Finding the right balance between self-care and fitness can be a challenge for many individuals. Getting proper exercise and maintaining a healthy diet often feel like chores when we’ve had a long day at school or work. Fortunately, there are a multitude of ways to make your fitness routine more engaging and, dare I say it, fun! The key to invigorating your personal fitness is finding ways to look forward to exercise and good nutrition. Here are a few suggestions on getting started.
Combine your hobbies and your exercise
Hobbies and exercise are often indistinguishable to many people. Rock climbers, cyclists, hikers, golfers, and many other sport enthusiasts all find joy in physical activities. In particular, rock climbing is fun because it combines the logic of a puzzle with the intense exertion of climbing. The result is an exercise routine that challenges both the mind and the body.
These types of hobbies are also a great place to meet a community of people with similar interests. When you exercise with others, it can be a good motivator during days when you feel a little off. Also the combination of exercise and socializing with healthy people can be beneficial to those in recovery for addiction.
Take walks with your dog
Walks are a great way to exercise and relax. They allow us to enjoy our environment and organize our thoughts. Unfortunately, the fast-paced nature of life often take precedence over these daily strolls. Owning a dog is a great external motivation for long walks. Since most dogs need to be walked daily, it’s the perfect excuse to get some fresh air. And, what’s more, dog walks provide a wide range of health benefits. Notably, these walks make owners more mindful and responsible. If you don’t own a dog, you can still volunteer at the Animal Humane Society.
Listen to podcasts while you work out
Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the pain from exertion when working out. Listening to podcasts while exercising is an excellent solution. The humor, drama, and mystery that accompany many podcasts can serve as a distraction. Podcasts can also be seen as a method of self-care. They inspire us and provide listeners with something to look forward to during the day. I recommend two of my favorite podcasts: “This American Life” and “My Brother, My Brother and Me” for those interested in a program to start.
Cook at home more
Though cooking at home can be time-consuming (and a little challenging), it’s well worth the effort. Home-cooked meals help reduce an individual’s processed sugar intake and carbon footprint. Research reveals that people who eat home-cooked meals live longer.
One way to cook at home more is by shopping at a farmers market for ingredients. Farmers markets provide consumers with a more personal connection to their food. For those that have a tough time finding motivation to cook, here are some great tips for cooking at home. I suggest listening to one of your favorite albums while you cook. It makes the time go much faster.
Find a workout buddy
Finding a compatible workout partner is another way to make exercise fun. Instead of suffering the strain of exertion in isolation, you can laugh and chat with a friend. A workout buddy provides a source of friendly competition and a helpful ego check every now and then. They can also help improve form, keep you motivated, and provide safety. Workout buddies introduce different workout routines into each other’s life. They keep routines fresh with variety and make excellent motivators on days when we’re feeling lazy.
There are many ways to make fitness more engaging. To get the right balance between self-care and fitness, find exercise routines you enjoy, walk your dog, listen to podcasts while you work out, maintain a healthy diet, and work out with a partner to help motivate you.
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