This guide for how to enjoy exercise is NOT sponsored and was written based on my honest experience as a busy mom working on her fitness!
Getting motivated to work out can be challenging – especially if you don’t like doing it!
But there are ways to make it better and even turn it into something you enjoy.
If you’re serious about making a change and focusing on your fitness, this one’s for you.
Keep reading to learn:
- how to make exercise more enjoyable
- tips for making workouts fun when you hate doing it
- how to make exercise fun alone
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used throughout this post. You can read our full disclosure here.
How to Enjoy Exercise: 15 Tips to Change Your Life and Get Fit
Learning to love working out changed my life and I hope these tips help jump-start your fitness journey too.
Here are our best 15 tips for enjoying exercise:
- Start early
- Find a workout you love doing
- Listen to music
- Listen to a podcast
- Focus on your why
- Track your progress
- Mix it up
- Try something new
- Get a fitness app
- Purchase a program
- Do a 30 day challenge
- Sign up for a gym membership
- Share what you’re doing online
- Find an accountability partner
- Treat yourself each time you complete a workout
Let’s break down each tip a bit more!
1. Start early
Finishing your workout before you begin the rest of your day is an amazing feeling.
You can check one item off your to-do list and you still have so much time left in your day for everything else!
Morning exercise benefits include:
- Increased energy throughout the rest of the day
- Enhanced focus and cognition
- Improved mood
- Encourages healthier eating
- Better sleep when the day is done
There’s no excuses when you get it done with no distractions first thing in the morning.
2. Find a workout you love doing
We all have that friend or family member who insists we need to try A, B, or C!
But sometimes you need to do something different.
I tried a lot of different exercises and programs before I found one that worked including:
- Getting a gym membership
- Lifting dumbbells
- Kettlebell workouts
- ONNIT 6-Week Program
- The Kayla Itsines App
- YouTube and Rumble workouts
At the end of the day, I love using my spin bike first thing and lifting weights afterward.
Find what works for you and if it’s time to try something different, give it a shot!
3. Listen to music
Your favorite songs can be a great motivator!
Create a playlist that you love listening to – it doesn’t have to be “workout music”.
Just choose the songs you enjoy and make them a part of your routine.
It’ll make your workout so much more fun and maybe you’ll even find yourself singing along to one or two songs.
I found that there are always a couple on my playlist that make me push myself extra hard too – whether that’s spinning faster on the bike, increasing the resistance, or choosing heavier weights for that set.
4. Listen to a podcast
Love learning or listening to interesting discussions?
Listening to a podcast or even an audiobook might be a better fit for your exercise time!
Don’t worry about how long it is – even if it’s a 2-hour talk, just set your timer for half an hour (or however long you plan to work out for) and finish the episode over the course of your next workouts.
5. Focus on your why
Why do you want to start exercising?
What do you want to get fit for?
Why do you want to feel that way?
There’s often a much deeper answer hidden beneath those surface-level questions.
For instance, your answers might be: (1) to get fit, (2) to feel more comfortable in my body, and (3) to improve my self-confidence.
But you could dive deeper into that last answer too!
Self-confidence in the way you look often means more self-confidence in the decisions you make day-to-day.
Get to know yourself better and understand your why so you can focus on it!
6. Track your progress
Keeping records of what you do is a great way to reflect on how far you’ve come.
When I started my fitness journey, I did the following:
- completed online workouts on my Peloton bike (I have this one now and prefer it!)
- wore an Apple watch to track workouts
- used the Noom App to document meals
This combination supercharged my routine and actually helped me exceed my fitness goals by a couple of months – I never expected to lose 32 pounds in 3 months!
But working out for an hour plus a day didn’t happen overnight – I had to fall in love with it.
From personal experience, I recommend starting with bite-sized doses of exercise.
Because if you overdo it at the beginning, it’ll leave you sore and unmotivated to do it again the next day (seriously, I say this with a lot of experience).
Instead, start small.
Aim for 20 to 30 minutes a day at first and add five minutes as you start to enjoy it more.
Here’s what I mean:
- Day 1 – 20 minutes
- Day 2 – 20 minutes
- Day 3 – Rest
- Day 4 – 25 minutes
- Day 5 – 25 minutes
- Day 6 – Rest
- Day 7 – 30 minutes
- Day 8 – 30 minutes
- Day 9 – Rest
- Day 10 – 35 minutes
- Day 11 – 35 minutes
- Day 12 – Rest
- Day 13 – 40 minutes
- Day 14 – 40 minutes
You could even do one day on, one day off.
Listen to your body and mind to determine what works for you!
Other ways to track your fitness:
- Fitbit Inspire (great fitness band that’s high tech but way less expensive than Apple Watch!)
