9 ways to make exercise fun

Two senior-aged women walking for exercise.

Are you intimidated by exercise? Don’t be.

Like most activities, exercise gets easier with practice and you’re more likely to stick with something you enjoy.

We have tips for getting the most out of exercise:

1. Start slowly

Aim for 30 minutes of moderate cardio (such as brisk walking) three times a week and build from there. If you have a medical condition or injury, check with your doctor first.

2. Work with a trainer

This is a good way to start if you are new to exercise. Many gyms offer a free fitness assessment and training session with a membership.

3. Make it part of your daily routine

If you add exercise to your schedule, like any other appointment, you’ll be less likely to let something else get in the way.

4. Move to music

Music adds more to a workout, including helping you set your pace and elevating your mood. Studies have shown that listening to music makes exercise, even high-intensity interval training, feel easier.

5. Switch things up

Do different types of exercise including cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and balance. Not only will this help avoid boredom and overuse injuries, but it will improve overall fitness. Balance training will help prevent falls as you get older.

6. Take classes

Exercising with others is motivating. A new study suggests that any activity that involves moving and socializing, such as line dancing or group fitness sessions, helps maintain brain health in aging adults.

7. Buddy up

No classes? Find a workout partner. You’ll encourage each other and keep each other accountable. You might be tempted to skip a workout but you won’t if it means letting your buddy down.

8. Think positive

Remember Proverbs 23:7? As you think in your heart, so you are. Don’t let defeatist thoughts deter you. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m too old (or too fat) to get in shape,” remind yourself: “Day by day, step by step, I’m getting stronger.”

9. Set a goal

Have something to work toward, whether it’s participating in a 5K, walking without a cane or dancing at your grandchild’s wedding. A trainer can design your fitness program to help reach your goal.

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