Get Through Those "Boring" Workouts: How To Make Exercise Fun
Updated: Jan 27
First: The Energizer Workout Bunny Effect
If you find exercise boring, or you can't seem to consistently find motivation to workout, then you're probably a little bit annoyed with a certain group of people.
You know who they are.
The ones who wake up thinking about a hard workout. Who tell anyone and everyone who will listen just how pumped up they got during their gym session.
Sometimes they're the ones who spew fitness motivation quotes as if they're a Pinterest board come to life.
Of course, I don't mean that there's anything wrong with that. Whatever motivates you to stay fit, healthy, and get after it is good in my book. We all motivate differently and the most important part is that you're treating your body well.
But I do also think it's super important that we normalize the idea that you're not always going to be motivated. There are going to be days where you wake up and don't feel as if you could ride on the back of the wind straight to the gym.
If you're lacking motivation to workout sometimes, that's normal and you're not beneath the Energizer Workout Bunnies that you know.
And if we're keeping it real, no one is crazy motivated to do a hard workout every single day of their lives.
Sharing highlights of our day is what we do. You're very rarely getting the full picture—so it's not difficult to feel like everyone around you is going after it at all times.
Motivational posts on social media can be super encouraging, but other times they weasel their way into the guilty, self-shaming portion of your mind.
I call this the Energizer Workout Bunny effect. That bunny is always going, battery never dies.
>>For legal reasons, this isn't about you Energizer batteries. :) <<
Anyways, and then we feel bad about it, because we don't feel that same way. Are we doing things wrong when we think working out absolutely suck?
Like I said, we're seeing snippets. Take me. I legitimately find working out enjoyable—exercise is literally my job after all-—and even I can't constantly muster this excessive level of pure excitement to get a sweat on and feel the burn.
Moral of the story, if you're feeling like you're the only one who isn't stoked out of their mind for Pilates on the lunch break, you're not.
You're not alone in that feeling—and you're not the only one desperately searching for how to make exercise fun.
7 Tips To Make Exercise More Fun
Do you want to learn how to make exercise a habit? Or at least get some ideas to help you get through those boring workouts that seem to drag on...and on...
Then read on for 7 busy girl ideas to make exercise more fun!
1) Own Your Workout
I know that not everyone is training for a competition—we all take our workouts with a different level of seriousness. But even though I apply this tip to my training as an elite athlete, the concept remains the same.
When you approach a workout that you've already deemed as boring, it's going to be boring.
You might surprise yourself and have fun, but the chances are slim. If you've already made up your mind that something is going to be terribly boring, you won't even make an effort to make it fun.
Nine times out of ten, that seals the deal and you're sure to end up hating it.
Next time a workout is coming up, acknowledge it as a workout that is an essential piece of your health plan.
Let me explain from my lens.
Cross-training (engaging in a different type of exercise to improve performance in one's main sport, also known as the bane of my existence), can be an extremely important part of training as a runner.
When you're increasing mileage or putting a lot of stress on your body by running, supplemental training on the bike or in the pool can go a long way.
For years, I've been trying to do quality cross-training but instead, I half-heartedly drag my feet through it.
The number one contributing factor to this problem? I've always considered my cross-training days to be "off days" or "rest days."
This mindset auto-categorized these days as less important than my other workouts, as something that could simply be skipped or done with apathy. Yes, it can be a recovery day. No, that doesn't mean I should skip it or not give any effort at all.
Breaking down the real purposes of cross-training (ex: increasing endurance without going on a long run) did wonders for my motivation. There's a greater picture to these workouts that makes them an essential piece of the journey to my fitness goals.
Essentially, taking some time to remember the purpose behind your exercise can actually remove some of the boredom and make it fun again.
2) Listen To Music
If you don't have a Spotify playlist labeled "workouts" or "get hype" by now, let this be your sign to start one. I have a playlist titled "Cross Training" where I specifically put songs that motivate me to get going and get out of my head a little bit.
To be honest, this is probably the number one tip for how to make exercise fun. Who doesn't love a little jam session?
Pro tip: take it to the next level by finding ways to integrate music into your exercise.
This makes the workout more fun, more challenging, and fly by sooner than you know it!
Pick up the pace during the chorus of your favorite song, or switch movements every time a certain beat picks up.
This way, you're more focused on the music and the beat than the grind of the workout that might otherwise be monotonous. If you haven't yet, search dance workouts on YouTube. This is definitely one of my favorite fun physical activities for adults. Yes, adults.
Madfit's are my favorite!
3) Make It A Circuit, Make It Fun
I absolutely love doing this with almost any type of exercise. Turning things into a circuit is extremely helpful when you're bored with exercise or you feel like your workout routine is becoming repetitive.
Plus, this is one of the best and easiest ways to exercise at home. With bodyweight circuits and so many different things you can do, it's easy to find something to do without leaving the house.
Does running or biking for 40 minutes straight sound like a nightmare to you?
Shake things up a little by turning a boring workout into a circuit that still keeps your heart rate up!