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How to Flip Fitness from Hard to Fun

Life is not a montage, and yet sometimes we expect it to be. Wouldn’t it be great if we could achieve peak fitness in the time it takes to watch Rocky box and skip his way to greatness? The truth is, sometimes healthy habits can be a bit of a grind. Also true is that fact that without the right goal setting and support system it is easy to get caught up in old habit patterns and this is when willpower and good intentions aren’t enough to keep us consistent.

The fitness industry marketing machine sells us images of super sweaty glowing perfection - apparently a result of a somewhat magical mix of willpower, the latest breakthrough fat melting exercise and some special gadget thingies or pills that make fat fall off your body like a snake sheds it’s skin.

What is clearly lacking in this narrative is joy. Remember when you didn’t even call it exercise, it was just play?

Sometimes we exercise with purpose to rehabilitate an injury, accomplish a goal or to learn a new skill. The rest of the time, doing what puts a smile on your dial is key. Some recommendations from my clients include:

  • Walk your dog or walk regularly with friends
  • Riding your bike to a café to enjoy a good coffee and a book
  • Listing to a great audio book while walking or jogging around your favourite park
  • Try a dance class with a friend
  • Attend a non-intimidating group class that has a great vibe and something for everyone
  • Book a personal training session and learn something new like boxing or gymnastics
  • Indoor rock climbing with mates
  • A swim and long walk at the beach
  • Bush walking and picnics

If it’s a super hard day – try the 10 minute rule. Do 10 minutes of activity and if you decide to stop, that’s ok, some movement is better than no movement. Also, chances are that after 10 minutes you’ll start feeling better and be ok with the next 10 minutes and so on.

Stop waiting to find that perfect week, diet or workout regime and start by searching for pockets of joy. Try to organise them around times you might be vulnerable to boredom eating or drinking liquid calories.

It might take some time to develop a love of moving and for you to stop calling it exercise or a chore or something you ‘should’ do – that’s normal. However, if you make it easy to enjoy the journey and just do something often, even something small, you’ll find you create the momentum you need to stay consistent and change your life trajectory.

One thing I can guarantee, you’ll never regret a workout but you will regret missing one.

Coach Nicky McKimmie

  • B.A (Anthropology)
  • Fitness Australia - Level 2 Exercise Professional
  • Nutrition Coach: Precision Nutrition Level One & Two Certified
  • Australian Weightlifting Federation – Level 1 Coach
  • Pre & Post Natal (Exercise in the Child Bearing Year)