Make Exercise Fun!

Is it an oxymoron to include “exercise” and “fun” in the same sentence?

I’ve had a blast this winter watching my little Luke develop a love for snow skiing, all while he speeds down the mountain and seeks the nearest bump to jump!  Likewise, he has recently developed a new interest in hiking. He wants to take the dogs for a run in the hills every day after school, no matter how cold it is.  Whether it’s skiing, tennis, biking, soccer or basketball (at the ripe age of 7!), I’m reminded that “more, more, more” is a much more likely outcome if he enjoys the sport.

Does the rule only apply to kids?

I can’t wait until my Spring tennis league. For me, tennis is a blast, because I get to hang out with friends, engage in some healthy competition, and attempt to improve my net shots (if that is at all possible). With no Boston Marathon this April, I can focus on “fun” exercise, as opposed to grueling, long and frozen-finger training runs. I’ll save the pain gain for warmer weather this year, as I’m about to sign up for Grandma’s Marathon in June.

Appropriately, when I was watching Oprah last Thursday (while I was working, I promise!), Jennifer Hudson shared fitness secrets on her journey to weight loss. One, she runs on the treadmill at the gym because it’s her favorite of the equipment. Two, she jumps rope because it reminds her of being a kid, when working out was all about fun. Lastly, she also loves playing basketball; because as she described it, basketball is so much fun that she doesn’t even feel like she’s exercising. Watch this video to see for yourself. As the days grow longer, try to include more workouts that expand your capacity for laughter. What activities brought a smile to your face when you were a kid? Enjoyable exercise is more habit forming than dreaded fitness activities. What sounds fun to you?

Melinda Hinson