​How to Actually Enjoy Your Workouts

Nothing feels better than looking forward to your workouts than dreading it. When you actually enjoy your workouts you are more likely to be committed to them and stay consistent. If you are positively engaged with something, it makes you want to, rather than have to workout. This positive mindset in regards to exercise is crucial.

Do you want to have better, more effective workouts? Here are some tips to actually enjoy your workouts!

1. Choose a form (or few) of exercise that you really enjoy.

It could be something as fun as the sport you enjoyed when you were younger. Maybe you enjoyed football or running. It could be an activity you did too- dancing, yoga, swimming. Choosing a workout you enjoyed will automatically make you look forward to doing them again; especially when you associate with its memories and the fulfillment you got out of it.

2. Warm up to it so you can settle in.

"Working out has a calming effect very similar to that of spending time in a sauna or a hot shower, and...can help relieve anxiety and depression," says Larry Leith, Ph.D., author of Exercising Your Way to Better Mental Health. Exercise your large muscle groups by cycling, swimming, or lifting weights for at least 20 minutes. This triggers the white blood cells to release pyrogens and peptides, which raise the body's temperature by 1° to 2°F. The result? A more rejuvenated and happy you.

3. Play music that energizes you during your workouts.

It is no surprise that music can have either a positive or negative effect on your workouts. It’s not just your average runner in the park that relies on the power of music, explains Dr Costas Karageorghis, reader of sports psychology at Brunel University. Anyone can rely on the power of music to get in the zone- it makes you want to move, can help you exert more effort into your workouts; and best of all, it makes you want to move!

“Marry the music with the activity and the mental state you want to achieve. For instance fast, loud rhythmic music, that is percussive and bass-drive is best for psyching yourself up before weight training.” - Dr Costas Karageorghis.

4. You don’t always need heart pumping exercises to consider it a workout.

Exercise pumps up not only the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin, but also levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, two other natural happiness helpers. Additionally, physical activity makes it easier for tryptophan (a building block of serotonin) to enter the brain, says Daniel Amen, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine.

Even taking a walk or a jog at a park near you, walking by the beach for a while to enjoy nature’s therapeutic effect and activities that involve less stressful physical exertion can boost your mood and be an effective workout. Plus, you get to connect with your mind and feel refreshed.

Have a happy and satisfying workout!