How can I get addicted to exercise?

Exercising and getting fit can seem like an impossible uphill battle at times, especially for those not used to regular exercise who are just starting out. Even those who have been exercising for an extended period of time sometimes lack motivations or fell that they’re in a rut. The question for everyone, from beginners all the way through to professional athletes, is how to make exercise something that is a healthy, wholesome addiction?

Let’s start with a few simple tips that will help you on the road to exercise addiction.

Do something you enjoy

It may sound obvious, but not everyone will enjoy all forms of exercising. Some people love nothing more than going for a jog, while others find it mundane and prefer something along the lines of a boxing workout or a swim. The point is to make exercise something that you can look forward to, and while this differs greatly from one individual to another, there is something out there for everyone to enjoy. Think outside the box to things like a self defence class, where not only are you exercising but also learning a new skill and tracking your progress at the same time. Or perhaps you’re a social being, and group fitness or sporting teams that provide encouragement and camaraderie are more your thing? Like time on your own to reflect? Try putting in the headphones and pounding the pavement or jumping into the pool. The decision is up to you, but exercise need not be a chore; there’s definitely a range of different exercise you can do, so pick something you’ll enjoy and before long you’ll be addicted!

Routine is your friend!

There are also motivational pictures, quotes and people around to inspire you. The fact is though that motivation is an emotion like any other; it is there at times and at other times, it just isn’t. Not even professional athletes are motivated all the time – it’s just impossible to constantly sustain. Furthermore, addiction stems from the subconscious, not from our conscious thoughts. The key is routine. Like any other routine you may be in, exercise needs regularity. If the first thing you do when you get up in the morning or when you get home is exercise, after a couple of weeks it will be something that feels a lot more natural. You’ll start to incorporate it into your day, and won’t be fighting mental battles to get yourself out there. Then before too long you’ll be missing exercise when you skip it…can you say ‘addicted’?

Set realistic goals

Always having something to work towards will help you track your progress, and as you improve your addiction to exercise will take hold.  The question you must ask yourself is, ‘What do I want to achieve?’ Do you want to run a half-marathon? Lose some weight? Not get so puffed going up the stairs? Again, this will be something that only you can determine, but the best thing to do is to set yourself goals that you know you can achieve. While you may not end up running in marathons at the Olympics, you can run in a marathon at some point in the near future. These are the sort of goals you should be setting – challenging but achievable.

Keep it fresh

Don’t be afraid to change it up! If something isn’t working for you, stop it and do something completely different. That way you’re always learning something new and doing something you enjoy, and without even realising it you will have made exercise a fun activity rather than a chore!

Perhaps most important is the fact that when we exercise, our brains release endorphins that can help boost our sense of well being and simply put, make us feel happy. Start exercising regularly and you’ll soon know this feeling, and it’s very easily achieved – by simply getting out there and exercising!