Making Fitness Fun

According to studies, Americans spend between 40 and 50 billion dollars annually on... can you guess? ...

weight loss!


Between 60% and 90% of that is wasted on ineffective dieting where the weight comes back within 1-`2 years and 60% or more of gym members never use their membership. Yikes!  


Remember when we were kids and we called “working out”, “play”?... What the heck happened? 
We started focusing on what we look like is what happened.
Playing Badminton on Santa Monica Beach

When we were kids we were not thinking: 

"Now if I ride my bike around for half an hour I’ll work off that chocolate bar”

Or...

“How am I going to fit in an arm work out because playing Tag or Chasey is all legs”

We weren't dancing around the living room saying:

“This is an excellent full body workout.”

We just did it for fun and we were naturally fit and healthy!


Teen years are supposed to be about self-awareness, but unfortunately for most of us they became self-consciousness and a lot of us carried that into adult hood.  


Living in LA doesn't help. We're constantly bombarded by ads for lipo suction, plastic surgery, lap ban surgery. Encouraging us to focus on wanting to change our bodies.  Get bigger breasts, smaller breasts, bigger bum, smaller bum. You name it, they can change it!

How many of us have fallen for that brainwashing and wasted years painfully dragging ourselves to the gym unable to keep a regular exercise routine and feeling pretty bad about ourselves? I know I did for about a decade.


But when I shifted my focus to liking and accepting my body as it is and focussing on feeling good instead of looking good, it was a literal game changer!

I went from dreading exercise and viewing it as a chore to being so excited to do exercise that I genuinely wanted to do it every day.  
It wasn’t discipline or will power. It’s all in the power of the mind. I simply changed my attitude toward exercise. I turned it into a game - Making Fitness Fun!

Do you want to play?


There are 3 Easy Rules to Making Fitness Fun:


1) Love Your Body


Just like trees, we’re all essentially the same.  We're human - we have arms, legs, a head, but we're all unique - we look different. Wouldn’t it be so boring if all the trees in the world looked the same?


Think about palm trees alone, have you ever noticed how many varieties there are? They don’t stand there and compare themselves to each other. Can you imagine a stumpy palm
tree looking at a tall skinny tree and felling depressed about it’s weight? No! Because that’s ridiculous! It’s just as ridiculous for us to try to change how we look. 

There's so much joy and fun to experience in life, there are so many more important things to occupy our mind and time, than the superficiality of what we look like.

Whether you think you want to be bulkier or thinner or more toned, scrap all that and focus on your inner strength, mental health, feeling good from the inside and loving yourself just the way you are. Love your body just as it is. No exceptions.

There’s nothing wrong with appreciating how exercise makes us look or celebrating the results, but it shouldn't be the focus, it can just be a bonus side effect of being healthy and happy.  When we focus on the process rather than the end result, we can enjoy the journey...


When we let go of trying to look a certain way and focus on all the good feelings we get from exercise - the endorphins, the fun, we simply notice how good it feels to move.


Speaking of feeling good, the next rule is...

2) Have Fun!!!


Maybe your relationship with working out resembles a bad break up: you gave it everything you had, your blood, sweat and tears, and you just came out feeling betrayed, drained and broke.

When we feel this way, it’s likely because we were bitter and resentful before we even started. We viewed working out as something we “had” to do rather than something we actually “wanted” to do.  It's when we view exercise as a chore that we don’t enjoy it. When we were kids we didn’t dread “working out” because we viewed it as play!


We called going for a run - playing tag or chasey
We called doing an aerobics class - dancing in our living room with friends
When we went swimming, we didn’t monotonously count our laps, we splashed about, we laughed, we played marco polo, we played on the water slide, we had fun!


What sports and games did you love as a kid?


Find exercise that you think you'll enjoy the most and is most accessible. Whether it’s dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, hiking, basketball, walking, pilates, the gym, rollerskating, cycling, boxing, skateboarding, rock climbing, surfing, skiing, hoola hooping, skipping! The options are limitless!!



Hiking in Runyon Canyon, L.A.
Do it with friends, listen to music while you do it! If you have kids, go outside and play with them - play on the trampoline, play tag!

Make it special. Get dressed up for working out - wear things that make you feel good! Go buy some fun “play” clothes. Hit up the Nike warehouse, have a spending spree at Lorna Jane, or b
e like Maria from The Sound of Music and make your play clothes out of curtains! Sing Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti while you "work out".  

And if you don’t like a particular activity... don’t do it!


Life is too short to do things we don’t love. 



What happens if we like something? We do more of it! So once you find activities you like...

3) Do it every day!


Be Consistent.  We are what we repeatedly do.

Okay, so now you love and accept your body, you view exercise as fun, but you still don’t want to leave the house? That happens. Sometimes we can’t be bothered getting up off the couch to play a game.

Our muscles have memory and when we exercise regularly, our bodies naturally want to move more often, so consistency is key.


So slow down, don't push yourself too hard. Ease into it.


How many of us have braved our first day back at the gym only to be pushed so hard by a trainer that we literally can’t walk for 3 days - trainers say we need to “shock” our muscles, more like shock us into hating exercise.


A great tip for consistency is...


The 5 min rule:
  tell yourself that you’re only going to do said activity for 5 minutes. And you must keep your word. If you feel like stopping after 5 minutes, you stop.  But the majority of the time you'll end up continuing for longer than 5 minutes!

Time Savers: If you're super busy and feel like you don't have time. Remember that exercise actually gives us more energy, not less.  We can save time by mixing working out with being social.  
Instead of sitting around chatting with friends over dinner, organise to meet up at the beach or park and go for a walk.  Schedule long phone calls for when you go for a walk too!

Once your body gets used to regular exercise you will naturally find it easier to get up and go.  So, love your body, have fun, do it every day and watch as your dreaded “work out” turns into play.

Remember...


 "We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” 

Academy Award and Nobel Prize winning playwright, George Bernard Shaw 


Skiing in Whistler, Canada

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