How to Make Exercise More Fun Than Sex

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How to Make Exercise More Fun Than Sex

In the 1977 cult classic, Pumping Iron, now California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger titillated (and horrified) the world with his famous line about weight-lifting:

It’s as satisfying to me as coming is, you know? As having sex with a woman and coming. And so can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am like getting the feeling of coming in a gym, I’m getting the feeling of coming at home, I’m getting the feeling of coming backstage when I pump up, when I pose in front of 5,000 people, I get the same feeling, so I am coming day and night. I mean, it’s terrific. Right? So you know, I am in heaven.

Whether you’re repulsed by his bravado or not, you have to admit, it would be pretty damn awesome to be so drawn to a particular form of exercise that you’d literally elevate it to the level of orgasm.

Well, what if you could make that happen?

Okay, okay, maybe not the orgasm thing (not ruling anything out, though), but what if you could find a way to exercise that was so outrageous, so exhilarating, so much fun you couldn’t wait to do more of it every single day. What if it became such a treasured part of your life, you actually had to pull yourself away from it to make time for other pursuits?

Sound impossible? Not at all. I’m about to reveal the master key and then deliver…

The secret to making exercise not only highly-effective, but incredibly fun.

But, one thing you should know is that, if you’re over the age of 25, you’ll very likely not find it your local gym.

Exercise & the “Ugh!” Factor

When you were a child, you ran around all day, played catch, climbed trees, swam, danced around, jumped rope, hopscotched and bounced off walls until you passed out. Back then, you called it play and you loved it. But now you call it exercise . . . and you loathe it. Indeed, every time you think about working out, your entire body forms the word, “Ugh!” What changed?

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What most people don’t realize is it’s not the work part of exercise they hate, it’s the boredom!

Somewhere in your journey from kid to grownup, you went from mind-engaging, ever-changing, attention demanding activities to mind-numbing, repetitive movement. From kick-the-can to the treadmill. From jazz to the stepper. From play to exercise. Why?

Because, as life becomes fuller and schedules get tighter, you turn to the seemingly easiest, most efficient option to satisfy your fitness needs. This inevitably leads you to the steps of the nearest gym. In an effort to maximize returns and get as many people in and out as quickly as possible, however, most facilities allocate the majority of floor-space and budget to legions of treadmills, rowers, steppers, weight and other repetitive-motion machines. This mode of exercise squeezes in more members per square foot and requires fewer staff. And, while it yields admirable profits and offers workout efficiency, it is also excruciatingly, relentlessly dull.

The industry knows this and has responded primarily by adding reams of televisions, radios, web terminals and computers. Again, this simply treats the symptoms and leaves the disease untouched. Facilities spend vast amounts of money to distract you from the fact that the options they provide, while efficient, are astoundingly devoid of joy. They lead to early dropout, derail health goals, create a strong aversion to exercise and lead many to dispense with a part of life that, approached differently, would be a source of great joy.

Like it or not, most of us are not elite athletes looking to jump higher, sprint faster or pummel more defenders.

We just want to look and feel great, be healthy and have the ability to live life to its fullest. And the more fun we can have along the way, the better. After years of relenting to typical mind-numbing exercise, however, we have all but given up on the possibility of using the words “fun” and “workout” in the same sentence. Exercise, to us, translates to drudgery and our mission is simply to get it over with as quickly as humanly possible.

Interestingly, the gym industry is not any happier about this than we are. With a nearly 40% annual drop-out rate and an inability to attract and satisfy 150 million adults desperate for a solution, the current mode of operation costs facilities tens of millions in extra advertising and lost revenue every year.

So strong is the aversion to gyms that, according to American Sports Data, 93% of Americans believe exercise will improve their lives, but only 15% can bring themselves to join a gym. Even so, the industry continues to squeak out a nice profit and, with rare exception, hasn’t been willing to take the extra steps or invest the funds necessary to transform the typical gym experience into something outrageous. So, where do we go from here?

Engage the mind and the body will follow!

If you want to love exercise again, you need to break out of your exercise box. Shift your mindset away from the futility of the pure “physical efficiency” model of exercise and back to the mind-engaging ambrosia of play.

