Going to the gym is super fun and a form of stress relief for some people... and for others, it's the worst thing ever. If you're the latter, you probably think, "Why would someone want to sweat and hurt for an hour when they could stay home and watch TV?" Sometimes it feels like you either love to exercise or you don't, as if you were just born that way and there's literally nothing that you can do about it.
It's totally possible to change, though, and since exercise is kind of a good thing (it seems healthy...), you definitely want to figure out a way to like it. It might not happen overnight and it might take a few months or even longer, but feeling motivated and accomplished will definitely inspire you to keep trying, and you'll be so glad that you gave this whole movement thing a try.
Luckily, there are so many cool athleisure outfits out there and so many different ways to work out. Fitness has become such a big industry full of bloggers and trendy new workouts popping up every two seconds. It's the best time to become someone who enjoys breaking a sweat. Here are 20 tips to become someone who likes working out!
20 Figure Out Why You Want To Start Exercising
If you decide to work out more (or at all) in order to look a certain way, that's not the best motivation. You'll feel frustrated because it can take time to see results and you might start feeling bad about yourself.
Think about other reasons why you want to start exercising, like wanting more energy and wanting to just generally feel better.
Once you start going to more classes or doing your own workouts at the gym if that's what you decide to do, you really will feel good, and that will be your new motivation and reason to keep going. It's cool how that happens.
19 Work Out With Your BFF For The First Little While
Best friends are always there when it comes to tough times like breakups and celebrations like birthdays and new jobs. Why not enlist your best friend to help you learn to love working out?
If she's already super fit and into her own routine, then you totally hit the BFF jackpot and you can tag along to her fave classes. If she's not, then this is something that the two of you can try together and you can inspire and motivate each other. Most things are more fun with someone by your side, including exercise (and you can totally exchange eye rolls when your barre instructor makes you hold a two-minute plank).
18 Try ClassPass So You Try Different Classes Every Month
ClassPass is a really awesome company that allows you to go to different workout studios where you live.
You can sign up, get an account, and try different classes each month.
This is perfect if you're not sure what kinds of workouts you love yet and if you want to shop around until you find the perfect workout and studio for you.
You also might want to keep going with this if you like the variety in your routine. If that makes you keep going because you now that you're never going to get bored, then you've done your job and figured out how to love exercise.
17 Make It Fun With A Reward (That's Not Dessert Or Junk Food)
Anyone would work out if they ate an entire pizza, bag of chips, pile of fries, or cake afterward. (Well, maybe not everyone, but most people would probably do this.)
Rewarding yourself with something that isn't dessert or junk food might be better since you can't eat sugar or salt-laden carbs every time that you finish a barre class. It's just not the healthiest, most realistic thing.
Listen to a podcast while you run or work out at the gym or you can also find a group exercise class that involves cardio dance or something that you find interesting and enjoyable.
16 Buy Some Cute Clothes That You Only Wear To The Gym
It's super tempting to wear patterned leggings and cool tank tops every chance that you get. You want to show off at brunch with your friends and you love lounging around in this stuff since, of course, it's so comfortable.
If you buy some cute gym clothes and make sure that you only wear this stuff to the gym, it'll be a huge motivation for you to actually get yourself there.
Since you love your new clothes and can't wait to wear them, this will be a good way to start to like working out. Yeah, you'll be motivated by fashion for the first little while, but so what?! Whatever works.
15 Get Active On Weekends
Getting active on the weekends will help you see working out as something that doesn't have to be confined to a gym or studio. You might even have fun and find a new activity that you like doing in your spare time.
You can walk around your neighborhood, find some cool streets and parks, or play sports if that's what you're into. This is even easier if your friends or sibling have a little kid that you can play outside with, or maybe you have a dog that gets you out of the house on a regular basis for walks or jogs, which is awesome.
14 Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
If you don't think that you can dance (so basically the opposite of the popular reality show...), why not try a dance class? This could be a dance cardio class or something like Zumba. If you're not a runner or never have tried it before, you can do that, too.
You can step out of your comfort zone and try something new and different.
You might find your new favorite workout by doing this... or maybe you'll realize what you don't want to do, and that truly counts for a lot, too. The new experience might also be fun for you and could distract you from the fact that you're not that big on exercise.
13 Don't Skip Workouts For The First Month
It's tempting to sleep in on Saturday and skip your planned barre or pilates class. It's also tempting to join your coworkers for happy hour on Friday instead of the after work gym session that you planned.
It's totally fine to skip workouts sometimes for various reasons, whether you're tired, way too sore, or just want to do something social instead. The thing is that you probably want to stick to your workout schedule for the first month that you're trying this. You want to get into the habit, and then once you have, you can figure out a schedule that works for you and figure out what days to take off.
12 Be Honest About What You Like And Dislike
Not every form of exercise is for everyone. There are people who swear by yoga and others who really aren't into it. After trying different workouts, be honest about what you like and dislike.
If you go to yoga and don't like it, that's totally fine.
You should definitely find something that you like. Don't force yourself to go to classes where you're bored and uncomfortable. That's basically the best way to make sure that you don't work out and stop this whole healthy lifestyle thing. When you like something, you'll stick with it because you find it fun. (Yes, you really will.)
11 Write Down How You Feel After Your Workout Is Done
Do you feel like you can do anything? Do you feel happy and full of those endorphins that people always want after exercise? Do you feel strong and fit and so much better than you did before? Do you have more energy?
