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Here’s the Secret to Enjoying Your Exercise Routine

If you dislike exercising, you are not alone. A recent survey of 2,000 frequent exercisers in the United States discovered that half of them don’t find pleasure in physical activity. Surprisingly, 34% would rather hand-wash dishes for life, while 25% would choose texting their ex or even giving up Netflix for a year over working out.

However, exercising is crucial for your health and well-being. It reduces the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, recent studies indicate that regular exercise saves four million lives annually and can even extend your lifespan. So, even if you despise it, it’s worth finding ways to enjoy being active. Here are some tips to help you find joy in your workouts.

1. Embrace a “Fake it until you make it” mentality

While dishonesty is generally discouraged, in this instance, give it a shot. Fitness expert Katie Austin suggests deceiving yourself by committing to just five to ten minutes of movement. If you feel good, continue; if not, at least you made an effort. When the time is up, you’ll feel accomplished for trying.

2. Establish a workout schedule and stick to it

For those who thrive on routines, this strategy may enhance your workout experience since you’ll have something to anticipate. Having a plan is crucial, as Austin explains, “I schedule my workouts in advance so I can ensure they happen, particularly on days when I lack motivation.”

3. Lay out your workout attire the night before

Preparing your workout clothes ahead of time can boost your motivation, as discovered by a 2018 study involving 2,000 regular gym attendees. Over 90% of the participants reported that wearing their gym clothes encouraged them to exercise even when they weren’t feeling up to it.

4. Avoid exercises you dislike

Although it may seem obvious, many individuals still adhere to the “no pain, no gain” ideology prevalent in fitness cultures. The reality is that exercise doesn’t have to be punishing to be effective. To maintain a long-term fitness routine, it’s essential to engage in activities that you genuinely enjoy.

5. Transform your workout routine into a gratitude practice

Shifting your mindset about exercise can make a significant difference in how you perceive it. According to Austin, changing your perspective to “I have the opportunity to work out” or “I have the privilege to move my body” instead of “I must do it” can significantly improve your overall happiness, as supported by scientific research.

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