Indeed, the demand for “play” or “activity-based” exercise has begun to fuel a recent explosion in alternative forms of movement among adults that actually engage the mind, cultivate passion and inspire joy—activities like martial arts, power yoga, dancing, team sports, boxing, badminton and rock climbing.

This renewed mindset is also inspiring a return of many distraction-based exercises, like the treadmill and stationary bike, back to their mind-engaging roots. More people are walking, cycling and running outside and on trails where the mind becomes much more involved, challenged and focused on the activity and the ever-evolving environment.

And, as demand for this style of movement grows, the industry is starting to listen. Indeed, there is a movement afoot to cut deeply into the status quo. The commercial fitness companies who “get it,” the handful of visionaries who have been willing to take big chances and create a wealth of innovative, fun, exciting programming are now emerging as the industry leaders.

A small number of big box solutions, like Equinox, have stepped up their game and brought a better balance to their offerings and, in the process, demonstrated to the industry that this approach not only adds life to members’ lives, but is fantastically profitable. And, we’ve also seen a bit of a re-emergence of boutique studios that devote themselves to creating experiences steeped in joy, engagement, delight and community.

So, then how do you apply this understanding to your own fitness quest?

First, we shift your focus away from minutes, miles per hour, repetitions and calories. We figure out your Motion Profile—what makes you tick, what jazzes you from a movement standpoint. Then we build on this to find or create the most mind-engaging and downright “exhilarating” workouts of your life. We find things that require you to pay intense attention, change constantly and challenge your mental as well as your physical abilities.

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Remember what you loved to do as a kid.

Think about all the great options available to kids now. When it comes to exercise, your psychological need for engagement is no different than when you were a kid. In fact, with the added stresses of adulthood, your need for activities that not only get you healthy, but clear you mind is even greater. You need to regress to progress. I’ll help you out with this process below. Once you have found your activities, you can do them alone, with a partner or a group. You can do them at home or at a facility, whichever works best for you.

But does it really work?

Will this mind-engaging movement be as effective as your typical gym-based exercise? Absolutely! Even more so. Look, there may be more traditional or “scientific” ways to exercise that are slightly more effective at burning calories or building strength in a given time frame. But, if you hate them, you quit and lie on your couch after two months, those super-efficient exercises end up being no more effective than a tub of wings, a bucket of bon bons and an e-z chair.

Think about it:

  • Option 1: Run for thirty minutes on a treadmill every day, hate it so much that you quit, never to return to the gym after six weeks. Total calories burned after one year—10,000 = 3 pounds burned off.
  • Option 2: Dance/play for thirty minutes a day for six weeks. Bump it up to 45 minutes after that because you are having so much fun and continue indefinitely. Total calories burned after one year—50,000 = 15 pounds burned off.

It’s time to shift your focus from what works in a controlled, “test tube” environment to what works in “in the real world!”

And the key here is not what burns the most calories in the lab, but what makes exercise so enjoyable, engaging and fulfilling that you will do whatever it takes to add more to your life every day.

Create your personal Motion Profile.

Now, it’s time to learn a little more about your personality, your likes and dislikes and your current physical state. Below are a host of potential types of activities. It is only a sampling, so if there are activities you are drawn to outside this list go for it. Each one has the ability to be incredibly fun and also form the foundation for a highly-effective
program.

Activities are broken into two categories: Cardiovascular (C) and Combined Cardio & Resistance (CR).

Browse though the list below. Note any option that sounds like it might be interesting, rewarding or fun. Look for anything you might like to try. When choosing, don’t think about whether you’d be embarrassed or afraid. Put those thoughts out of your mind and react on more of a split-second instinctive level. Make sure, however, that you select at least one activity from the Combined Cardio & Resistance category.

Each activity has a link that will provide more information about the activity. But, remember, very often, the best way to learn about an activity will be to find your local resources. For example, to learn about cycling you might go to your local bike store and find out about clubs, terrain, trails, etc.

Narrowing the activity field.

Now, we are going to create or find your activities and design a program based on them. If you are like most people, you have probably chosen activities that:

  • Engage your mind,
  • Constantly change or have high-levels of novelty and variability, and
  • Require your absolute attention.

