A smiling, grey-bearded older man about to start bicycling on a pretty, tree-lined path, showing enjoyment of exercise

5 Ways to Find Joy in Exercise

To stick with exercise, you have to enjoy it. Doing so may take an attitude adjustment.

“You must learn to view exercise as an uplifting lifestyle rather than an optional chore,” says Jennifer Vaughan, MS, BSN, Cardiac Educator at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital. “People who exercise regularly have two things in common: They know they will keep exercising because quitting is not an option, and they look forward to working out. That’s because they’ve experienced the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of making exercise a habit.”

Vaughan recommends these ways to learn to love exercise:

1. Add music or a podcast to serve as a distraction and mood booster.

2. Exercise in nature where the scenery is varied and interesting.

3. Take a class with friends or play a pickup game.

4. Try a different form of exercise each day to keep things fresh.

5. Use short, high-intensity bursts of exercise to counteract the dread of long workouts.

Be sure your workout includes aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate—brisk walking, running, swimming laps, and spin classes are good examples. Aerobic activity improves the efficiency of blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, reduces blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol levels, and increases good cholesterol levels.

You may also be interested in “Gain Health by Losing Weight.”