Making Fitness Fun
Making fitness fun is easy – you just have to start enjoying it! For some people, of course, it is not as simple as that, but that doesn’t mean that fitness can’t BECOME fun by altering how you approach it.
Richie, the Internal Force Fitness mascot, has fun when he is exercising. Being a cartoon makes things a lot simpler, however – I literally just have to draw a smile on him, and presto chango = he’s having fun! If only it were that easy for us right?? Or is it…
How to Make Fitness Fun
When was the last time you laughed when exercising? Or smiled when exercising? Smiling is an automatic mood adjuster, it starts to shift chemicals around and can literally MAKE you happier. BOOST this natural mood enhancer with some light exercise and you never know – it might feel like someone has drawn a smile on your face!
Exercise is NOT good for you if you don’t enjoy it, so it stands to reason that the best exercises are the ones you enjoy! The image above is me having a laugh when I was teaching a class many years ago (or supposed to be teaching a class anyway…).
There is MUCH more to health and well-being than just forcing your body to do something it doesn’t want to. Never underestimate the power of simply FEELING good! A good fitness idea is the same as a good ‘normal’ idea – you should WANT to try it out to see if it works. If it doesn’t, there is no limit on the number of good ideas you can have in your life!
Fitness Fun in the Park
Here is a picture of me having more fun than I was supposed to be having while exercising! A friend and I went to a local park so I could get some reference images of me performing one of the exercises from Chinese Radio Exercises. This is the final phase of the ‘Drawing the Bow’ exercise – not an overly funny move in and of itself. Add to the mix someone yelling:
“Yea baby, fire that sucka!”
however and you can see how it becomes more fun.
I am a great believer in mental imagery when exercising – not just mental focus, but actual IMAGINATION. I called this site Internal Force Fitness because for me that is what it is all about – using your OWN internal force to get you moving to your full potential. With exercises such as Draw the Bow, you can immerse yourself in the movement. You can be Robin Hood, Green Arrow, any number of characters from Lord of the Rings…or just someone firing an arrow full of negativity into the cosmos.
Next time you exercise, try painting a smile on yourself, and work out in a world of energy balls, gangsters or Orcs! See if it makes a difference.
The Best Exercises are the Ones You Enjoy!
Don’t be afraid of fitness! Look down at your body right now – that’s yours! You OWN that! Professional athletes have a different kind of body. Models have a different kind of body. Nature makes some people stronger, faster, more agile, just as it makes some taller or slimmer. Those factors are NOT within your control. What is important is to know which factors ARE within your control and work to those. If you understand your own body, work it through its full range of motion, stretch and tone the muscles, then all the strength, speed and agility you will ever need will be there when you need it.
Stop Looking for the Perfect Exercises to Make You Look Perfect!
There is a big ‘body positive’ movement at the moment – basically love what you have. Great. Maybe you don’t expect to see that kind of response on a fitness website, but it IS great. You might do everything I have just said in the previous paragraph – you’ve increased your flexibility, your strength, your stamina, and you FEEL great – yet not look ANY different. So. What. All that proves is that you are a fully functional human being, fit and agile enough to do everything you want to in life. Your body is RIGHT. How you look is RIGHT. Everybody who says differently is WRONG, and you have my permission to either pity or ignore them!
Best Exercises For Me
I know what the best exercises are for me; Tai Chi, Chi Kung and bodyweight strength-building exercises. How do I know these are the best workouts for me? Simple – I’ve tried an awful lot more, but these are the ones I enjoyed and kept coming back to. About 5 years ago I realized that I had found the exercises that worked for ME and focused on those. Even today, with around 30 exercise programs in my training file, I find myself going back to exercises I learned right at the beginning just because they make me immediately FEEL better. I associate them with the commitment I made and the journey I began.
Another reason I enjoy those old routines is I’ve done them so often I know them by heart! It can literally get to the point in the day where I have made every excuse possible NOT to exercise (even though in the back of my mind I WANT to), yet I can just start something like the Daily Dozen without getting changed or going through some pre-workout rigmarole. Within TEN minutes I will be done, I’ll feel better, and can go about my business!
The Daily Dozen is one of the first set of exercises I learned (and it took some deciphering!), and I’ve spent some time this year rewriting the near 100-year-old text to hopefully make it more accessible to a 21st Century audience. It certainly deserves to be! Read more about that HERE.
Look Fit by Feeling great