And, you have probably pictured doing them with at least one other person. For sure, most of us are social beings. We may not like large groups, but, in the end, most people enjoy sharing experiences with others. If not, do not be alarmed, be glad. You are actually much easier accommodated than most.

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Narrow Your Motion Profile

As always, before beginning any program of regular activity, I strongly advise you to seek the advice of a qualified physician or health care professional and, if advised, participate in a pre-exercise evaluation. And, of course, always start slowly. Remember
how long it may have been since you last exercised. Start smart and you’ll have the rest of your life to excel.

Your job, over the next 24 hours (no, you cannot take longer) will be to look on the web, click and of the resource links above, look in the phone book, papers, periodicals, call friends and family and find out how you can sample each of the activities you checked. You may resort to an activity club, a private instructor, gym, studio, league, stable, local Y or any other qualified place.

Or, you can put together your own group. A fun, easy home option is activity/exercise videos. Just google your activities or search youtube, where you’ll likely find a ton of free instructional videos as well.


If you are drawn to weightlifting, and just like Arnold, a certain percentage of people will actually really love pumping iron, it’s always best to work with an expert, but you can get some great information and pointers online.

Very often, people are drawn to walking outside, either alone or with friends. This, of course, is among the easiest of all activities to try. Look for a setting or video that offers both the activity and the interaction level that stimulates you. Remember, it’s all about finding a selection of activities that you want to do.

Get the schedules for any potential places, get the videos delivered overnight or try renting a few at your local video store and commit to sampling at least 2 and up to 5 different kinds of activities from the above list in the next 7 days. You may find your activity immediately or it may take a few days.

It sounds like a bit of an effort, but, for crying out loud, we are talking about creating massive change in your life, so make the effort! If you are not willing to commit to this small challenge, how do you imagine you will commit to changing your life? Make this small effort your first challenge. As I mentioned before, many of you will enjoy power walking outside from the beginning. Try classes, traditional exercises, dancing, whatever you raised your eyebrow from the above list.

Do not delay. Do not procrastinate. Do not futz around.

Do not give up here! If you are able, find an expert who can help guide you in this endeavor. Remember, this program will change your life if you do it, but it’ll get you nowhere if all you do is read it. Act on it, now!

And, of course, remember, you are just beginning, keep your level of exertion down to minimum and keep the time frame short (often a few minutes will suffice). Focus instead on whether you enjoy the “style” of movement. As you try each activity, rank your general enjoyment of the activity from 1 to 100. Once you are done, the top two to three activities will form the foundation for the physical part of your program. We will return to these later when we create your actual Plan of Action later this month. If you need, try the next five activities from the list.

Transforming Boring Exercise

For a very small percentage of you, there will be few, if any, activities that truly engage your mind and are fun to do. I spent a bunch of years as a personal trainer, yoga instructor, founded two “alternative fitness” facilities and oversaw a lot of lifestyle pros and have yet to work with the person whom I cannot introduce to movement that is fun.

Still, if you believe, after a serious effort, you are one of these folks, don’t despair. You have two options.

Option 1: If it takes a village, assemble a damn village. Bring together or find a group of people whose company you really enjoy and tap the opportunity to engage with them as the primary motivator to get the job done. Truth told, I’ve always felt this was a big part of the secret behind places like Curves, where the exercise intensity level is generally low enough to keep a very easy conversation going.

Option 2: Take the least “offensive” activity you can find (this will almost always be walking) and add in the most-portable distraction possible. For most people, this is will be a portable tape, CD or MP3 player or radio. Play music, books on tape or any other content that engages your mind and makes the time spent more enjoyable. I recommend a portable distraction, because it is easier to travel with and makes it more likely you will stay active when you are away from home or the convenience of a TV.

While this will never be as much fun as movement that, by its very nature, engages your mind and makes you smile, it is the next best thing. Just be extra careful to pay attention to your environment, especially traffic and others around you, when using your tapes, CDs or a radio outside.

Option 2: Transform repetitive- motion exercise into a moving meditation. For a precious few, this comes naturally, for most others, you’ve gotta train the effect.

