Most people are going about exercise completely wrong.
They drag themselves to the gym every other day, complaining and cursing under their breath.
Upon arrival, they look around at the various forms of equipment: the weight machines, the dumbells, the dreaded treadmill.
Reluctantly, they hop on one of the stationary bikes or ellipticals, figuring this will produce the least amount of pain, and they mindlessly force themselves to work out for what seems a never ending hour.
No wonder so many people hate exercise.
Sadly, this is how many of us start out because we don’t know any better.
For some reason, all of us think the ONLY way to workout is to buy a gym pass, lace up our running shoes, and pound out an hour of running nowhere on some machine.
But guess what?
Exercise never has to be this way again.
Exercise from now on is going to be something you, dare I say it, enjoy!
I’m going to help you find your soulmate workout.
What Is a Soulmate Workout?
The soulmate workout term was coined by popular celebrity trainer Chalene Johnson.
The idea of the soulmate workout is finding a type of workout that you absolutely love to do, makes you feel great, and gives you results.
Tons of individuals, those who are experts in exercise and newbies, are discovering forms of exercise they really enjoy doing and getting incredibly fit because of it.
What’s the secret to finding a soulmate workout?
Find an activity that doesn’t seem like exercise.
Why Is Exercise Important?
Why is it such a big deal that you find a soulmate workout? Is exercise really that important?
Yeah, it actually is.
Unfortunately, most of us spend way too much time on our heinies, sitting ALL DAY LONG.
It’s not something we can always control as we have to go to work, school, and commute.
But sitting is not doing anything to help our health.
The need for physical activity, to get up and MOVE is greater than ever before!
Getting enough physical activity every day goes far beyond just looking great in a swimming suit.
Here are just a few benefits of moving your body often:
- Decreased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Exercise has long been promoted as a way to reduce the risk for chronic diseases, especially heart disease. If you want a healthy heart, then get it pumping with some exercise!
- Decreased risk for cancer.
Exercise is a powerful way to combat chronic inflammation in the body, a leading cause of most chronic diseases including cancer.
- Healthier body fat percentages.
It’s no secret that exercise helps you build lean muscle mass and get rid of unsightly and unhealthy body fat. Healthy body fat percentages range from 4-25% for men and 10-31% for women.
- Stronger bones and decreased osteoporosis risk.
Did you know your bone density starts to decrease starting in your 30’s? Exercise is a great way to prevent bone loss, and even make them stronger.
- Healthier blood pressure levels.
Exercise, especially resistance training, has been shown to reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, even in hypertensive patients.
- Healthier cholesterol levels.
Regular physical activity can increase your HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and lower LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides (the bad kind) improving your overall health.
- Decreases risk for type II diabetes.
Exercise can significantly reduce the risk for developing type II diabetes, as well as improve the quality of life for those who already have the disease.
- Boosts your mental health.
Studies have found that those who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety, depression, and experience better moods.
- Higher energy levels.
One study found that even performing light exercise reduced fatigue and boosted energy levels in several of the participants.
- Better sleep.
Want to sleep better at night? Exercise! Regular physical activity improves your sleep so your body can fully rest and recover from the stresses of the day.
6 Tips for Finding Your Soulmate Workout
Now that we know what a soulmate workout is and why exercise is so important, it’s time to layout 6 tips to help you find the workout of your dreams, get in shape, and live a healthier life!
Step 1: If you hate a certain type of “exercise” never do it again.
I’ve had so many people tell me, “I hate exercise because I hate to run.”
Apparently I missed the memo that exercise consists of only running.
All snarkiness aside, I’m here to set the record straight that not all exercise is and has to be some form of running.
If you’ve tried running, you hate it, and you know you’ll never enjoy it then don’t do it!
That being said, imagine this analogy with me:
I like to think of exercise like food.
There are lots of different forms, and you’ll never know what you like until you try it.
Just like your mom always told you when you refused to eat something new, “Just try it, you might end up liking it!” The same goes for exercise.
When I was a bit younger, I used to hate running. Running was something my volleyball coaches tortured me with.
Then I decided to join my high school cross country team with a friend.
After a few months of running every day and learning about the sport a shocking thing happened….
I had actually grown to love running!
Running opened up a new perspective for me. It led me to find passion in health and fitness. It led to me to adventures and races all over the country. It brought me some of my most cherished friends.
It changed my life!
This may not be the case for you, but If you’re not sure about a form of exercise or new sport, try it out! It may just become a part of who you are!
Step 2: Make a list of types of physical activity you know you enjoy or could possibly enjoy.
Fascinated by yoga?
Want to try rock climbing?
Start making a list of potential activities you might like, then set a goal to try them within the next week!
Need some ideas? Here are just a few:
- dancing-hip-hop, ballroom, clubbing
- rock climbing
- mountain biking
- road biking
- jump rope
- playing at a playground
- practice your favorite instrument
- weight lifting
- circuit training
- Olympic lifting
- video games like just dance and Kinect
- water aerobics
- water polo
- boot camp classes
- martial arts like taekwondo and jujutsu
- downhill skiing
- park skiing
- cross country skiing
- wake surfing
- water skiing
- ice skating
- roller blading
- walking your dog
- playing tag with your kids
Check out local gyms and see if they are offering any free trials on some classes you may be interested in. Many clubs and gyms will give you a few days free just to try out some of their classes!
