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Fitness Falsehood #3: Exercise Should Be Fun

This is one of the worst, because it leads you to believe that if you’re not having “fun” (whatever that actually means) that you have somehow chosen the “wrong” type of exercise for you. “I didn’t like strength training, so I quit, because exercise should be fun, right?” “I didn’t like Spin class so I quit, because exercise should be fun, right?” Usually what people mean is, “I felt uncomfortable, which isn’t fun for me, so I quit.”

Here’s a fact-check: exercise isn’t always fun. Because it should be hard most of the time. If you are always having fun during your fitness training, then you’re not actually training. Your body may be moving, but you’re not really challenging it. (note: this should not be confused with “what I’m doing is causing physical damage to my body” which is never good. Uncomfortable and challenging should not include searing pain.)

Are there moments of “hell yes!!” that are fun – times when you are totally in the flow and everything feels great? Absolutely. Are there moments of “hell yes!!” because I just did that thing I wasn’t sure I could do and I’m thrilled with the accomplishment? Absolutely. But in between those moments of awesome there’s just a lot of getting it done. And the getting it done is hard. It can feel tedious. It’s often uncomfortable. And you want to quit – just stop whatever it is because going home and having a cocktail would be SO MUCH EASIER THAN THIS. Any fitness coach or personal trainer who tells you that she or he is always super-excited to do their own workout is either lying to you or lying to you. We don’t *always* want to workout. We want to hit the snooze button. We want to just skip it this once because we didn’t sleep great last night and we didn’t plan anything for dinner and we’ve got this meeting later and then we have to check the kids’ homework…. It’s not always a fun-fest.

Just because you don’t find your workout consistently entertaining doesn’t mean that you’re doing it wrong or that you chose the wrong thing. If you only did things that were fun ALL THE TIME you’d never brush your teeth or wash the dishes or attend the weekly staff-meeting conference call, would you? What? Am I saying that fitness is like a chore? Kinda it is. It’s what must be done … because the consequences of *not* doing it are too great and the rewards for doing it are overwhelmingly in your favor.

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Here's an idea: instead of trying to re-write your entire life come January 1, how about you pick one thing to focus on improving and improve it? I know, I know, that sounds so not sexy. So not dramat