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ideas on making exercise more fun and valuable

we are going through the last bootcamp call and picking apart some of the specific suggestions that we made. On the subject of how to exercise more, Joshua made an observation that you simply need to make exercise valuable to you if you plan on doing it more.

So my question to the community is- what are some of the things you have done to make exercise more fun, to make it valuable to you? How have you developed the exercise habit?



Fri. Dec 19, 12:16pm

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I am thinking about this question and the "valuable" thing is more subconscious for me than anything. I don't exercise more because I value it, I exercise because I always feel good after. And the more I do it, the more automatic it becomes.

And the more you work at the overall goal, the easier it becomes to implement specific habits. I think this is an important point because if you do stuff that is not fun - running for me- when you do find things you enjoy, you enjoy them more. Does this make sense?

Friday, December 19, 2008, 12:42 PM

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ITA with you pp. I'm the same way.

Friday, December 19, 2008, 12:59 PM

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My friends and my boyfriend all belong to the same gym as me. We all go after work. While I am not trying to be a social butterfly it is nice to see them, as well as lift together, do a spin class together, etc. We also hold each other accountable.

I also do a mixture of organized activities and my own thing. Some days I am in the mood to go to swim class with a coach telling me what to do, and other people in my lane pushing me to go hard...other days I want to tune out and go on "auto-pilot" on the cardio machines, reading a magazine and listening to music. If I workout 6 or 7 days a week they don't all have to be extreme.

I have also made fitness my hobby. I mountain bike, ski, swim, hike, and more. I go to the gym during the week but I really look forward to getting outside on the weekends.

Friday, December 19, 2008, 1:01 PM

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I find that simple things like having a plan (what to do when) and goals (some kind of challenge) and fast upbeat music are enormously helpful. I am also a fan of morning exercise - later in the day there can be too many things that "come up" as valid excuses! If I do it first thing, then I don't tend to second guess my schedule.

I also mix it up. I try not to do the same thing more than 2 days a week - to keep it interesting, and challenging.

I'm also a fan of before and after photo's - I like to see that a challenge has been effective!

Friday, December 19, 2008, 9:29 PM

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I am extremely discouraged and find no value in exercise when it becomes painful. ("No pain, no gain" adds up to 3 four-letter words to me.) So when I bought a treadmill recently and pushed myself to walk a mighty 2.5 mph, I found that my pre-existing back pain became worse and I couldn't go longer than ten or fifteen minutes at a stretch. (I'm extremely out of shape, obviously.)

But I had chucked out a load of money for this machine so that I could walk, rain or shine. So I swallowed my pride and cranked the speed down to 2 mph. It was like magic. I suddenly could walk a full 30 minute session (with a little more help from my iPod) and I actually felt good afterward.

So I find that taking things slowly really helps to make exercise valuable to me. I'm not going to go any faster than what my body can handle.

Friday, December 19, 2008, 10:12 PM

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More "valuable"? Easier said than done. I think it's better to start with fun, enjoyment, ease in to it. Because if it's painful who wants to continue? Once people get in to the habit, THEN I think they value exercise. They miss it if they don't get it. They start to feel the benefits. At least this sort of strategy works for me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008, 7:27 AM

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Workout Personality

I think finding a good fit between personality and types of exercise makes a difference. I'm someone who likes to do things on my own, I love data, and I'm always looking to improve something - # of minutes run, # of reps, the amount of weight, etc. So, doing Zumba or kick boxing classes would SO not be my thing, but doing a workout program that got me from A to Z - I'm on it.


Sunday, December 21, 2008, 3:35 PM

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Making Exercise More Fun and Valuable

Buy a small portable DVD player and watch a movie while you exercise. At my gym there is a tv for every treadmill and some of the other pieces of equipment. I walk on the treadmill for 50 minutes every other day. It usually takes me three sessions on the treadmill to finish a movie. I get the movies free at the public library. If the movie is really good I forget I'm exercising! Sometimes I don't even want to stop watching the movie so I keep walking and watching. If I couldn't watch movies at the same time that I'm exercising, I wouldn't get nearly as much exercise!