Turn off the TV and induce something called the “relaxation response” during the exercise. Induction of this mental state is actually one of the reasons you feel great after mind-engaging exercise. Athletes commonly refer to this as being in the “zone.” When you are there, nothing else exists, nothing else matters. And even though you are exercising, your respiration, blood pressure and heart rate are measurably lower than they would be doing the same exact thing without the mental focus. This extraordinary state has been shown in a myriad of clinical studies to reduce stress and anxiety and increase immune response and the duration and quality of sleep.

Mind-engaging exercises induce this state almost automatically. The very nature of the activity requires intense focus. When I was in high school, I was a competitive gymnast. I specialized in parallel bars. Every time I began a routine, the second my fingers felt the bars, the world vanished. For the next two minutes, I lived and breathed only the rapidly changing movements of my body. There was no crowd, no music, no gym. In fact, I knew that if I heard anything before my routine had ended, my concentration had broken and I would fall. Same thing with ball-based sports like basketball. The nature of the game demands that you focus intensely on the elements of the game—the ball, the players, and the hoop.

Distraction based exercises, simply by their nature, do not induce this same level of concentration. Running on a treadmill, for example, does not require intense mental focus. You can, however, train yourself to enter into the “zone” while running. For a lucky few, this happens naturally. For everyone else, you do it by focusing your mind on your body, your steps or your breath. You actually create a sort of moving meditative state.This is very different than distraction, because instead of tuning out, you actually go deeper into the movement and breath.

This is a topic that is beyond the realm of this article. But I would encourage you to explore it further. You may want to begin by reading Dr. Herbert Benson’s breakthrough book The Relaxation Response or Jonathan Kabat-Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living.

Music & Movement.

Music, by it’s very nature, is not bad in conjunction with exercise. In fact, it is often wonderful and sometimes even necessary. You should feel free to bring music into your activities when (1) it is used as an integral part of the form of movement itself and (2) it simply enhances an activity you already enjoy. Dancing, for example, is certainly not much fun without music, but, for most people, with music it is wonderful.

Wrapping it all up.

It all comes down to this. When you are younger, the quest to enhance appearance and performance will motivate you to exercise, often regardless of whether you enjoy the mode of exercise. Later in life, though, with far more on your plate and a shift in emphasis to getting the most out of life, it takes something more to draw you in and then keep you committed. Simply put, it’s got to be fun. It needs to add to the experience of your day. If you can crack that nut, then integrating exercise into your life will be monumentally easier.

So now, let me leave you with a question – what types of activities are you going to try? What makes you smile just a little bit when you think about it?

Please share these activities, along with your thoughts, questions and ideas, in the comment section below…

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78 responses

78 Responses to “How to Make Exercise More Fun Than Sex”

  1. Makes so much sense, Jonathan.

    Here’s one (which I haven’t tried) that makes me smile when I think of it: Spiral Fitness with David Carradine and Rob Moses.

    http://www.kungfumoses.com/kfm/

    Cheers,
    Sheila

  2. Adeline says:

    I was looking to connect with like-minded people in my new community and found a TEAM in TRAINING group that was training to run a 1/2 and full marathon. Having participated in a TEAM in TRAINING full walk marathon prior, I was asked to be a fundraising mentor. This commitment not only made me a runner (I finished my first 1/2 marathon), but it connected me to a great group of active people. The TEAM in TRAINING programs raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and offer all levels of activity and training. Look on line to find a group in your area.

    While I am still running and training for another 1/2 marathon, I like to mix it up with rock climbing, swimming, walking, hiking, weight-training and what I call lifestyle activity. I equate this need for variety to being a Gemini. Some people prefer to follow a set routine, which is fine, but you should still incorporate different types of movement into your plan.

    I find that paying attention (being mindful) while working out has much better results than doing it mindlessly. Slow and steady certainly wins the race when starting a new activity and getting some professional training makes everything you do much more productive.

    You may also consider joining adult league sports.

  3. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Sheila – thanks for sharing the resource. let’s see if we can pack this post and comments with as many resources as possible!

    @ Adeline – Great idea to take the connection beyond the physical activity and grow it deeper into the community that wraps around the activity. Love it!

  4. Mehdi says:

    Thanks for the back link Jonathan. Totally agree that exercising should be fun in the first place, if it’s a chore you won’t stick with it.

