A standard workout is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, no one can deny that exercise is the foundation of good health. If you hate working out but still desire to be a more active person, keep reading.
Think about your goals the right way Jeff Cavaliere (MSPT, CSCS) has some unconventional tips for people who want to begin a workout journey. Cavaliere was both the Head Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Coach for the New York Mets during the National League East Championship 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons. He created a video under the Youtube channel of his fitness program named Athlean-X. In the video “Workout Consistency Made Easy,” Cavaliere recommends not to prioritize a fitness goal that is too specific.
“I know this is contrary to the advice you have likely been given or heard from many others,” he said. “Setting specific goals is... bad.”
Cavaliere is not against all goals, he does believe general goals can be motivating. However, he also believes that a goal can’t be accomplished without a strong sense of purpose behind it.
“Without answering the question of why you are fighting to achieve a certain goal you will likely fall off track during the process,” he said.
So, what does this all mean? If you hate working out but want to change that, before thinking about how you want to change your lifestyle, think about why you want to change your lifestyle. Cavaliere said that your “why” will drive you to real results.
Freshman computer science major Alina Nikitina knows why she needs exercise. “I enjoy working out, [I feel] such a great buzz after [I run]. The momentum keeps you motivated for other stuff like school,” Nikitina said.
Find something you like
Going along with the idea of finding your “why,” it is also helpful to identify why you hate working out. This will help you find a solution that is best for you. “I don't like working out because it takes time away from doing the things I really care about,” said freshman history major Marisa Silverman. If the biggest obstacle between you and working out is time, you need to try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT workouts are a combination of intense exercises allotted within a short period of time. There is usually either brief rest time or low-intensity exercises in between the “intense bursts.” HIIT workouts are very diverse and can focus on different areas of the body. Find the workout that works best for your goals.
Most of them do not even require equipment, which is perfect for people who want to be active at home. Alexander Mack, a freshman marketing, international business and psychology triple major, said “A combination of COVID-19 and cold weather may make it seem like workouts are limited. But if you have just five feet of floor space there are dozens of good workouts you could do.”
An article from Vox explains how researchers found that 20 minutes of HIIT can be more effective than 50 minutes of regular exercise.
If weights, squats and crunches sound like a nightmare, there are so many other exercises to explore! Being active can be done in fun ways too. Consider the following options, you can even do these with friends:
Dance Dance workouts can be amazing to get your sweat on and still have fun. A great example is Zumba, which is offered at numerous gyms and also has videos for people to try at home. It’s like a dance party, but you are also burning calories and working your muscles.
Hike Take advantage of the great outdoors. Any kind of hike or bike ride gets your heart rate up without making it feel like a boring workout. In fact, it feels like an adventure. A famous hiking site in the DC-Metro Area is the Billy Goat Trail. Walk A workout does not need to be extravagant or extremely intense to be considered a workout. A walk around your neighborhood or in a park is a great way to get your steps in. Jam to some music while you do so, it will relax and energize your mind at the same time.
Sports Let’s say you hate the idea of working out, but you still love a good competition. A dodgeball game or a soccer match can be a fun activity with friends while still creating those endorphins. This can be applied to any kind of sport. You don’t need to be good at it, the point is to have fun and get a workout in.
The mind and the body are strongly connected. Training your mind to be optimistic and flexible is a must, especially if you already have negative feelings attached to the concept of working out. When you have a long-term goal, a positive mind will give you the strength to overcome any obstacles in the way.