The idea of exercising doesn’t appeal to most people. Sure, there are a few gym rats out there, but to everyone else? Exercises is a tool used to lose weight, get fit and live a healthier life. In the past, exercise has been something to pencil into your daily planner. A chore you must do, like the dishes or folding your laundry. Not something you are looking forward to, let alone want to do.
But, times are changing. With the advent of CrossFit, Yoga, and Tough Mudder, exercise is now becoming fun. Ten years ago, you may see a group of guys playing pickup basketball in the park on a slow Sunday afternoon. In that group, a few guys may be having fun. But not everyone. Some of the men were dragged along to fill up a team, others were playing for exercise.
Thirty years ago? Before the luxury of cell phones and the internet people went outside for fun. Finding a place to play a game of pickup basketball was hard, because everyone was doing it. Parks were full of kids playing. If you wanted to go to a boxing gym, good luck finding an open heavy bag. This was not exercise, it was what people did for fun.
This is something we lost. As a society, we gained instant access to information and connected with people from across the globe. But we lost, on the personal level, the joy of exercise as fun. Not as work. Today, some people are taking exercise back. Taking back exercise from a dreaded trip an expensive gym and turning it into a fun activity – once again.
We all start small. Is cleaning your house fun? Not really. Nor is mowing the lawn. But if you pop in a pair of headphones and listen to your favorite music it can be. Cleaning your house is no longer work, it becomes something you look forward too.
This is why most gyms have TV’s by the elliptical machines. Does mindless cardio sound fun? Not to anyone. But finding time to watch your favorite guilty pleasure on TV is something people look forward to.
Slowly, but surely, these everyday opportunities become something you look forward too. Once you catch the exercise bug, it is hard to stop. Like any addictive habit, you start looking for the next fun thing. Going to the gym is still too much like work, so you look for something else.
Activity that Isn’t Exercise
This is how you fall into the fitness craze of today and take back exercise. Some people still want to be a bodybuilder, and I get it. That is why I wrote The Ultimate Guide on How to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle at the Same Time. A real fitness guide from a scientific approach. But this guide applies to a minority of people. Most people, including me, just want to have fun and be in shape.
Once you start looking for fun ways to be active and get fit, you never stop. Some people find Yoga, or Pilates. Nice, calm activity to relax and stretch your muscles. Other people stumble onto Zumba or a Spinning Class. This gives people a competitive environment to push the pace, burn calories, and have fun. This is how you fall in love with fitness. You have fun.
Heck, there are even stripper / pole dancing classes popping up all over the place now. The benefits touted are a new skill, and incredible core strength. None of this is work or exercise. It is a fun hobby.
The next evolution in your personal fitness would be into a more strenuous activity. In the past, that would mean getting into a boxing ring, or becoming a gym buff. Today, that means you are trying to find a higher paced fun activity. Tough Mudder, or an adult obstacle course testing physical fitness is becoming popular.
As is CrossFit. People who previously would never dream about trying to become power lifters or self-proclaimed ‘runners’ now push their bodies to the limit. With this new hobby comes an entire new social group which is encouraging and fun. None of this is work, it is all about having fun while exercising.
The New Face of Fitness
Fitness and exercise are no longer the same words they were for our parents. Now, people who stick with fitness do not spend grueling hours in the gym. They spend fun hours doing a new hobby which just so happens to burn calories.
Starting out on a journey to fitness is daunting if you use the mindset of the past. The new mindset is that of not working out, but finding a new hobby. Find something you love to do, that coincidently will get you into shape. It is hard to not get in shape when you enjoy spending your free time training for a Tough Mudder, or prepping for the CrossFit Games. This is the only way to get in shape and stay fit for the rest of your life.
Eric is the founder of Approaching Fitness, the premier fitness website based on scientific research and real-world experience. Starting as a boxer, he has over ten years of experience in the fitness and weight loss community. Having lost over one hundred pounds himself, he is distinctively qualified in weight loss advice. Connect with Eric @ApproachingFit