17 Ways to Make Yourself LOVE Exercise!

Love Exercise

flickr: kubina

Is it possible to love exercise, even when you hate it?

I really admire people who are completely committed to exercise at all costs – this is where I want to get to myself, and preferably it would be better if I began to love exercise, rather than just feeling that I have to do it.

So, for those of us who struggle with flagging motivation, here are a few suggestions:

#1 Take it slowly – don’t get too overwhelmed by the thought of exercise. It’s best to begin slowly, by starting with 10 minutes each day, building up to perhaps 30-40 minutes at a time. Check out A Bit by Bit Approach to Exercise.

#2 Think of exercise as “me time” – exercise should be a time when you allow yourself to chill out, reflect, and de-stress from the days events, so enjoy it, it’s your time!

#3 Move more - take every opportunity to go out of doors, it will make you feel healthier and happier. Why not take the dog for a 10 minute walk? Or go for a short stroll after dinner this evening.

#4 Find an activity that you enjoy – this really goes without saying, but if you enjoy what you’re doing, it will be so much easier. Perhaps you could try gardening, hill walking, swimming, or tennis – just remember it doesn’t have to involve a gym, or a structured exercise programme, merely a little more movement than usual! Check out Fitness Fun for the Whole Family.

#5 Try a stationary bicycle – exercise in front of your favourite TV programme, read a book or magazine, or listen to music while you cycle your way to better health.

#6 Take up an extreme sport – if you like things a little more adventurous, how about downhill mountain biking, skateboarding, or surfing?

#7 Download audio workouts using iTunes – many people have found these to be invaluable in providing the necessary motivation to complete their workout. Why not give it a go?

#8 Try out PlayStation’s range of fitness programs and dancing games.

#9 Exercise with purpose – jog to the grocery store to buy a couple of items, cycle to the book store, or walk to necessary appointments, such as dentist, doctor etc.

#10 Make sure you have the right gear – whether it’s great trainers, trendy clothing, or the latest exercise gadgets, having the right gear can really make a difference to how you feel. Check out 7 Exercise Accessories for Gadget Luvin’ Geeks!

#11 Consider competing in a charity event – this will completely change your motivation; rather than simply trying to lose weight or get fit, you’ll be accomplishing something larger, and you’ll feel fitter to boot. How about running 10K for Cancer Research?

#12 Join an exercise class – group workouts provide great moral support, a chance to make new friends, and get fit, all at the same time.

#13 Purchase an exercise DVD – choose something you really enjoy, such as pilates, step aerobics, or Tae-Bo.

#14 Crank up your iPod with a few select tunes. You’ll need at least 6-7 songs for a 30 minute workout. Check out In the Gym if you need help making your choice.

#15 Get off the train or bus one stop early and walk the rest to work, the shops, or home. You can gradually build up towards a level that suits you.

#16 Take up running – check out How to Become a Runner in Just 10 Weeks, for an easy to follow plan, which begins small, building up gradually each week.

#17 For something completely different how about rock climbing, or Taiko?

For tips on how to exercise when you don’t want to check out this post.

What are your exercise tips? We’d love to hear what really works for you!

If you’re wondering what to eat prior to your workout:

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Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren July 31, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Great list. I enjoy using the PlayStation’s range of fitness programs and dancing games, fun and healthy.


Tom August 1, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Competing in a charity event is my favorite suggestion. The event itself is great exercise, but it is a great motivator to train for. Training for an event such as a run or bike race is extremely beneficial.


Melanie August 2, 2008 at 7:50 am

Hey Lauren,

I’m glad you’ve tried out PS and can recommend it, I haven’t given it a go as yet!! :-)

Hi Tom,

I think it would be amazing to do this, particularly if you can collect money for something special, it just makes it worth while at another level.


Blake Hagen August 5, 2008 at 4:38 am

Great ideas. I am more consistent with my workouts and exercise when I am focused on a specific event. I love triathlons and when I am registered for a specific race I do well with the training. If I have no race coming up I my training seems to slide a little bit.

Blake Hagen’s last blog post..Believe and Achieve


Melanie August 8, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Hi Blake,

I’m sure most people experience a similar sliding, it’s bound to be part of the relaxation period following such intense training.

Do you have any tips for us on finding the motivation to actually compete in your first triathlon? I’m sure it’s an amazing experience!


Blake Hagen August 9, 2008 at 3:58 am

I got into triathlons just because it lets me vary my training routines. I can run one day, swim the next, bike, etc, or a combo. I like that variation so I don’t get bored just doing the same thing everyday, or every other day. The motivation came from just wanting to finish something that would push me to work harder. Tri’s are addicting. Once you finish one, you’ll want to do more, and do harder ones!

Blake Hagen’s last blog post..Quote of the Day


mia March 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

I can run one day, swim the next, bike, etc, or a combo. I like that variation so I don’t get bored just doing the same thing everyday, or every other day


Sarah December 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I’ve just recently found your website and I think it’s great!

Your advice to use some sort of event to help training is the best idea! I ran two 10km races this year, both for different charities, and it really helped me get the motivation I needed to get running! Although, the poster above is spot-on: when it’s over, the motivation seems to lag a little. I’ve had a hard time since trying to get my motivation back, so my fiance decided we should make exercise a competition, since he’d like to lose some weight too! We both hate losing, so hopefully this will work for us! We are just starting, and we will check in monthly to see who has done better in weight loss, number of calories burned, and amount of exercise time. Whoever wins gets a healthy 3-course meal cooked for them! Wish us luck! :)

Thanks again for your inspiring articles!


Melanie December 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

Hi Sarah,
What a brilliant idea, I love it!! I wish you all the best for that, have fun :-)


Kathrine January 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Great discussion. I have a wii and play dance dance revolution and wii fit every day. Both are fun and get you moving pretty good.


David Boyd February 27, 2011 at 10:40 am

How about this for #18: Join the Army.

Seriously. My friend, Tim, has gotten gazelle-intense about exercise. Having no choice but to exercise and then having that military rigour drummed into you will do the trick. I just tag along for the workouts when he’s not at army.


Melanie February 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

lol David… that’s definitely one solution. Good that you can tag along with him, too. If you can keep up, surely that’s pretty encouraging??


David Boyd February 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Yeah its good when I can keep up. Thankfully, he rolled his ankle at the weekend and can’t train right now!


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