3 Tips for Fitness Fun
Tips to Become More Active
Ask the question, "Wanna go for a walk?" to a dog and
he'll knock you over getting out the door. Try posing the same question to your
spouse. Didn't exactly wag his tail, did he?
We all know that fitness is good for us. It just isn't much
fun. Just ask anybody who squeezes into a leotard and spends the next hour
sweating to the beat of a size 2 instructor yelling, "Just 10 more leg
raises and then we'll do abs!" No wonder reclining on the couch with ice
cream watching Sex and the City sounds more appealing.
It's time to rethink exercise, says Susan Butterworth, MD,
director of wellness services at Oregon Health Sciences University. The "no
pain, no gain" motto is out. Moderation is in. And it's time to ask
yourself what's fun and what makes you smile. If you have trouble remembering,
go to any park and watch children at play.
"Remember when we used to have fun as kids?"
Butterworth asks. "Playing ball, swimming, just plain using our
bodies." We weren't thinking about how many calories we just burned by
running through the sprinkler. We were just having fun. And you can get that
feeling back, she says.
1. Choose Your Fun
We may not always agree with what others think is fun. Spinning
Hula Hoops might not be your cup of tea, but an Irish dance class tickles your
toes. Skydiving makes your heartbeat just a bit too fast, but a row in the lake
floats your boat.
How can you put some fun into your fitness?
- Plan a short trip to a beautiful place where you'll be motivated to be more
active than usual.
- Involve your family and friends in an activity.
- Something new.
- Something old -- if the last ballet class you had was in the third grade,
it's time to try it again.
- Jump rope.
- Play with your kids.
2. Make a New Tradition
Today, your family tradition may be lifting a spoon rather than
lifting weights. Try something different. Make new family traditions around
fitness and fun. After all, says Butterworth, children model their behavior
after us; a sedentary parent is likely to have a sedentary child. It stands to
reason, then, that an active parent will have active children -- although
active children don't necessarily mean active parents.
Lead the way. Get out that old game of Twister. The kids may
groan at first, but those moans will soon be replaced with laughter. Let's face
it, the image of Dad as a giant pretzel is kind of funny!
3. Realize the Rewards
Moving your body feels good when you're having fun. You'll also
find that if you're enjoying yourself, you'll have more energy and enthusiasm
for other areas in your life.
Kristine Thomas says when she was just beginning to get fit her
biggest problem with getting in shape was that she got tired. However, if she
can make it out the door, after a few minutes at her chosen sport of running,
she's invigorated and feeling good about herself. It feels great to accomplish
goals, too. Kristine is following a marathon-training regime. Though she may
not actually run the marathon, just the thought that she'll soon be able to do
so helps her feel good about herself.