Tips To Make Exercise More Fun

By Heather Johnson
YMCA at Gothenburg Health Fitness Instructor

You know the benefits and the need for exercise, but, man, sometimes it is just plain HARD to make yourself get up and move. In 2009, Reebok surveyed 15,000 participants across 25 different countries as part of market research. They discovered nearly half of all surveyed know that exercise is important to their overall health, but less than 25 percent participate in fitness often. Why? Nearly two-thirds said they’d work out more if it was more fun. More than half felt exercise was a chore.

(, May 6, 2009, “How do you make your workout fun?”)

Is that you? Does exercise feel like a chore? These tips will help you enjoy movement more!

1. Find movement you ENJOY.

Your brain is created and wired to enable you to MOVE. Every part of life requires some kind of movement, and exercise helps us be stronger and ready to do the daily activities of living. Here are a few interesting facts from a book called “The Joy of Movement” by Kelly McGonigal.
“People who are physically active are happier and more satisfied with their lives. People who are regularly active have a stronger sense of purpose, and they experience more gratitude, love, and hope. They feel more connected to their communities, are less likely to suffer from loneliness or become depressed. These benefits are seen throughout the lifespan.”
The KIND of movement and the intensity you choose is not the key to this happiness and satisfaction. The good things listed above (purpose, gratitude, hope, etc.) are based on the fact the person is moving – in whatever way that satisfies them. So how do YOU enjoy moving? A walk? Pickleball? Group fitness? I encourage you – try a few new ways to move, and you might discover you find a new variety of activity!

2. Exercise increases energy and helps with moods and feelings!

Exercise influences your brain chemicals and mood. This creates more energy, reduces stress and helps create a bond with others. When you move your body, your muscles actually secrete hormones into your bloodstream that help your brain become more resilient to stress. Scientists call them ‘hope molecules.’”

3. Community!

As humans, we were designed to be our best when involved in a community near us. As part of a community, we share common bonds and movement. French sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the term “collective effervescence “– the euphoric feelings we experience moving together with other people in ritual (religious or otherwise), prayer, or work. “Collective action reminds us we are part of, and moving in, community reminding us where we belong.”

Here is the article for more information:
Belonging. More energy. Reduced stress. Bonds with others. Fun. All this comes by movement, and we are so glad you move with us here at the YMCA. Who can you invite into this “collective effervescence?” We will all be better because you did!

Heather Johnson is a wife, mom of 3 and has been teaching fitness for over 13 years. She is certified in group fitness, drumming and yoga-type movement. When she is not teaching at the Y or enjoying her family, Heather works for a non-profit called Revelation Wellness as the Director of Culture. Revelation Wellness’ vision is to use fitness and wellness as a tool to bring the good news message of the Gospel of Jesus to the entire world.

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