If you love the outdoors, look for activities you can do outside like hiking, biking, or just walking! There are literally tons of options, plus you’ll soak up more vitamin D and fresh air!
Exercise is defined as anything that requires physical exertion, so get up and move and make sure you enjoy it!
Step 3: Grab a Friend or Go Solo
Friends make you more accountable and can make exercise fun!
Friends can also challenge you if you enjoy some friendly competition.
If you’re more of a solo person, try using exercise or your activity as a meditative hour where you can unwind, think, and enjoy some “me” time.
For example, I enjoy lifting with others, but prefer running by myself. Running is a meditative thing for me where I can think and “get away” from everything.
Experiment and discover if you do better with a friend or solo!
Step 4: Schedule it in!
So many people say they don’t have time for exercise and they are probably right.
But every single one of us is busy. All of us have either have jobs, are in school, or are busy parents.
How do some manage to have time to exercise and many others don’t?
It all comes down to making time for exercise. It all comes down to priorities!
Some people find they enjoy rising with the sun and getting in a workout before the busy day starts.
Others seem to have more energy in the evenings and fit in some physical activity after work or school.
You can also muti task!
If you have time to go for a 30 min walk or watch an episode of your favorite tv show…why not combine the two? Hop on a stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill and burn some calories while you watch your favorite show or movies.
For many, especially students, each day may be different so you have to plan out what time you’ll work out.
When I was a student my schedule changed often, so each night I would go through my schedule the next day and plan a time to get in a run, go lift, or play sports with my friends.
It made getting in some activity much easier and enjoyable because I had some sort of plan!
Remember, if you fail to plan, then plan to fail!
Step 5: Stay Motivated
Once you’ve found a form of exercise you enjoy, how do you stay motivated?
Here are a few tips:
- Find your “why”.
What is your reason for exercise?
Is it to improve your health?
Is it to compete or get better at a sport?
Is it to have a better quality of life?
Whatever your “Why”, write it down and keep it in a place where you’ll see it every day. You might even have more than one or it might change but when you feel tired, down, or unmotivated remember your “why”!
- Watch YouTube videos and Follow your favorite athletes.
I don’t know about you, but for me, there is nothing more inspiring than watching my favorite athletes tearing it up in the fitness world.
Love running? Watch some of your favorite track stars shatter records and make history.
How about dancing? Find some beautiful choreography to watch and inspire you.
Need some motivation to go to the gym? Find some workout inspiration from those who motivate you!
Miranda Oldroyd is one of those people for me.
She is a CrossFit athlete and a car crash survivor with an incredible comeback story.
Find your motivators and follow them on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. You’ll stay motivated and will learn from their experience!
- Mix it up and keep it interesting.
Started a workout program but stopped seeing results after a few months?
Time to switch up your exercise.
Our bodies are very efficient at adapting to the stresses we place upon them through exercise. After a few weeks of doing the same routine, our bodies adapt and the lack of challenge and variety can put slow or halt results.
Try HIIT, change your reps and sets, try out a different sport, or vary the intensity. Anything to make you physical activity different now and then will ensure you keep improving!
- Educate yourself.
Subscribe to blogs, magazines, youtube videos about your interests. I love to ski and I look forward to my Ski magazine every month.
Blogs, websites, and other social media channels are also a great way to stay informed about your sport, how to improve and inspirational people to follow.
- Think “train like an athlete”.
This makes it so much more enjoyable and really helps you change your focus! Eat and train like an athlete because that’s what you are!
Athletes train for performance. They train for strength, flexibility, and endurance. They have goals! Try making those your priorities and you’ll be amazed how fast you’ll progress and enjoy exercise.
- Get a Fitbit or nike+ Fuelband to track your movement and more!
Today’s technology is truly amazing. A small watch or even your smart phone can track things like steps, sleeping patterns, calories burned, heart rate, and stress levels!
Fitness trackers can help motivate you by showing you the areas you are doing well in, and others you could improve on.
Here are some of my top recommendations:
Step 6: Have Realistic Expectations
With any exercise or sport, don’t expect to become an expert overnight.
Don’t expect to be shredded after one workout or to lose 10 pounds after one session.
With consistent efforts with your physical activity and in the kitchen with your diet, you will get the results you want whether they be performance based or aesthetically based.
Start slowly with any type of new exercise. If you push yourself too hard too fast you’re more susceptible to injury and you may experience burnout.
Be patient, consistent, and results will come!
Fitness should first and foremost be FUN.
I’m confident that you will be able to find your soulmate workout.
It may take some trial and error, but the benefits here far outweigh any of the struggles to find a workout you enjoy.
Our bodies were meant to move! When we find out soulmate workout regularly train our bodies we feel better mentally and physically, we have more energy, we sleep better, and we look better.
What’s not to love?