  5. [...] Full Article Here… This entry was written by Darryl Holtby and posted on December 5, 2007 at 12:09 pm and filed under General. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Restaurants, My Achilles Heel | Part 1 [...]

  6. Brad says:

    I love the Arnold quote.

  7. Post On Fire says:

    Great fitness plan…
    Some of the activities I enjoy is mountain biking and I can do this for hours every day, but unfortunately I live in a very cold winter weather, and I really miss biking in nature…
    but your plan is a good all year exercises..

  8. maurice says:

    I agree, but I found an even better way:
    Most of my life I played, coached, and sometimes refereed soccer.

    Th referee part came due to a constant and chronic shortage of qualified refs.

    About 5 years ago I quit playing.
    Due to:
    Age( I am 51 now), business commitments, plus the fact that my children had grown up and moved out.
    I no longer was motivated to participate.

    Then about 18 months ago I was feeling poorly and saw the doctor:
    1) My BP was up over 140 and he wanted to prescribe meds for that.
    2) My cholesterol levels were very high. More meds
    3) I had developed type 2 diabetes. Even more meds

    Now I had a choice:
    Live on several kinds of meds, face some side effects, and face a probable death due to cardiac or stroke issues, or do something about it.

    I chose to do something:
    I took some courses in refereeing to upgrade my skills.
    I now referee 2 or 3 games, 5 days a week.
    3 hours of walking, running and stretching.
    Out in a beautiful field, or in a nice indoor facility in winter.
    I participate with a bunch of kid and adults in an activity I enjoy a LOT.
    I am fortunate that I know many of the adults from previous soccer experiences.

    Oh, and the final touch:

    I GET PAID TO EXERCISE.

  9. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Mehdi – Yes, exercise is only effective if you “do” it, and engaging the mind the key.

    @ Brad – Gotta love the fact that the same guy who shocked the world with his quote is now governor of California!

    @Post on Fire – I actually love mountain-biking, too, so finding a cold weather option has been a challenge, but for years, I turned to Spinning because it gave me a similar experience (if the teacher was good).

    @ Maurice – Love it! Never thought of being a referee, what a great option. If you have a link to any organizations that would help somebody get into it, feel free to post it in the comments!

  10. Robay says:

    I didn’t see one thing on that list that I enjoy a whole lot; that entire list is tainted for me with “exercise”, not fun. What I enjoy is playing music. I love it. Last night I got together with two other friends and played congas (standing) and kit for 3 hours. Now, it might not be what the triathlon set or the M.D. considers CR, but in my experience going back almost forty years now: It takes stamina, mind-body coordination, deep inner relaxation, and a spontaneous, flexible mind to play good music.

    So I guess my solution for the moment isn’t carrying portable music. It making music and good memories for later life.

    Y’all take good care now, and remember. This moment is where the magic is.

  11. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Robay – Love the idea of music and drumming, great addition. Get your music and workout Jones in at the same time! Thanks for adding this to the list!

  12. will says:

    So true – until I found my love for cycling, I could never force myself to run or go the gym for more than a few weeks.

    It’s essential to find something you love doing – the rest is easy

  13. Deb says:

    Just got hooked on Indoor Spinning. Love it but most inspired by the energetic instructor and great tunes.

  14. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Will – I got hooked on cycling when I was a kid, used to ride for hours and then really got bitten by mountain-biking. But, I drifted away from it over the last few years. All these comments about cycling are rekindling my zest though and making me want to get back into cycling shape this winter.

    @ Deb – Hey Super-D! Nice to see you playing here. Yeah, there have been times in my past when I’d totally lose myself Spinning. But, I totally agree, it is definitely very particular to the teacher and music.

  15. Daniel says:

    I loved your article. This contains LOTS of useful information on how to tackle a problem that many people suffer from and that is exercise motivation. Making exercise fun is one of the best ways to incorporate exercise into your life for the long term.

    Jonathan…again great article. I would love to use it on my site. Keep up teh good work.

  16. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Daniel – Thanks for the kind words. PS – you’re welcome to reference the article, but no re-posting. Thanks!

