How to Get Addicted to Exercise?
We all have gym-addict friends who make us feel envious. The high energy levels they show throughout the day, their happy faces, and the generally healthy life must motivate us to take up exercising rather than becoming jealous.
We understand that exercising is not natural for all. Some dread it, and some have absolute hatred for it. Physiologist and fitness expert Tom Holland says that anyone can become fitness-obsessed. You can also make the change from hating to getting addicted to exercise.
Before diving into how to get addicted to exercise, we must first talk about and address the primary question - why do we hate exercising?
Let's find out.
Why Do We Hate Exercising?
Humans for long survived by gathering food and hunting for the next meal. Naturally, walking, bending, and running was part of our life. There was no need for exercising separately. Also, the tendency to rest to conserve energy was part of our evolution. And most of us are stuck here. We like to rest our bodies more than to move them.
Aiding the resting mentality is our modern lifestyle which doesn't need constant movement for survival. And some trivial reasons we created for ourselves to hate exercising include:
- We don't have time
- We lack motivation
- We have low energy
- We fear pain
- Exercising is not fun
All these are perceived barriers we create for ourselves to avoid exercising. However, the fact is that in today's era, even the busiest folks from different industries make time to exercise.
Exercising in itself is the ultimate source of boosting energy. By training our minds, we can reduce the fear of pain, leverage the expertise of personal trainers to assist us in working out injury-free and make the overall experience a fun activity.
Inactivity does more harm to us, as empirically proven. Studies show that physical inactivity is the reason behind many chronic diseases. And a recent study has shown that physical inactivity increases the risk of severe COVID-19, all the more reason to start hitting the gym.
Now, the other question is, 'how to get addicted to working out?' How do we shift from not wanting to exercise to getting addicted to working out? In the next segment, we discuss some effective ways to make it possible.
Making Fitness Addiction Possible
1. Lower your expectations
Even when you are motivated to take up exercising, the burden of high expectations will kill your enthusiasm. Instead, keep your expectations low.
Rather than aiming to lose weight in a month, focus on the form and techniques. Instead of worrying about the results, cherish the fact that you are being consistent at working out.
Also, give up the idea that you need to do more. Even a modest time spent doing exercise can boost your mood and bring the desired results. A study has shown that a 30-35 minute moderate-intensity workout is enough to deliver positive mental health benefits.
2. Choose a niche
Only some individuals are comfortable working out in a gym atmosphere or outdoors. While some may like crossfit, others may find comfort in doing yoga. No matter what it is, for workout addiction, you must choose a fitness niche you find most comfortable.
Once you choose a niche of your liking, you can stay consistent and take up challenges. The body and the brain generate a positive loop turning the exercise into a simple task. As time passes, you will become addicted to the niche and invest more time exercising than anticipated.
3. Plan ahead
If you start your fitness journey without a proper plan, after a while, you stop exercising. And you lose motivation when there is no clear direction in your fitness journey. Instead, plan and chalk out your short-term and long-term goals. And be sure that these goals are measurable. You can follow the S.M.A.R.T method for goal setting.
Once you have a plan, you can schedule your day around workout sessions, making them hard to quit. A plan lays down a clear structure to your routines, making them predictable and helping avoid time wastage..
4. Start slow and gradually dial-up
When you begin exercising, start it slowly. It can be a simple task like walking across the block or taking stairs instead of an elevator. If you are going to the gym, start with two pushups.
Starting slow will help you avoid overdoing the exercise and getting injured. It also helps assess your fitness levels. Once you get used to the workout, you can always dial it up and make it challenging.
According to research, working out even for a smaller period will create a positive loop by our brain wanting us to do more. It happens because of μ-opioid receptor activation in the brain.
The μ-opioids receptors are linked to reward and cognitive processing of the brain. When exercising, the body generates opioids and the receptors that make us feel good. If we exercise more, the feeling of goodness is felt more, thus creating a positive loop for workout addiction.
5. Hire a trainer
Hiring a personal trainer is a sure way to amp up your gym addiction. The personal trainer motivates, guides, coaches, and sets the right goals for you. They become your accountability partner and do not let you fall back on what you started.
It isn't necessary to hire a physical gym trainer; even a virtual trainer can significantly help you. The trainers are well-trained and experienced enough to ease you into the exercise process. Their constant motivation will help you achieve your goals.
They make flexible and adaptable workout plans to make exercising fun and enjoyable and ensure they don't hurt. When followed consistently, a consistent routine makes you addicted to working out.
Observe the Positive Changes
Once you begin working out, change is slow. But it is a positive change. Observe these positive changes, and in no time, exercising becomes addictive. Soon, you will find yourself getting in shape, fitting perfectly into your desired outfit, and having a happy and productive life just like your friends, whom you were envious of before.
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