Looking to Lose Weight? Working out may be challenging at times, but it doesn’t need to be boring. Let’s face it, those tedious exercises definitely won’t burn more calories in the long run. There are plenty of options besides spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical. Because we’ve all definitely been there, right?
If you dread your fitness routine, then you’re less likely to stick with it. And if you absolutely hate what you’re doing, you’ll quickly lose motivation and stamina. Before long, your goals will fall by the wayside and you’ll be back to where you started. Losing weight is hard enough without falling into this perpetual trap.
With a little creativity, though, you can burn calories and have a blast at the same time. And eventually, you may start to be the type of person that wakes up early to exercise! In this article, we’ll show you how to burn calories and enjoy yourself, too.
1. Try Something Brand-New
No matter your athletic abilities, there are so many different activities out there that can be a match for you. Trying something brand-new can help spark your motivation and enthusiasm toward your fitness goals. Of course, figuring out what to choose first is one of the hardest parts of getting started.
Let’s say that you love swimming and being in the water, but you’re a bit tired of just doing laps. Think about other sports that involve water, such as stand-up paddle boarding, which requires balance, core strength, and determination. It’s also a killer arm workout. Do some research to see if there are any clinics or demonstrations in your local area. Then sign up — preferably with a buddy to keep yourself accountable — and try it out.
If you end up loving your newfound activity, great. If not, no worries. Go back to the drawing board and see what else entices you. Remember that your first time attempting a new sport may not be perfect. It’s best to try the sport or activity a few times before switching gears completely and giving up.
2. Join a Team or League
If you struggle with accountability, then you may want to look into team sports. Being part of a team will motivate you to show up because your teammates are counting on you. Those same teammates will also be there cheering you on and encouraging you to do your best.
Depending on where you live, there may be adult leagues for you to join. These leagues typically offer a variety of sports each season. Many account for busy work schedules, playing games after work on the weekdays or on the weekends. If your friend, co-worker, or family member is also focusing on their fitness, invite them to join in the fun. You will both enjoy spending the time together and rooting for each other on the field or court.
Lastly, being on a sports team will help you burn calories without thinking about it. If you’re playing soccer, for example, you’ll likely be running up and down the field multiple times. You’ll be so preoccupied with the game (and getting to the ball) that you’ll forget how much you are running. Now that’s an all-around win-win.
3. Schedule Recess Time
Remember recess as a kid? It often involved lots of running around, jumping off of obstacles, and the occasional game of tag. Well, there’s no reason that recess can’t be part of your workout routine now that you’re an adult. Making time for play can boost your physical well-being and mental health, too. Being active can help reduce stress, increase happiness, and strengthen your friendships.
Now, we’re not saying you need to head to the nearest playground ASAP. Recess can look a bit different as an adult, while still conjuring up those same feelings from your childhood. How you define or see “play” will be unique to you. If you enjoy rollerblading, for instance, then that could be your scheduled recess time. If you’d rather not be on wheels, then an at-home Zumba class could be your key to playing.
Obviously, we’re much busier as adults than we were as children and have more non-negotiables to fit into our schedules. You may need to get creative in order to block off some time for yourself. It could mean waking up a bit earlier or using your lunch break to get outside. You may want to consider looking at your calendar on a Sunday evening to find your recess time. It doesn’t matter when or for how long you do it, just make it part of your regular routine.
4. Ready, Set, Compete
If you’re up for a little friendly competition, then this idea is for you. In today’s digital world, you may already have a fitness tracker that can track your steps and overall movement. While it’s great to see your own daily progress, using your tracker in a competitive way can be even better. First, find some friends to work out with who have similar movement goals to yours. Then, depending on your device, invite them into a friendly weekly or monthly competition.
Being competitive with friends can boost your motivation and help you encourage each other throughout the process. Best of all, your workout buddies don’t have to live near you. It’s a great way to stay connected with people that you don’t get to see on a daily basis.
Before you begin, it can be helpful to set up a short-term and long-term goal. Plan ahead in your calendar to find time for you and your friends to connect, either in person or by phone. Having a goal or deadline for your competition will keep everyone motivated. To up the stakes, add a prize for the winner, such as a free coffee or a gift card.
Fitness is meant to be fun. You should look forward to your workout, not dread it. With a bit of creativity, you can determine how, when, and where you want to get your exercise. At the end of the day, any type of physical exertion will help you burn calories and achieve your goals. And if you’re enjoying yourself at the same time, you’re more likely to keep it going.