The Secret to Enjoying Exercise

Exercise. People either love or loath it. How about you? If you fall into the Loath-It Camp, then you may find yourself relating to my love-hate relationship with running.

What's the secret to enjoying exercise? It's as simple as slowing it down and taking your time. Click To Tweet

Running. I couldn’t stand it. There’s a reason high school athletic coaches use running as “punishment.” It’s pure torture. At least I thought it was once upon a time.

I avoided running for “pleasure” until sometime after college when I noticed more and more “fun runs” popping up all over the place. There must be something that I’m missing. How could all these people willingly sign up… to run?

After seeing yet another 5K advertisement, I tentatively made the decision to give it a try.

I laced up some brand new kicks, popped in some ear buds and bounced out the door ready to set my own personal record. I started off strong, confident with my head held high and a smile on my face. I waved at passerbys, breathed in deeply and thought,

“Yes! This isn’t so bad. This is what this running thing is all about. I’m flying! I wonder how far I’ve done?”

I glanced down at my phone. 0.23 miles.

“Hm… I must have run further.”

I continued my trek around the block. I started to feel my face redden, my breath became labored, my legs burned. I resisted looking at my phone for as long as I could before finally giving in. Please say at least a mile. Please say at least a mile. 0.47 miles.

“WHATT?!! There must be something wrong with this thing.”

I huffed and puffed my way back, tossed the still-fresh-from-the-box sneakers in my closet and called it a day.

“That’s it! I just can’t run. It’s awful, and I just don’t like it! I DO need something to eat though…”

The Secret to Enjoying Exercise

The Simple Secret to Enjoying Exercise

If this story sounds familiar to you, don’t despair. I made one crucial mistake when I set out to make running enjoyable. I went too fast.

The secret to enjoying exercise is to slow down.

Like learning any new skill, it requires time. The first time you rode a bike you didn’t just hop right on and zoom away. No, it takes a lot of practice before you are pedaling at top speeds.

Too many people jump into an exercise program and end up doing too much too soon. Unsurprisingly, their bodies aren’t used to it, they feel completely awful while doing it and end up sore for days and days after. It doesn’t have to be like that!

Slow down and take your time when starting a new exercise program. If you aren’t sure where to start, find yourself a personal trainer who can help. Also, be weary of any instructor who pushes you too much. Motivation is a great thing, but you won’t feel motivated if you are pushed beyond your limits. You won’t feel motivated if you are injured.

Slow and steady wins the exercise race, but I have one more word of caution. Let’s get back to my running story.

A few years went by after my original attempt at a “fun run” before I thought I’d give running another try. This time I was armed with the Couch to 5K program and ready to go. The Couch to 5K program is a great way to start running. It combines running and walking and slowly builds until you are running a 5K completely.

Well, I’m happy to say that I successfully made it through the program. In fact, I fell completely in love with running.

Soon I was signing up for races left and right and going for runs every day. There was only one problem.

I was doing too much too soon.

It wasn’t long before I developed runner’s knee. And, just like that, I was back to where I started.

It’s amazing when you finally find a workout or exercise you love. With all those endorphins, you’ll want to spend all your time doing that exercise. You’ll want to keep improving, and you’ll want to keep seeing results. Don’t go overboard and overdo it. An overuse injury will stop you right in your tracks.

So, what’s the secret to enjoying exercise? The secret to enjoying exercise is to be patient; take it slow and steady. If you want to enjoy exercise for the rest of your life, there’s no reason to rush it. Find something, any physical activity that you like, ease your way into it and you’re sure to find yourself sticking with it for many years to come.

The Secret to Enjoying exercise

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  • Kristen says:

    Really good tip – I always try to do too much too soon as well!
    Kristen recently posted…How to Protect Your Family From the Zika VirusMy Profile

  • Dr. Yarish says:

    Thanks! For many people exercising can be a real challenge. Especially when people exercise for weight loss. Very helpful content, thanks again.

  • DSP says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience! I think it will be also helpful if you’ll find something you like. Some people hate jogging but love bicycling, some people hate bicycling but really enjoy swimming. When you’ve found an activity you like, it becomes easier for you to maintain regularity.

  • Xavi says:

    Exercise is especially beneficial when people are trying to lose weight. Very helpful content, thanks again.

  • xewoj says:

    your content is very helpful, thanks for sharing your exprience

  • Safin says:

    Flexibility exercises are a game-changer! Incorporating them into your fitness routine can lead to improved mobility, reduced risk of injury, and enhanced overall well-being. Whether it’s yoga, stretching, or Pilates, prioritizing flexibility helps you move more freely and comfortably. Don’t forget to include these exercises regularly to maintain a healthy range of motion and enjoy the benefits of a more flexible body!

  • I always try to accept others but don’t feel that same way. I always get ignored when I try to talk to many people.

  • Armin Sopnil says:

    Helpful exercise information. looking for more

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  • Armin Sopnil says:

    Helpful exercise information. looking for more. here i found some more
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  • Shahzad says:

    Tricia, your story resonates with so many of us who have struggled with exercise. Thanks for sharing your journey and the reminder to take it slow. Your experience with running and finding balance is both relatable and inspiring.

  • Hakim Boss says:

    Physical Activity is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being. It boosts mental health, improves physical fitness, and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases

  • Don bhaii says:

    Discovering the Fitness often lies in the pacing, as shared in this relatable story of overcoming the initial dislike for running by taking it slow, emphasizing the importance of patience and steady progress in building a lasting fitness routine.

  • Rakid says:

    Comparing it to learning any skill, particularly riding a bike, emphasizes the need for practice and perseverance. Just as one doesn’t master biking at top speeds from the start, the same applies to running. Your story serves as a reminder to approach exercise with a mindset focused on the journey rather than an immediate destination. It’s a valuable lesson for those who may have written off certain activities prematurely. Overall, your narrative encourages individuals to give themselves the time and space needed to find joy in physical activity.

  • Jack says:

    Slowing down and being patient is indeed the key to enjoying exercise . Rushing into it can lead to discomfort and even injury, so taking the time to ease into a routine is crucial for long-term enjoyment and health benefits. Finding a balance between pushing oneself and allowing the body to adapt is essential for a sustainable and fulfilling exercise experience.

  • Jax says:

    Absolutely agree with the importance of pacing and patience in adopting exercise. Just like finding the right travel destination, it takes time to discover an activity that suits you. Taking it slow ensures a sustainable and enjoyable fitness travel. Thanks for the insightful reminder!

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  • Nafis says:

    This narrative beautifully captures the common struggle with
    running, emphasizing the importance of pacing oneself in the journey
    towards Exercise. The message about patience and taking it
    slow resonates, offering valuable insights for those starting a
    fitness routine.

  • Fitness BD says:

    Thanks for your article.

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  • joynal says:

    The Simple Secret to Enjoying Exercise good

  • Shahzad says:

    Your journey with running resonates! Slowing down can make all the difference. It’s about finding your pace and enjoying the process. Thanks for sharing your insights and reminding us to be patient on our fitness journeys.

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  • What an insightful read! The journey from despising running to falling in love with it teaches a valuable lesson: patience is key to enjoying exercise. Slowing down not only prevents injuries but also allows for a more sustainable and enjoyable fitness journey. This resonates deeply with the importance of prioritizing physical health and the biohacking benefits of listening to our bodies. It’s all about finding balance and taking the time to nurture our well-being for the long haul.

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    I like the idea of enjoying exercise. But to perform exercises you have to have a good meal plan and workout that work. And I would suggest this Fitness website for you.

  • Thanks sharing your tips. It is very important for our society.

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