Exercise is a necessary evil we must do in order to stay in shape, but many people avoid it (specifically cardio) because they absolutely hate it. There’s a reason people hate it, though, and that’s because their bodies aren’t used to it, cardio is not always looked at as a group sport, and it can be boring. There are ways, though, to change your mind and start enjoying cardio (maybe even becoming addicted to it) so that you can reap its benefits.
Find a Cardio Workout That You Like
Ok, this may seem counterproductive to the first paragraph where it was discussed how people hate cardio, but there are exercises out there that you can enjoy and that will give you a cardio workout. Many people view cardio as a solo exercise that leaves you staring at a gym wall as you run on a treadmill for an hour. While this is the case for some, it does not have to be how you do cardio. Think of an activity you like to do and decide if it can be an effective workout. For instance, if your hobby is collecting stamps you will need to think of a different exercise, but if you like to dance you have a fun hobby that is also great for cardio. Find a few hours a week and go to a dance class. If structured classes aren’t for you, try having fun at a nightclub or even in your own living room.
Set a Goal and Challenge Yourself
It’s human nature to be competitive, even if you are competing with yourself. After you have chosen the exercise you want to do, set a goal and make it happen. Write down your goal and make milestones. For instance, list what it is you want to from doing cardio. Are you trying to lose weight? Or do you just want to feel healthier? Whatever it is you hope to gain from your exercises, write it down and list how far you are to reaching this goal in your current state. If you are trying to lose weight, set a goal for how much you’d like to lose each week. Then, write down your exercise goals.
Each week as you reach your goals, mark them off. It’s easy to want to reward yourself as you reach these goals, just don’t do it by slacking off or with food. This will only be counterproductive to what you are trying to accomplish. Motivate yourself by challenging yourself to do the goals. There is no greater reward than reaching personal goals and knowing that you did it on our own.
Change Your Mind
It’s mind over matter with things like working out. Once you have it in your mind it’s hard, it will be. Once you think that you will hate it, you will hate it. Start to think positively about cardio. You know the benefits- it helps you lose weight, it builds strength, it can ward off diseases, and it boosts your mood. Once you think of the benefits you will be gaining from exercise you can focus your mind on how good this will be for you.
Every week write down one benefit you will see from exercise. This week you have walked a mile, but next it will be two and that’s how you know you are getting stronger. Once you can see these things happening, you can start to think about the positives of exercise. Now you know exercise isn’t boring, so you don’t hate it. You know it isn’t hard anymore, because you are doing it and it’s getting easier every day. This is how you train your mind to let go of hating cardio and start enjoying what cardio can do for you.
Get Your Friends Involved
Finally, when you are trying to get into liking cardio you should enlist the help of friends. Chances are you know more people like you that hate cardio. Gather those people around you in support and use their momentum to help you get to a point where you all enjoy doing cardio exercises. Choose an activity you all can do together, like walking, aerobics, or dancing, and make a pact to do this activity together at least twice a week.
Hating cardio is a mindset you can get over. Choose a fun exercise, get your friends involved, set goals, and eventually your mind will start to enjoy exercise.