Humans are made to move. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, being physically active for more than 150 minutes a week is associated with a variety of health benefits, including:
Lower risk of all-cause mortality
Lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke
Lower risk of hypertension
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Lower risk of certain cancers, including bladder, breast and colon cancer
Reduced risk of dementia
Improved quality of life
Reduced anxiety and risk of depression
However, only 50 percent of adults in the U.S. are meeting these guidelines. And according to the United Health Foundation, 25.6% of adult Americans reported engaging in no physical activity or exercise in the last 30 days.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services also estimates that about $117 billion in annual health care costs and 10% of premature deaths (!) can be associated with the lack of physical activity.
How can you motivate yourself to exercise if you hate going to the gym?
#1 Be social
Working out with a friend can increase your accountability to show up and makes exercising more fun. It’s easier to press the snooze button and skip the gym if you don’t have somebody waiting for you.
Being social is not only limited to meeting others in person. Virtual communities can also be an excellent way of connecting with others.
#2 Join a class
Starting an exercise program all by yourself can be overwhelming and - worst-case - risky. If you don't know what you're doing, you might end up doing too much too soon or performing exercises incorrectly. Classes with professional, certified instructors will help you to get educated on form and are tailored to specific fitness levels.
#3 Create a pro and cons list
This sounds like an awkward first step to start living a healthier life, but it’s a powerful one. Here’s why: often, we assume the barriers of engaging in a healthy behavior (effort, time, money, etc.) are higher than its benefits (improved health, increased energy, better mood, etc.). Writing benefits and barriers on a piece of paper can help you to put things in perspective.
#4 Switch things up
Performing the same workouts day in and day out will lead to boredom, which will make it harder to stick to exercising.
Apart from that, focusing only on one activity (e.g., running) increase your risk of injuries while decreasing the effectiveness of your workouts: using the same muscles at the same intensity will lead to performance and weight loss plateaus.
Instead, try new activities and alternate between intense and low impact workouts.
#5 Start small
One of the most frequent excuses that people use when dropping out of an exercise program is lack of time. However, most of us can find 10 - 20 minutes per day to exercise, so why not start there?
10 minutes is better than no exercise at all.
Apart from that, it's so much easier to commit to a 10 or 20-minute program than to a 60-minute class. Interested in trying a short, yet intense rowing class?
Try our workout with Katie
#6 Turn exercise into a habit
Getting started is hard; continuing is even harder. However, once exercise becomes a habit, and you start feeling its mental and physical benefits, it will be easier to keep going.
According to a UCL study, it can take anywhere from 18–254 days to change a habit, so it might be helpful to use some tricks that help you to get through the first weeks:
Exercise at the same time every week (or day)
Put reminders in your calendar
Keep your workout gear in a visible place
#7 Track your progress
Track your progress to acknowledge your efforts. You can use a journal, a fitness tracker, or just put notes in your calendar. Studies have shown that people that track their progress are more likely to stay committed to their exercise programs and workout more and harder than people who don't.
Join classes featuring world-class instructors who guide and inspire you through our indoor rowing, yoga, strength, or HIIT workouts. Our portable iOS app combines streaming HD video, heart-pumping music, real-time metrics, and a competitive leaderboard. www.teamregatta.com.