Friday, January 23, 2009, 11:56 PM

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I like the old-fashioned kind of exercise -- I split and stacked wood today and tonight I am sitting by the woodstove enjoying the fruits of my labors. I like walking to get my groceries. I like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I like gardening. I like riding the bike to go get the paper. I like playing with the neighbor's dog when he's gone -- both of us get our exercise. I like anything outdoors that gets me in contact with nature. I am not a big person for going to the gym. Can you tell?

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 9:00 PM

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I hated exercise most of my life...I discovered Leslie Sansone's walk away the pounds DVD at the library and I love this. I'm at home with my child, no commute time, , it is like being in a class with a coach watching her on TV. The music keeps me at the right pace. And I feel better afterwards. (I also don't overeat at dinner because I don't want to kill the workout). I don't like gyms, I am a private person. THis works for me and I now look forward to meeting Leslie every evening!

Saturday, January 24, 2009, 9:04 PM

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adding more exercise and making it fun

I recently retired and have discovered free swimming three times a week at a local school. I love swimming so now exercise is fun. I know that I need to add some strength training to the mix-I'm working on that.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 9:40 AM

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exercise for fun

My husband likes to watch TV after work and I like to watch with him. I have put my weights in the family room and the BOSI in front of the TV. That way I can spend quality time watching TV with him and get exercise too. That is multi-tasking.

Friday, February 27, 2009, 9:02 AM

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I allow myself to have mostly fun workouts. NIA is fun for the soul-- dancing-- plus once you are in there you''re stuck for an hour! If I dance at home, its a 22 minute dvd or maybe two...

I do yoga--- but allow myself to do mostly restorative--

I walk in nature- I can easily walk 6 miles without blinking....

Sunday, March 01, 2009, 10:16 PM

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There are certain TV shows that I like because they keep my attention like Without a Trace, House, Cold Case. I don't have time to watch them so I tape them on my DVR and then watch them in the morning when I run on the treadmill. The time flies because I am so wrapped up in the show. I also fast forward through the commercials. I end with 15 minutes of strength training.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 10:09 AM

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wii fit is great!!!!! it is helping me exercise!!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 10:38 AM

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I am mildly obsessive compulsive and exercising has become part of my daily routine. I can't miss a day because it just drives me crazy. I have made myself think of it as part of my routine - like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. I can't go through a day without it. I think that mindset has helped me. Since Aug. 14 ( when I started my new lifestyle) I have only missed one day of exercise (I require myself to do at least 30 minutes a day) and that was for a funeral.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 5:15 PM

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Walking on the treadmill is what helps me most in keeping my weight down. At my fitness center, every treadmill has it's own tv. I take a small dvd player with me and watch free movies from the library. I get to see all the movies I want and have stopped paying to see them in the movie house.

I also watch dvds that relate to my university courses. I was taking History of Nazi Germany last semester and there were sooooooo many documentaries and foreign films and movies to choose from.

I look forward to my time on the treadmill! The dvds really keep my mind off the exercise

Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 7:30 PM

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Well my mom joined the gym with me and it's valuable to me because the more I motivate myself to go my mom will follow and it's great to see her take better care of herself. Also at the gym I belong to they have alot of fun classes that will push you but you still enjoy it and you don't even notice that you exercised for over an hour. Even once your done you feel great and don't feel exhausted to the point where you want to sleep right after.
Also now that the weather is getting better and there is more sun I really enjoy going outside for walks and I plan on bike riding again on the trails we have here. So yeah it's been great cause I get to spend more time with my mom and we could both get into better shape together.

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 4:19 AM

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Read magazines

I read people magazine and other mindless fluff. Kind of a light indulgence of nonintellectual guilty pleasure reading. (Though not all the stories are pleasurable). And sometimes when I'm reading it I actually do find some interesting things out, (lI think I first read about Peertrainer in People).