- Walking Pedometer (a super basic and affordable low EMF option)
- Paperback Fitness Journal (a great no-tech way to record exactly what you did that day)
7. Mix it up
Some of us love consistency while others feel stuck in mundane routines.
If that’s you, don’t do the same workout every single day!
Instead, choose different activities for different days.
So, let’s say, you’re new to working out and want to commit to three times a week.
You might try something like:
- Monday – walk for 30 minutes
- Wednesday – lift weights for 25 minutes
- Friday – pilates for 30 minutes
This is a great way to explore new activities too.
Check out your local rec center for classes and meet people while you figure out which types of exercise you enjoy most.
8. Try something new
If you’re feeling bored or unmotivated with your workouts, this could be a great time to do something different.
For instance, signing up for a gym membership motivates some people because it gives them access to a variety of new equipment and classes.
Spending money is another key part of that motivation!
No one likes to waste their hard-earned dollars.
9. Sign up for an app
There are a ton of fitness apps out there and many of them even offer free trial periods.
Here are some ideas:
- Sweat App
- Beachbody On Demand
- Peloton App
- Nike Training Club
- Gymshark Training App
- Le Sweat TV
- Les Mills+
More fitness ideas:
- Small Room Ideas for Your Peloton Bike
- Best Dumbbells to Work Out with When You Have Small Hands
- How to Use Kettlebells with Your Peloton Workouts
10. Purchase a program
Signing up for a program can be a great way to make exercise enjoyable.
This is a great book full of fun 30-day fitness challenge ideas.
Many of the apps we talked about above also feature built-in fitness programs.
11. Do a 30 day challenge
Small steps add up to leaps!
A 30-day challenge is a great way to start your fitness journey with a structured short-term goal in mind.
Whether it’s working out for 20 minutes a day for 30 days or increasing the number of steps you walk a day, challenges like this offer actionable steps for getting started.
We came up with three fun ways you can do the 30-day step challenge in our unique guide 🙂
There’s a template you can print for your fridge in there and another you can use to share your progress on Instagram stories!
Shop our picks for affordable at-home workout equipment:
- Most affordable home gym equipment for cardio – Sunny Health Stepping Machine
- Best inexpensive dumbbells for home weight lifting – Signature Fitness Dumbbell Set
- Top affordable spin bike for home fitness – Sunny Health SF-1203
- Best inexpensive treadmill for walking/running indoors – Sunny Health SF-T4400
12. Sign up for a gym membership
Sometimes a different environment works.
Going to do your workouts in a new location might be just what you need!
Gyms offer access to a variety of exercise equipment, classes, and even personal training.
Consider the facility and location of your gym or rec center – something close to home or work is always a good idea.
13. Share what you’re doing online
Share a selfie at the gym or a scenic view from your walk on your favorite social media platform!
Telling your loved ones what you’re up to can be a great way to motivate yourself to continue striving for your goals.
Because, like the next tip, it creates a sense of accountability.
Once your friends know what you’re up to and compliment you on getting started, you’ll motivated to follow through!
14. Find an accountability partner
Know a friend or family member with similar goals?
Have a bestie who checks in on you regularly?
Ask her to be your accountability partner!
Me and my mom did Noom and some Peloton workouts together when I started.
We also both wore Apple watches so we could observe one another’s progress.
Every time I completed a workout, it would ping her and she would send me a high wave and vice versa.
Making exercise social is a great way to make it enjoyable.
15. Treat yourself each time you complete a workout
Temptation bundling is an idea James Clear suggests for making habits more attractive in Atomic Habits – this must-read book is an amazing guide to transforming behaviors into habits.
I devoured it in just a couple of days!
Temptation bundling means linking an action you want to do with an action you need to do.
So, let’s say you enjoy watching Netflix.
You also want to start exercising more!
Temptation bundling means only allowing yourself to watch Netflix while you exercise.
You could also treat yourself to something after your workout is complete:
- have a protein shake/bar
- have a fruit salad
- take a shower/relaxing bath
- read a chapter of a book
Alternatively, set a short-term goal and get yourself something workout-related:
- buy a new piece of athletic wear after completing X number of workouts
- get a new piece of fitness equipment after meeting a personal goal (i.e. upgrading to 15 pounds weights after easily lifting 10 sets of 10-pound weights for X number of days)
I really like neoprene weights like these!
Final Thoughts: Tips for How to Enjoy Exercise
Learning to love your workouts is a matter of personal preference!
While family and friends can suggest programs or gym machines that work for them, you need to want to exercise in order to start enjoying the process.
For me, that was a combination of my spin bike and weight lifting.
But I needed to change the program I was using to get back into it.
Happy exercising, friend!