Most people would agree that these are the things that they really want to feel after they exercise... and that these feelings are the whole reason that they get their butts into the gym in the first place. If you want to start liking exercise, write down how you feel about your workout is done, and you'll remember that. Those feelings will keep you coming back to the gym for sure.
10 Only Join A Gym Or Studio That Is Welcoming
It sucks but not every gym and workout studio is the best, nicest place ever. Some are more welcoming than others. You want to find a place that feels like a real community and a second home. A place where people remember you, commit your name to memory and chat about your story, what brought you there, what you do for a living, how your weekend was, etc.
Once you feel welcomed into a new community, you'll feel awesome and want to keep going there.
It honestly makes such a big difference and makes you even more motivated to keep at your new fitness routine. Also, why would you give your money to a place with mean and unfriendly and snobby people?!
9 Make New Fitness-Interested Friends
Maybe you have some friends who are super into fitness and can help you and give you advice when you start working out more. But maybe you don't really know anyone who cares about this, and it can feel kind of isolating.
Make some new friends who are just as interested in fitness as you are (or as you're, you know, trying to be...) and you'll enjoy it so much more. You guys can give each other encouragement and advice and inspire each other. If you want to join a social media community, that totally counts, too, and you can still get the same benefits.
8 Give Yourself Permission To Not Do Every Single Rep Or Movement
It can be super overwhelming to go to a group exercise class and think about it as one hour full of lunges, squats, jumps, planks, and whatever else is part of it. Even the most seasoned exercisers think that it can get tiring to do every single rep or movement.
There's really no reason to refuse to take breaks.
It's okay to take breaks and listen to your body, and if you give yourself permission to do that, you'll enjoy the classes so much more. You'll be able to breathe and take a second and won't feel so stressed out about it (since this is supposed to be fun, after all).
7 Don't Think Of It As Something You "Have" To Do
Yes, moving your body is a good thing, and you know that it's better for your health to go to the gym and work out instead of sitting all the time. But thinking of exercise as something that you "have" to do might not be the best way to become someone who likes working out. It shouldn't feel like something that you're forcing yourself to do.
Instead, try thinking of exercise as something fun that you actually want to do. Remember that you feel awesome after each class. You can also feel grateful that you're in good health and good shape and can make it to these classes. That will honestly help so much.
6 Listen To Fitness Podcasts/Read Blogs/Magazines To Get Inspired
There are so many cool, fit, amazing and inspiring women out there who are blogging and podcasting about health and fitness.
Why not get inspired by them?
From magazines like Women's Health that talk about fun new workouts to podcasts like She Thrives Radio and Girls Gone WOD, there are so many outlets to help you get into the fitness zone.
It's nice to feel like you're not going through this alone and to remember that there are many others out there just as committed to living a healthy lifestyle as you are. It's hard not to want to get stronger when you hear the advice and stories of other women.
5 Feel Proud Of Yourself
If you don't feel proud of yourself for working out and making this change, what's the point? Your attitude is a big part of learning to like working out. Even if it doesn't seem possible to enjoy your time in the gym or studio, it honestly is possible.
Feel proud of yourself and remind yourself on a daily basis that it's super cool and awesome that you're doing this. Every time that you hit a new record for yourself, whether you hold plank just that much longer or can lunge deeper, you can feel even more proud. It'll motivate you to keep going, and that's always a challenge, even for people who love to go to the gym.
4 Eat Healthier And Learn To Cook So It's A Positive Lifestyle Change
Sure, you'll feel good if you start sweating on a regular basis... but if you're still eating pizza and potato chips at every meal, you won't feel THAT good. It's important to fuel your body for the exercise that you do so you have enough energy to get through the class or workout, but you also want to eat healthy since it's just good for you in general.
To love exercise, make a positive lifestyle change and eat healthier and learn to cook.
Working out on a regular basis and also eating better often go hand in hand and you'll be more motivated to hit the gym when you're eating a lot more vegetables than you did before.
3 Enlist Your Boyfriend (Or If Single, A Family Member Or Friend)
It's easier to make a big change in your life if you're not doing it alone. If you're in a relationship, why not enlist your boyfriend to work out with you? It'll be another fun thing that you can do together as a couple and you'll have more fun.
If you're single, you can work out with a family member or a friend, whether you meet for early morning runs or go to the same yoga class on Tuesday nights.
Sometimes making exercise more of a social thing can really help make you want to actually do it, and for the first little while, that's the whole battle.
2 Work Out Only Three Times A Week At First
Working out seven days a week is not generally the best idea since you can hurt yourself and are more prone to injuries since your muscles need time to recover and your body needs a break for sure.
General exercise recommendations are at least three times a week, so you might as well start with that for the first little while.
If you hate working out and rarely do it, then honestly, working out this amount will feel like enough of a change.
If you say that you'll go every day, you might get exhausted and bored and not want to do it anymore, and then you'll be back where you started, which definitely isn't the goal here.
1 Give Yourself Rest Days
Rest days are a super big deal. There's even science behind your need for rest days: you have inflammation in your body when you work out, and the whole point is that is a good thing while you rest. When you don't take rest days, your immune system takes a beating, which means more colds and other bugs (gross).
When you take a few days off every week, you can still do whatever you would do if you didn't go to the gym, whether that's date night with your boyfriend, grabbing dinner with your BFF, watching something on Netflix, or running errands. Sounds good, right?! (Plus, you might even miss the gym... Yes, really.)