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Learning to love exercise

Posted Oct 26 2012 2:07pm

 Exercise often seems to be the one thing many of my clients will do well at first but struggle with long term. They jump on the bandwagon only to fall off a few weeks or even months later. While I have been pretty consistent throughout my life with my own exercise habits I can honestly say i’ve gone through phases where I either avoided the gym completely or hated every minute of it too. Now, i’ve reached a point where I have not only gotten back into a great exercise habit, but I actually look forward to my workouts. They are a time of day where I can focus on doing something good for myself and I genuinely crave that feeling. With that in mind here are a few of my tips for learning to love exercise.

1. Find a workout you enjoy (at least most of the time) 

In the past I was notorious for spending 30 miserable minutes on the elliptical every single day and hating each second of it. I also attempted weight train without a specific goal or plan causing me to lack motivation and not see the results I wanted. I’ve always enjoyed walking, occasional running, biking, and kickboxing, but have never been a fan of doing cardio when i’m not in the mood.

Now- I aim for intense cardio 1-2 days a week and make an effort to get at least some movement in the other 5-6 days per week. I love to run, but I have to be in the mood for it so I typically only get a good run in once per week spending the other days going for longer walks or moving as much as I can. I started weight training 4 days a week with a partner and am able to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. Training with a partner has helped me to see results weekly which keep me motivated and wanting more. I also thrive on being sore so I make sure to push myself hard enough to feel it the next day.

2.  Figure out the time of day exercise is best for you and stick to it

For me morning is best, if I don’t roll straight out of bed and hit the gym I rarely fit in a good workout that day. Luckily my schedule is flexible enough it works most of the time, but even on the days I do have early morning commitments I set the alarm extra early and do the best I can. I used to be a total exercise class junkie at the gym and that worked great for keeping me on track and busting exercise boredom, plus I loved the social aspect of group fitness. Now however, I find myself stressing out if my workout isn’t complete my 8 or 9 am. So to compromise I usually attend 1 group class a week a little later in the morning and then the rest of my days start with my workout first thing. I love kickboxing so I often treat myself to a turbo kick class on Fridays where I know if I get a later start on my day I won’t be stressed. I also love the class so much even if I am in the middle of working on something I will drop everything and go. Sundays are often my relaxing day so I don’t schedule a workout but I leave the day open to whatever I am in the mood for which often turns out to be a walk after dinner to unwind. Bottom line if you’re an early bird or night owl figure out what works for you, and stick to it.

 3.  Find balance

Although I believe getting into a routine is the best way to stay on track with your fitness I feel very strongly about balance in all aspects of life. If you need extra sleep one morning and miss a workout don’t stress over it instead eat a little less and move a little more. If you go three days without hitting the gym you might need to just force yourself to go and do something to get back into a routine. Often once you get in a habit you crave the feel good endorphins you get from your workouts you will start to miss those when you go too long without a good workout. It’s all about finding a healthy balance. Working out is an important part of health but if you hate it or it causes you more harm than good you need to find a better alternative. Try yoga, long walks, working with a trainer, joining a group fitness class. There are so many options its just a matter of trial until you find what works for you!


Favorite workout? turbo fire

What keeps you motivated? weight training results and knowing I am doing good for my body

I’m off to get a few things crossed off my list including my latest newsletter. Make sure to sign up if you’re not already on my mailing list.

Have a great weekend


Kate Horning, dietitian and holistic health coach of  Simply Nutritious by Kate,  inspires others to eat well and live well using her Nourished Weight Loss approach. Visit her website  to learn more and to join the Simply Nutritious lifestyle. Questions or interested in talking with a certified health coach?  Contact Kate  for a free 30 minute consultation. 

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