  17. Jason says:

    Ah, but the secret to enjoying the repetitive movement is to take it to the climax. If every “thrust” in the gym takes you one step closer to a climactic ending, it gives you the results you want, and that is when the true “coming” happens. Not all forms of exercise have the same physical outcome, so you’ll really have to decide what floats your boat the most.

  18. Jonathan Fields says:

    @ Jason – can anyone say, “double entendre?!”

  19. [...] How to make exercise more fun than sex | Jonathan Fields | Awake At The Wheel [...]

  20. [...] How to make exercise more fun than sex | Jonathan Fields | Awake At The Wheel [...]

  21. Mike says:

    This is a great post! I’m always battling with people who say that exercise is boring or that they hate it. Well, if sitting on an exercise bike for an hour in a commercial gym is your workout, then of course you’re bored.

    I’m always looking for ways to do my cardio outside of the gym – a few great new ideas here.

    Thanks

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  27. Kinky James says:

    I guess if you can’t figure out how to make exercise more (or even as) fun as having sex you can still use sex as your motivation for exercising!

  28. [...] How to make exercise more fun than sex [...]

  29. [...] How to make exercise more fun than sex | Jonathan Fields | Awake At The Wheel [...]

  30. That was a good read and a refreshing take on exercising. Swing dancing sounds a lot of fun :)

  31. janelle says:

    LOVE this post…one of the major reasons that exercise is not fun (as you mentioned in the post) is really because we get bored with it. The hardest part is finding the motivation to get started and then to keep going. Consistency is SO important when it comes to getting and staying in shape :) I am an athlete, so I should know!

  32. I haven’t ever been able to get exercise to be more fun than sex and my wife didn’t like my idea of just starting a sex as exercise routine, so I’ll see if I can’t try your suggestions. Great read.

  33. tennis man says:

    This is a great post! I’m always battling with people who say that exercise is boring or that they hate it. Well, if sitting on an exercise bike for an hour in a commercial gym is your workout, then of course you’re bored.

    I’m always looking for ways to do my cardio outside of the gym – a few great new ideas here.

    Thanks

  34. evercleanse says:

    This article is absolutely awesome and I agree with the fact that exercise can make you feel better about yourself. personally just eating right and detoxing when needed keeps me from getting to unhealthy.

  35. Dancer Pole says:

    The newest form of fun exercise is definitely pole dancing. It’s popular among women of all ages.

  36. Kunto Plus says:

    With music playing at high volume I can exercise with my cross trainer for a pretty long time, but without my iPod I lose intrest after 15minutes.

  37. Nick Andrade says:

    A lot of people completely overlook the importance of actually enjoying the type of exercise that they do. I really think that this accounts for a lot of drop out.

  38. danny says:

    Jeez two years ago some guy wrote an article and I stumble across it and love it! I think this internet gig might take off!

  39. Stephanie says:

    Jonathan, thank you so much for the article. I have been losing weight and exercising for about a year and a half, and have had a lot of success, but I DO find myself getting bored, and this was just the kick in the tush that I needed to get out there and try new things. My excuse is usually that I don’t want to spend the money, but honestly, my health is my greatest investment, and I should try new and fun things.

    Thank you again!!

  40. Fitness was commonly defined as the capacity to carry out the day’s activities without undue fatigue. However, as automation increased leisure time, changes in lifestyle.when we want to look and feel great, be healthy and have the ability to live life to its fullest. And the more fun we can have along the way, the better.

  41. Alex says:

    Hey Jonathan

    loved the title (How to make exercise more fun than sex). thanks for posting

  42. [...] don’t love gyms. Because all too often they’re built around space maximizing, repetition-driven exercise, especially the “cardio” options that do nothing to engage yo…. This kept me from moving my body the first time around and, truth is, it keeps millions from [...]

  43. Szenovera says:

    It is another fantastic post. I so much looked at to read something about this topic and I found it finally. I would like to thank you for that you stopped my searching and for sharing your thoughts with us. I will back to read something new written by you.

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  45. sarah smith says:

    I think for me the easiest way to make exercising fun is to workout with a friend. Then you don’t get bored and you can challenge each other when you work out.

  46. Excellent post. Join a soccer league, play with your dog or kids, take a “fun” fitness class, like a bootcamp class. The time will fly by!

