer soccer, softball, kickball, flag football, basketball, and more.
6. Grab A Friend.
It's no secret that gym buddies hold you accountable for your workouts, but did you know they can also make exercise more enjoyable?
The buddy system keeps boredom at bay, and makes time pass more quickly -- plus it becomes an excellent time to catch up with good friends. When exercise becomes a social experience as well as a physical one, workouts become a more rewarding and fun experience.
7. Set A Goal.
Setting a reasonable goal for yourself is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated... and keep your workouts fun.
According to Psych Central, goals are most successful when they are attainable and specific. In other words, don't sign up for a marathon if you haven't worked out in years. Instead, train for a 5k, and work your way up to a more long-term goal.
You'll be surprised and how rewarding it feels to accomplish your goals and become a fitter, healthier person.