From Strip Aerobics to iPhone Apps: 10 Tips For Making Fitness Fun

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Is it possible to make fitness fun? I think that depends on whether or not you want to have fun.

Let's face it: If you're not enjoying your workout, you're going to find excuses not to do it. But working out doesn't have to be a drag. It's a choice. If you want to make your workout more interesting and enjoyable, take some time to think about ways you can do that.

We are all wonderfully different, and what's fun for me might not be fun to you. That's why the smartest way to have fun with your workout is to make it your own. If you love the outdoors and wonder why you hate the treadmill, try walking on the beach or in a park. If you hate gym time cutting into your television time, get a piece of exercise equipment you can put in front of the television. Watch your shows and burn calories at the same time.

Whatever reason you have for not being able to enjoy your workout, take some time to think of ways to make it more fun for yourself. Here are 10 tips that work for me:

1. Get a Workout Buddy -- Most things are more fun when we do them with a friend, and the same is true for working out. Try getting one or more friends together. You'll not only laugh more, but it's also a built-in support system.

*If you're having trouble finding a workout buddy, don't give up. Try Facebook, Meetup, or another social networking site.

2. Play some Music and Get Dancin' -- Whether you dance in the privacy of your home or go out to a club, dancing is a great calorie burner. And if you're feeling really adventurous, you could even try taking a dance class (also a great place to meet a workout buddy).

3. Change it Up -- Variety is the spice of life. With that in mind, try something new. If you normally exercise indoors, try something outside. Maybe try a new fitness class. Have you considered belly dancing or pole dancing? Maybe kickboxing or a 5K run? If you're a wannabe exhibitionist, you could even consider strip aerobics. There are endless possibilities.

4. Kick it Up a Notch -- Do you already enjoy your workout? If so, kick it up a notch. Go longer. Go faster. Change up your location. Add some music. Add some friends.

5. Get the Kids Involved -- Get in some quality time with a family fitness day (at least) once a week. Take time to plan activities ahead and mark them on your calendar. Make sure you give every family member an opportunity to choose what to do.

Family roller skating outside

6. Set Short-Term Fitness Goals and Reward Yourself -- I think we make a mistake when we focus on too many long-term goals. Instead, try one long-term goal sprinkled with many short-term goals. When we make short-term goals, we have more opportunities to feel good about our progress, and stay motivated to reach our long-term goal. Don't forget to reward yourself with something special after reaching each of your short-term goals.

7. Get Yourself a Fitness Gadget -- There is certainly no shortage of fitness gizmos out there. Tweak your workout with a fitness iPhone app, a GPS wrist watch, a pedometer, or maybe the Wii Fit. (I really want to get the Wii Fit at some point, it looks like tons of fun.)

8. Start a Fitness Blog -- You could start a simple blog that chronicles your workouts. Or you could kick it up a notch, and blog about a new fitness activity every week. It's your blog, do it your way. It's fun and it keeps you accountable.

9. Join the Choose You Movement -- This is a great program sponsored by the American Cancer Society to help us keep our healthy living commitments to ourselves. And they even have one specifically for Getting Active. It's a fun way to get active and keep yourself motivated. I'm blogging about my Choose You commitments weekly on the Choose You Blog.

10. Plan a Fitness Getaway -- It doesn't matter if you go by yourself, with your family, or with a few girlfriends; it's what you do that matters. Plan a weekend (or more) getaway that focuses on healthy living and getting fit. The sky's the limit. Dream it, plan it, do it.

What about you? What do you do to make fitness fun? Let me know in the comments.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at Catherine-Morgan.com

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