Not a fan of exercise? No problem. Believe it or not, exercise can be enjoyable. Here are 7 ways to fall in love with exercise.
1. Goal Setting and Rewards
Set a long term goal to focus on and pursue, something to work towards, something you love. This goal should be important to you and your life, it has to be something you want. Don’t make a goal you don’t care about. Setting a goal to be able to achieve 90 degrees of knee flexion is not motivating, however, setting a goal to be able to run again is motivating. Your goal needs to be something you desire, so it motivates you to reach it. It is important to set short term goals working towards your long term goal. When completing these short term goals, reward yourself! Celebrate your success, you deserve it! Research shows that rewarding yourself can facilitate persistence in achieving your long term goals.
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2. Switch Things Up
Don’t fall into the habit of doing the same exercise order every day. Think about it like food, if you ate your favourite snack every day, you would eventually despise it. The same idea goes for exercise, switch things up so you continue to enjoy your exercises! Switching the order of exercises you perform increases the variability of the exercises. The simplest way to apply variability to your exercises is to write them all down and then go from top to bottom then bottom to top on alternating days! If you want even more variability, try making different ordered lists for every day that you exercise! Individuals with exercise variability enjoy their exercises more than those who lack variability. Ever feel like you’re running out of exercises? Check out the Curovate app for video-guided exercises. Curovate saves you the hassle of writing down ever exercise and tracking how many reps and sets you have completed. The app does all of that for you! Find the app link at the end of this blog.
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3. Pump Up The Jams
Pump up the jam, pump it up! Playing music while exercising provides a positive behavioural change. A positive behavioural change is a shift of behaviour from negative to positive, an activity you once found boring is interesting. Creating a positive behavioural change while exercising will increase your enjoyment. Create a playlist of your favourite songs that you find motivating. Try to stay away from slower songs, pick songs that are upbeat and energize you to exercise, pick songs that make you feel happy! Music can help reduce perceived exertion and improve energy efficiency. Positive behavioural change can influence the level of enjoyment of individual experiences while engaging in exercise.
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4. Netflix and Exercise
Do something you love while doing something you may not love (like exercise). You get the best of both worlds! Instead of just sitting on the couch watching Netflix, do some exercises too. You could exercise during one episode then take a break the next and then exercise again. This way you have gotten some time to watch your favorite Netflix show and exercise! You may find you enjoy doing exercises while watching a particular show. Use the length of the show as the designated time that you exercise. Change the daily routine of being sedentary while watching TV. Get up and move around in front of the screen!
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5. Track Your Progress
Make exercising enjoyable by seeing what it is doing for you! Track your results daily to see the progress you are making. The results you track need to be measurements that are important to you, which ensures that these results will motivate you to continue to exercise to see further results. For example, if you are not interested in the amount of pressure you can apply to your knee, don’t track force. However, if you are interested in how long you are able to walk around without needing to stop and take a break, track that time. Track the progress that matters to you. Measuring your exercise progress can help you stay motivated and remind you of the positive impact that exercise can have on your life! Use the Curovate app to help track your daily, weekly and monthly progress! You’ll fall in love with the results of exercise!
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6. Split it Up
A little bit of exercise a lot of times adds up! Try breaking up your exercises. Short sessions of exercise interspersed throughout your day can add up. By reducing the amount of time you commit to exercise into shorter durations, exercise seems less intimidating. If you find by the end of your work day you are too tired to exercise and just want to watch a few hours of television, try exercising during the commercial breaks. This way you break up the time you are exercising, but you are still exercising. Try breaking down your schedule to determine where you can implement small exercise sessions throughout your day.
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7. Relax and Reflect
Set time aside after you exercise to simply relax. Let your body sink into the couch, drink some water, and reflect on the exercise you just performed. Thank yourself for doing that for you. Acknowledge that you are focusing on rehabilitating and that you are making progress. You will be able to look forward to experiencing this feeling of relaxation the next time you work out. Relaxing and reflecting can become something fun that gets you excited to exercise!
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Curovate is a physical therapy app developed by a physical therapist. The app provides daily video guided physical therapy exercises. To try the app today, click the download links below! Enjoy falling in love with exercise!
1. Barwood MJ, Weston NJ, Thelwell R, Page J. A motivational music and video intervention improves high-intensity exercise performance. Journal of sports science & medicine. 2009;8(3):435.www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
2. Sylvester BD, Standage M, Dowd AJ, Martin LJ, Sweet SN, Beauchamp MR. Perceived variety, psychological needs satisfaction and exercise-related well-being. Psychology & Health. 2014;29(9):1044-1061. doi:10.1080/08870446.2014.907900www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
3. Clark IN, Baker FA, Taylor NF. The modulating effects of music listening on health-related exercise and physical activity in adults: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. Nordic Journal of Music Therapy. 2015;25(1):76-104. doi:10.1080/08098131.2015.1008558www.researchgate.net
4. Karageorghis CI, Priest D-L. Music in the exercise domain: a review and synthesis (Part I). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2012;5(1):67-84. doi:10.1080/1750984x.2011.631027www.tandfonline.com