Thursday, March 19, 2009, 6:14 AM

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my fun exercise

I just started a beginner kickboxing class that is a cardio/high energy class for a hour. It's indoors/air conditioning - but I sweat so much I need a whole new outfit & a shower right after I'm done. (Fortunately it's at our health club - so my shower is my reward after I'm done) I LOVE IT!! I figure it will be a great thing to keep up in the winter months also, since it's inside (summer is easier to workout/outside, but it's the winter months I worry about "my thinking ahead".). I think everyone should try this one, try it you'll like it!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 2:06 PM

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Walking without purpose

I really dislike the idea of walking without purpose. I feel like if I'm going to be doing something, I need to have a reason why I'm doing it. I enjoy walking, but for some reason I just feel silly walking for walking's sake.

I fixed this problem by volunteering at my local animal shelter. I go every day and walk a few dogs. It's good for me, it's great for the dogs, every one wins. I get my walking in every day and it has purpose :)


Friday, July 17, 2009, 10:39 AM

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Samshan - I used to do this at the Humane Society, and it is tons of fun! I did end up with quite a few extra pets though because some of them I just HAD to take home with me :)

Friday, July 17, 2009, 10:43 AM

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The natural Way to Exercize...

I am in complete accord with this comment... I live similarly when I am home in rural Ireland... Just now with an employment contract in Kuwait... And in Jakarta last year... My life these past years in The Big City is anything but natural... Thanks for taking me back to my roots and understanding my current exercize dilema...

Wednesday, November 04, 2009, 12:34 AM

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A friend and I used to walk 4 miles on the beach every day practicing irregular Spanish verbs as we went. She was the Spanish student, I wasn't - but I'm great with irregular Spanish verbs as a result. When I walk alone, I like to take flash cards with whatever on it that I'm currently trying to learn. I love getting two things done at once!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009, 10:52 AM

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I value my exercise a great deal because I have a stressful job, and tend to worry a lot. Just going for a walk, witht he exercise and fresh air, is so important to me because it lets me relax. And Im even more relaxed/energized when I have an intense workout!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009, 3:20 PM

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i REALLY struggle with exercise lately. i read something recently that said "we avoid doing difficult things because we attach too much pain to them."
this made sense to me. i avoid working out because there are things i would rather do, i don't feel like changing clothes, sweating, showering.. i get out of work too late, i'm not a morning person, etc etc. i focus on the negatives and let them drive my decisions. not good!
but combining something i like with the exercise makes it not only do-able, but pleasant.
i have a stationary bike in front of the tv and on two nights a week, exercise is fun, because on those two nights, i have pre-recorded two favorite tv shows, and i pedal away and the time flies by.

also, i wear a polar heart monitor / watch combo. it is very gratifying to be able to see the calories burned, time spent in 'my zone', immediately after exercising, rather then just the delayed gratification of watching for changes on the scale.

Sunday, November 08, 2009, 3:22 AM

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#1 tip- slow it down and then work from there.

This article explains why:


Thursday, March 17, 2011, 11:45 AM

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For me, once I got in a little bit better shape, I saw the difference and I wanted to keep it up. Especially with yoga, lots of those poses were really hard a first, but now I can do them much more easily and I feel proud of my progress. And I have more energy the rest of the day. I don't want to go back.

Thursday, March 17, 2011, 4:54 PM

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I like to read, and our town's library has a good selection of large print books that I can read while I'm on the treadmill and the bikes and some of the other equipment. Normal size print is too small for me to see clearly while I'm walking but the large size print is great!

Thursday, March 17, 2011, 8:45 PM

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Making exercise fun!

So far all I do is walk. I am up to 5 miles every other day. I will soon be training for a half marathon so increasing my speed keeps me challenged. I love listening to my ipod while I walk. Music can be so inspiring and motivating. Although yesterday I was in the aquaduct walking towards the beach and didn't even need my music. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of bikers, joggers and walkers getting their exercise in too. My goal is to also cross train with some bursting, some Metabolic Aftershock, some Jillian Michaels, and the body gym. Fitting it in and just doing it seems to be a ridiculous mental block for me. I feel so good since starting Peertrainer and CSD in April 2014 and have a ton of energy so maybe this will be the kick in the behind I need to get it started! Reading the previous ideas was inspiring too.

Sunday, August 10, 2014, 12:25 PM

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