Sometimes, the thought of getting in shape can be frustrating. It can be hard to find the motivation to eat healthy and hit the gym regularly. This is especially true if you're not a big fan of going to the gym (or participating in other forms of exercise) or prepping healthy foods. But there are plenty of ways to get in shape and have fun. Thinking outside the box of a typical "diet" or exercise plan can help make a healthy lifestyle fun and enjoyable.
Method One of Two:
Finding Fun Ways to Exercise
1Set goals for yourself. There's nothing more exciting or motivating than meeting a goal you've set for yourself. Whether it's losing 10 pounds, running your first 5k or eating healthier, meeting goals is a fun and satisfying way to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
- Set up a few goals to meet while you're trying to get in shape. This may help you stay on track and motivate you.
- Set both short-term and long-term goals. It is essential to set short-term goals that focus on small milestones that are attainable.
2Buy a pedometer. These devices will count your steps throughout the day and show how active you are. There are a variety of pedometers on the market — watches, phone apps, or bracelets. Being aware of how much you're walking may be a fun way to get you moving more.
- Many pedometers offer communities or the ability to "friend" others. This may be fun for you, especially if you're a bit competitive. You and your friends or others you meet can compete for who gets the most steps in a day.
- Many health professionals recommend aiming to get 10,000 steps a day (which is about 5 miles). Meeting this goal every day might be a fun and somewhat addicting way to get active.
3Play a sport. Many people do not consider going to the gym or running on a treadmill the most exciting or engaging form of exercise. But when you're playing a game like soccer, basketball or volleyball, you might find yourself having a lot of fun while you're working out.
- Sign up for local intramural sports. Many cities or townships have teams that you can sign up for.
- Get together a team at your office. You might find that other people want to join you and get out for a fun team sport after work hours.
4Sign up for races. If you're competitive you might like signing up for regular races. It can be fun and exciting to race past other people and cross a finish line! These are great for people who are little competitive!
- There are a variety of different races you can sign up for that are a fun and competitive way to get in shape.
- Spend some time researching local races that are at your fitness level. There is anything from walks, 5ks, marathons or triathlons. There are even more fun races like obstacle courses in the mud or color runs.
5Work out with a friend. Working out with a buddy is another way to make exercise a little bit more fun. You can catch up and socialize with a friend while working up a sweat.
- Studies have even shown that working out together helps keep you motivated and on track. You're not as likely to miss a workout if you know your friend is waiting for you.
6Reward yourself. Nothing is more fun or exciting than meeting a goal and rewarding yourself for all your hard work. Set up enticing rewards for yourself as you meet your fitness or dietary goals. These are great motivators to keep you on track.
- Reward yourself with small items for your short-term goals. For example: purchase five new songs for your playlists or a new workout shirt. Set up bigger rewards for larger or more long-term goals. For example: a massage, a round of golf at a nice course, new shoes, or new clothes.
- If you're working on weight loss or healthy eating, it might be counteractive to reward yourself with food. Try to stick to rewards that will promote a healthy lifestyle.
7Listen to a podcast or audiobook. If you get a little bored while you're working out, try downloading a podcast or audiobook to listen to. You might get totally involved in the story and forget how long you've been exercising!
- There are a variety of free and very reasonably priced audiobooks and podcasts that you can download onto your smartphone or small tablet. Get lost in another world or another story while you sweat it out!
Method Two of Two:
Making Healthy Eating Fun
1Buy cookbooks. Indulge in a few healthy eating cookbooks to help inspire you with new and fun recipes. A cookbook might offer new recipes you haven't tried or give you ideas to help get out of a recipe rut. Do not let food be boring! Try new foods, recipes and cuisines.
- Try to find cookbooks with a lot of pictures. It may be enticing to look at beautiful pictures of healthy food! You can also find a ton of healthy eating blogs online. They typically release new recipes weekly and are a fun way to get healthy recipes and tips right in your inbox.
- Don't want to spend money? Look up healthy eating food blogs or other sites that feature healthy recipes that you might want to try.
2Sign up for a cooking class. Healthy eating might be something that you're not used to or familiar with cooking. Try signing up for a healthy eating cooking class. You'll learn some healthy cooking techniques, recipes, and get to sample healthy meals!
- Bring a friend or family with you. Cooking together is a lot of fun as well.
- You can find relatively cheap or even free cooking classes. Sometimes your health insurance or local hospital offers healthy cooking classes to the public.
3Make comfort foods healthy. Sometimes our favorite foods or comfort foods aren't always the healthiest. So instead of cutting those foods out completely, rework the recipes to make them a little more healthy!
- Swap out high fat ingredients for lower fat ingredients. For example, instead of whole milk, use 1% or skim or instead of full fat cheese, use low-fat cheese. Also use leaner cuts of meat like lean beef, pork, or poultry without the skin.
- Add more vegetables or fruits to your favorite comfort foods. These lower calorie foods can add some bulk to your meals without adding fat or a lot of calories.
4Go to your local farmer's market. Many cities and towns have local farmers markets. These are great places to go to get inspiration for healthy dishes. Seeing all the fresh, local produce may spark a delicious, healthy recipe in your mind.
- Ask the vendors if they have any recommendations for produce or have recipes they enjoy.
- Farmers markets are also a great place to find more unique or rare produce. Look for something new or interesting and try it out.
- Always speak to your doctor prior to starting any new exercise routine. They will be able to tell you what's safe and appropriate for you.
- If you experience any pain or discomfort while exercising stop immediately and consult with your doctor.
- Getting in shape will not always be fun, and what you see as fun at one point may become boring and tedious another time. Don't be afraid to switch up what you are doing, as long as you keep doing something.
- To make getting in shape more appealing, jump on a trampoline. Running is sometimes not the most fun thing to do so if you can jump on a trampoline for 30 minutes. According to scientists, jumping on a trampoline for 30 minutes burns twice the calories that sprinting for 30 minutes does.