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Stop dreading your workouts and start enjoying them.

What words run through your mind when you think of exercise? If words like hate, dread, pain, or boredom come to mind, it’s time to redefine or reinvent your idea of exercise.

You know exercise is needed for health and weight control, but the chances you’ll stick with an exercise routine you dread are slim to none. This likely comes as no surprise to you. On and off throughout your life you’ve tried to exercise—you’ve bought the shoes, paid for the gym membership, and stayed committed for a few days, weeks, or months until you finally quit. Chances are, the thing missing from your exercise routine was one little word: fun.

Redefine your idea of exercise by implementing one or more of the following into your workout program and then see how long your commitment lasts.

Watch TV

Why not exercise while you watch your favorite television show? A treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical provide the perfect opportunity to work out in front of a screen at home or at the gym. Take your mind off your sweat and lose yourself in the show. Before you know it, 30 minutes or an hour have gone by, the show is over, and so is your workout.

Read a Book

Never seem to have time to pleasure read? Not true. Like watching television, you can read while working out on a stationary exercise machine. Prop up the book, set your speed, and get lost in the story.

Rather take a jog outside or lift weights? Pop in your ear buds and download an audiobook or podcast. Your workout will speed by and you won’t want to quit until you’ve finished the next chapter. You may even start to look forward to your next workout session when you can find out what happens next.

Get Social

Working out by yourself can get boring, lonely, and make the time go by slowly. Take a group class or find an exercise buddy, whether your spouse, co-worker, or friend. Partner up with someone you enjoy spending time with, a person with similar workout goals, and who is full of energy. Besides having someone to keep you accountable, you may start to look forward to your social hour.

Turn Up the Tunes

At work or in the car with the kids there may not be many opportunities to blare your favorite music, but while lifting weights at the gym or jogging around the track, it’s just you and your earphones. Fast-pace, upbeat music is the perfect background for a high-intensity cardio workout while calmer, slower songs set the mood for your cool down and stretches.

Try Something New

Just because you dislike jogging or yoga doesn’t mean you’ll dislike all exercise. There are plenty of other options to choose from. An exercise you enjoy is the key to sticking with it for the long haul so keep looking until you find the right fit. Besides your typical walking, running, or swimming, what about dancing, barre, Zumba, tennis, hiking, basketball, paddleboard, kayaking, or karate? Once you find exercises you like, switch them up every few days so you don’t get burned out.

Take Advantage of Apps

Top motivators for exercise include accountability, competition, and reaching personal fitness goals. One of the most convenient ways to incorporate these tools into your workout routine is through fitness apps using your mobile device. Many people find apps not only helpful motivators, but enjoyable to use as well.

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