  47. jack says:

    As I am trying to lose weight, it is just I was looking for. The only exercise I do is raising and lowering my arm, while I am smoking.:)
    Thanks for the post. This my change my life… I hope so at least.

  48. [...] can often push myself to exercise, meditate, eat well, sit down to write and pretty much overcome most forms of resistance in the [...]

  49. Grant says:

    I find a huge difference in my attitude towards exercising when it shifts from an activity to an experience. Using an exercise bike is just not as exciting as getting on my Trek and biking for 30 miles on a Saturday morning.

  50. Valary-Mac says:

    Hey ladies,
    Dance/jazz is amazing for the “love of sweat” I have found. For more concervative ladies who dont care for the sensual pump songs with alot of group or indoor work-outs, check out Praise moves I & II, best yet!

    Also like rockin’ to the oldies. (i think thats what its called :s)

    Also… listen to an ipod, but only if its safe. LOOK both ways before crossing a street, for pete’s sake! I have your health in mind, so forgive me for harsher words. ;)

  51. arumib says:

    Whenever I start to workout, I hold my breath. I don’t mean to and I try really hard not to but I can’t stop. I really want to start running

  52. [...] But, IT IS POSSIBLE to love exercise if you know how to approach the process. In fact, done right, you may even learn to love exercise more than sex! [...]

  53. The most awesome thing I’ve done for myself exercise-wise is to start taking pole dancing classes. It’s sexy. It’s fun. It’s meditative. It’s a skill for life.

    Pole dancing is my yoga.

    #thatisall

  54. Mandie says:

    This article has inspired me!

    I got to thinking how I have always wanted to learn how to dance. So started digging around for adult classes and stumbled across a form of dance/ballet/movement class that I use to do when I was younger (it’s called physical culture…not sure whether it’s done anywhere else in the world other than Australia?).

    Anyway, I am going to take it up again! I use to love it when I was younger, although I always felt more inept at it than the other girls in the class. But now that I have more confidence as an adult, I am going to tackle it with utter abandon. I can’t wait!

    I’m pleased this post made its way into my life…I heart Twitter :-)

  55. I remember having this same epiphany about play and exercise a long time ago, and thinking adults should have play dates to go out and play together like kids do. Of course, I never did anything about it — except I got a dog, so I’d be forced to walk twice a day.

    Fantastic article, and thanks for making it flexible enough for us old farts to get in on. I’d love to someday be in shape enough to get back on the jungle gym at the playground. Wouldn’t that be a sight?

  56. Laura Roeder says:

    Another reason why people go to the gym is time convenience. Something I’ve been focusing on this year is shifting my thinking on making health a priority and proving that in how I spend my time. My favorite activity is hiking, but it’s much more time intensive than going to the gym and hopping on the treadmill. So I have to make an active choice in my lifestyle that hiking is WORTH making room in my schedule and eliminating other things for.

  57. An exercise that I always loved was good old fashioned table tennis. Not the easy batting the ball back and forth kind, but real serious table tennis — the kind where you need fifteen feet of clear space at each end of the table, and where you’re moving fast. I played like that while I was in the Air Force decades ago. It was nothing to break a sweat in the first three minutes and then go on to play for a couple of hours.

  58. Bill says:

    I absolutely love how you chose to start this article. That “Pumping Iron” quote is epic. Ya gotta love Arnold ..haha

  59. Vlad says:

    Wow! This is a really helpful post. Indeed, everyone must enjoy what they’re doing. What good a physically fit body is when you’re not enjoying it. If you love what you’re doing, the result is always good!

    Vlad

  60. kerry says:

    cool blog, has been really informative to me , got to get my arse into gear and get back down the gym.

  61. Dani says:

    I have been mountain biking for years and I still love it. It just gets better and better and keeps the weight off. I can’t stand being inside a gym (boring) so biking outside will always be my first choice for exercise.

  62. Joline says:

    I prefer to make sex a form of exercise LOL. But really thank you for this informative post.

  63. chocam says:

    until I found my love for cycling, I could never force myself to run or go the gym for more than a few weeks.

