Olympic athletes have a passion for their sport. Find a sport you love, and you’ll be more motivated to exercise too.
We’re gearing up to watch the London summer games. Are you? Whenever we watch those elite athletes, we’re always struck by the determination and drive that have brought them there, especially the hours and hours of early-morning practices and workouts. What makes these athletes so dedicated to their sport? They truly love it and have a passion for it. So why not take a cue from them and find a sport you love so that working out won’t be a chore? You’ll actually want to exercise rather than put off that gym workout you never seem to get to. Here are some ideas to help you find your way.
Try out several types of workouts
You may not even realize you enjoy a certain type of exercise unless you try it. You may think you hate running, but once you do it, you may discover you love a certain aspect of it (perhaps it gets you outside and into the fresh air, for example). Give any workout a few tries before you make a decision about it. Sometimes you need to experience the routine more than once to know whether it’s for you, since so many factors play a role (you may not have been a fan of a particular yoga teacher, for example).
Try both individual and group exercises
You may surprise yourself and learn you like one type of exercise over another. For example, you might prefer to work out alone rather than making it a social affair, but you may find that being in a group or a class makes you more competitive, and striving to improve yourself because you’re in a group setting may accelerate your fitness. Or if you’d always thought working out alone would be boring or unmotivating, you may find you like the time to clear your head and be alone with your thoughts.
Don’t just watch — do it
Seize the moment. If you’ve always watched Olympic swimmers wistfully, don’t just watch; sign up for a course to improve your stroke. Do the gymnasts make you long for the gymnastics class you took as a teen? Research a workout that offers the same gymnastic exercises. Do you think the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance look like they’re having a blast? Drop into a dance class, and try it out for yourself. Quit putting off finding an exercise regimen you love and resigning yourself to workouts you dread doing. Explore the possibilities. You have an inkling of what you like; now just put a plan into action.
More on workouts
Summer water sports to try
How not to overheat during outdoor summer workouts
Fitness boot camp: What kind of workout can you expect?