9 Ways to Make Exercise Fun

With the colder winter months on the way and all the temptations of holiday food making FSA (Fun, Sweaty, Activity) a priority is more important than ever.

Keeping active isn't just important for weight loss and body image but it is also essential for optimal mental and physical health. Ward of those winter blues, keep fit and avoid packing on the extra pounds with these nine simple tips.

9 Ways to Make Exercise Fun

1. Add a Friend. - Find someone to be your exercise buddy that is fun to hang out with. That way, you'll exercise just to be with them.
2.  Group Finess - Group classes are a great way to meet new people, have an instructor keep your form and be motivated to go each time. Shop around for your class: Find an instructor who has both knowledge and enthusiasm.
3. Play Something - We use the word "play" in front of sports because they are fun. You "play" tennis, golf, soccor, softball or any other sport. Find a sport that you used to "play" when you were younger and take it up again.

4. Audio Books and Podcasts - Get yourself an mp3 player and download some audio books or podcasts. Hundreds of free podcasts are available covering any topic you can imagine. Audio books can also be easily downloaded, so it is an easy way to get your "reading" in for the day.

5. New Shoes - Go exercise-fashion shopping. Start with your shoes. Go to a good running and fitness store and have a salesperson help you find the perfect shoe. Each type of shoe supports your foot differently, so make sure you have the right pair. After the luster wears off your shoes, go back for new shorts.
6. Chart your Stats- Create a wall chart, and log your exercise activity, vital statistics (weight, measurements, best times, maximum lifts, etc.). Chart every detail of your exercise routine for a month. You'll feel great with the information posted on the wall.

7. Mix It Up - Don't do the exact same exercise routine every day. If you always run on the treadmill, run outside on a nice day. Take a week off your lifting routine and do a Yoga or Pilates class instead. As soon as you feel your exercise routine becoming a rut, find something else to do.

8. Measure, Don't Weigh- The scale can be the worst factor when it comes to motivation. Stop looking at the scale every day; instead, take some measurements The tape measure will show changes well before the scale does. Be sure to measure the same places each time and add them to your wall chart.

9. TV, Videos and Music - Many people find that a bit of distraction helps get them through a workout. Listen to your mp3 player or watch TV while on the treadmill.

Finally, at the end of each exercise, give yourself 5 minutes of relaxation. Just lie down on your back and let your body sink into the floor. Close your eyes. Relax. Feel the effects of the exercise in your body. Look forward to the deep relaxation that can come after  physical activity.
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