  64. James says:

    Wow really good post, More people would be successful at there fitness gaols if they only enjoyed what they were doing. I like to change it up a bit a few times a week. Instead of the treadmill try badminton or switch the bike with a dance class. Helps a lot.
    Thanks for the post

  65. Alex says:

    Well, this is a game changer of a post for me. I get bored real easily and although a life long yoga practitioner and long time at Tai Chi too find myself doing too little…Walking can get boring too!

    I totally agree on leading with the mind so I have some planning to do to get more variety into my routines and enjoy them again.

    heck I may even haul out my rowing machine sometimes – I find I can do that with the radio on – it’s the daily doing of the same exercises that turns me off.

    Back to play!

    :-)

    Alex

  66. My favorite exercise is sailing. The mind is focused, it has to be, and if you’re out in the chop, you’re scrambling around every minute, trimming sheets and balancing against the heel. It’s exciting, time flies, and you get a really tight rump out of it!

  67. Hey Jonathan,

    Good post, thank you for sharing the info.

    To me, only by doing my multitasks and running errands for my sister’s family have been so enough in making me from “have to” to “like to” do exercises.:) They involve a lot body movements and the mind as well. I have to climb the stairs to the 3rd floor of our apartment for 4-5 times a day, just to name one. Used to feel so angry, but now when I managed to slim down to 6-7kgs and no flabby tummy, I feel so happy!

  68. Gary says:

    - Exercise and sex go Together –

    Exercise and sex help release hormones which our body responds to. Some of it is pleasurable and some of it is not. The body tends to want to keep things running smoothly and any bumps or curves along the way cause it to react in some fashion. Too many bumps and too many curves could cause problems.

    Exercise can be unpleasuarable at times especially if one jumps in too fast and try to bite off more than they can chew. I use the law of accommodation which basically means go into exercise with moderation and build up resistences gradually.

    Sex can be treated the same. Too much sex could wear you out but worse is that you develop a disinterest in your partner. Best to keep things new and fresh if possible.

    My baltimore brazilian jiu jitsu training has really strengthened my body and has given me flexibility and vigor. This has served me well in life and also in bed. I recommend it for men and women and you might be surprised at some of the positions and their applicability in bed.

  69. [...] Our exercise program had been sporadic and our dietary activities were also inconsistent.  Sure, we were spartan in our behavior immediately after the hospital stay and the ignominious suffering imposed upon us by the slicing, stabbing and legal maiming endured there.  We “got religion” for a short while.  But in a few months we had fallen back into our old habits. What were we thinking? [...]

  70. [...] or marketing campaigns are added. Because, as I’ve discussed in an earlier article, the the problem runs core and culture deep.And that has created a massive opportunity for niche newcomers and outliers who solve problems, [...]

  71. [...] The number one thing I think I absolutely cannot stand to hear is: exercise can be fun! [...]

  72. [...] Jonathan Fields — How to Make Exercise More Fun Than Sex If exercise can be this exciting, we’ll definitely do it everyday. [...]

  73. Kelli says:

    walking/running/skating with your dog. The dog makes it all so much more fun.
    Dancing
    Hula Hooping
    Skating
    Skate Boarding
    Rebounder/trampoline
    swinging at the park
    climbing at the park
    swimming
    home renovations and gardening
    heavy cleaning
    plus I climb, bend, stoop, twist, squat all day in my job as an interior painter.

    Also get really into play
    Play with your kids.
    Play dodge ball, basketball, relay races, jump rope, red rover, hop scotch. Help them practice their drills, sparring and katas for martial arts classes.
    Teach them how to manage and walk the dog correctly.
    And of course, I mentioned hula hooping. It is one of my favs.
    Spin around until you fall down laughing. Have a snowball fight.

  74. [...] of exercise are always worth a little hard work. Planning challenging workouts and choosing engaging exercises will go a long way to making fitness fun and [...]

  75. [...] of exercise are always worth a little hard work. Planning challenging workouts and choosing engaging exercises will go a long way to making fitness fun and [...]

  76. [...] of exercise are always worth a little hard work. Planning challenging workouts and choosing engaging exercises will go a long way to making fitness fun and [...]

  77. […] of exercise are always worth a little hard work. Planningchallenging workouts and choosing engaging exercises will go a long way to making fitness fun and […]