Can exercise be enjoyable?

The Review explores ways to make exercise and staying healthy more enjoyable and sustainable in the long-term.

Find what physical activity you naturally and genuinely enjoy. Graphic by Eric Burgon

In an article entitled Benefits of Physical Activity, the Center for Disease Control says to “Work your way up to 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity.” That may sound a bit intimidating, especially for those of us who do not particularly enjoy exercise. 

Daily exercise has many benefits to our overall health, as outlined in the CDC’s article benefits include: improved cognition, reduced feelings of anxiety, weight management, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, strengthened muscles and bones, and more. If you are thinking of exercise only as going to the gym and lifting weights, getting sweaty, and torturing yourself, then let’s solve a few misconceptions about exercise.

While exercise can often seem like a chore everyday, there are many more activities that qualify as exercise than just weight training and cardio. Many of which are enjoyable and seem almost like play instead of exercise.

The CDC states, in reference to doing 150 minutes of exercise each week, “[this] could include dancing or yard work.” Find what physical activity you naturally and genuinely enjoy and use it to your advantage. With 30 minutes of daily activity you enjoy, you will reap many health benefits and stay motivated to come back again each day.

The Student Life and Wellness building has many opportunities to try various new activities such as boxing, yoga, zumba, pilates, weight training and others, all of which are free to students with 10 credits or more. If you want a more adventurous and enjoyable way to get active, you can check out the climbing wall, The Project, in the Student Life and Wellness building. If adventure is what makes you tick, then another option is going to the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) and renting out equipment to take on your next adventure. A few types of equipment you can rent from the OAC are biking, camping, climbing, hiking, water and snow sports, and others.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of exercising 30 minutes or more every day, then we encourage you to read the CDCs article on the Benefits of Physical Activity and to definitely explore the many physical activity options found on the Student Life and Wellness website.

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