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5 Ways To Find Exercise You Enjoy

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Midlife Fitness: Lesley McShane

Getting exercise is good for you.

I would be hard-pressed to find someone out there that would deny that fact. We all know that we should be exercising, but while some find enjoyment in it as I do, many just don’t. Maybe you are one of them.

Now people are saying that you need to get some exercise for your own current and future health. But you have a mental block. You just can’t wrap your head around finding something, anything that you might enjoy enough to do regularly. 

For you, I’ve got five ways to help you find something you enjoy doing to get in those 30+ minutes of elevated heart rate that you need five to six days a week.

1. Think Back To Childhood:

Let’s go back to your childhood. When you were a kid, what did you love doing? Maybe you played a sport that you haven’t played in a long time. Did you go out exploring with friends and ride bikes or climb trees with them? Did you jump rope or take dance lessons?

Most of these things you can still do as an adult. Except maybe climb trees. But you can get the equipment and find a climbing gym. Many adult leagues are playing all kinds of sports or you could just call up a bunch of your friends for a friendly round-robin of Pickleball. 

“Don’t try one thing and then quit because it wasn’t your thing.”

Many local bicycle clubs get people together to ride just for fun. Find a local trail to hike and explore nature. Jump rope in your driveway, play hopscotch, or swing on the playground. No one ever put an age limit on these activities.

Find yourself an adult dancing class and join other people or dance solo in your living room. It may not sound like exercise, but I guarantee you can get your heart rate up with some good old-fashioned rug-cutting. 

2. All Exercise Is Not Created Equal:

Change the mindset from I don’t like exercise to I haven’t found the right exercise.”

Don’t try one thing and then quit because it wasn’t your thing. If you don’t like something, choose something else. Change the mindset from I don’t like exercise to I haven’t found the right exercise. 

Check out local gyms or the YMCA to see what classes they offer. There are a myriad of group step, aerobic, spin, and kickboxing classes to choose from. Other gyms or studios focus on other specific types of working out like circuit training, cross fit, barre, or yoga.

It’s also important to know that you don’t have to settle into doing the same activity every day. Change it up. Take a class one day, a walk the next, a bike ride the next, and some jump roping the next. If you change it up it will be hard to get bored.

3. Experiment With Exercise:

Be willing to try something new. If you see people out on paddle boards, get curious and go rent or borrow one to try out. Not crazy about tennis? What about this new thing called Pickleball with its smaller court and racquet?

People are making a sport and exercise out of everything. Don’t let having little to no experience be a stopping point for you. Give it a try. If you like it, great! If you don’t, oh well, you tried, on to something else.

4. Get Competitive:

Maybe you are competitive. There is competitive at the moment and there is training to be competitive. Bowling is a competitive, in-the-moment sport, for most of us. If you are looking for things where a score is kept or have leaderboards on platforms, then try Peloton or Orange Theory. 

“Make exercise an adventure. It is something you are doing for yourself.”

Do you think it is too late or you are too old to train to be competitive? That is simply not true. There are master categories or age divisions of most sports available out there. Search them out. 

5. Exercise At Home:

You may not have time to get outside every day or drive to a separate facility to get exercise. Then work out at home. Clear some space in a room and get on the internet and find a good exercise class to take. There are so many free or low-cost ones. 

You can get on a treadmill or a bike trainer in your basement. You can lift weights, jump rope, or do plyometrics. There are so many options right in your own home. And don’t forget the dancing in your living room. 

Exercise Doesn’t Take Talent:

Getting exercise and enjoying the benefits of it doesn’t take talent, it just takes consistency. The possibilities of getting out and into some new or fresh air are so great that I dare you to find a reason not to get moving. 

Make exercise an adventure. It is something you are doing for yourself. And if you still can’t find anything you enjoy doing, there is always just getting exercise because we have to enjoy a long, healthy life. If you know and understand that fact, the answer is clear. One day you are going to wish that you had started now, like today.

Please note: This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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About the Author:

Lesley McShane is an advocate for all things midlife health and wellness. She is a podcaster, writer, author, and ACSM certified personal trainer who is fully committed to encouraging middle-aged women to prioritize their fitness and nutrition NOW to feel better and live happier, longer. She hosts the top 1.5% globally ranked podcast Redesigning Midlife where she and her guests talk about embracing the empowerment of midlife with the realization that it is never too late to feel amazing. Her mission is to help women discover that everything they need to create an epic and healthy second half of life already lives inside them.

Lesley enjoys cycling, music, being with family and friends, IPAs, the NFL, her doggies, motivating people, and generally being curious about life. You can visit her website at www.lesleylmcshane.com.