Workouts are a necessary activity that helps us achieve a desired outcome. Many people do not exercise regularly because it feels like a miserable experience.

There are ways to escape this mindset, though.

Ideas to Make Workouts More Fun

Making your workouts feel more like play and less like work can be achieved in a few ways. Let’s explore some of those ways today and hopefully you’ll share what works for you in the comments section.

Find an Intrinsically Rewarding Activity

Although external rewards are always present when training, if you also find satisfaction and pleasure in the act of training itself, you will have no trouble sticking with it. Only those who are hardcore will maintain a training regimen they hate. Find something you enjoy doing that you would do even if it had no health or aesthetic benefits and make that part of your training regimen.

If You Hate Something, Try Something Else

One of the most important things you can do is to change your perspective and stop doing things that you hate.

If you dread your workout and always find excuses to skip it, you should take that as a sign that something is wrong. Your training regimen shouldn’t make you miserable.

Perhaps you loathe back squats, but you find front squats downright enjoyable. Maybe you can’t stand spin class, but hill sprints are fun. Maybe you hate dedicated cardio or HIIT sessions, but playing pickup basketball twice a week does the trick. Find an alternative activity that accomplishes the same goal.

Try Competing Against Other Entities

Many of us get enjoyment from pushing ourselves to be better than we were before. There’s no feeling quite like the rush of competition to erase the fact that you’re actually exerting yourself and getting a good workout.

You can compete in CrossFit, as well as pickup games at the park or adult recreation leagues. Anything at all can work.

Set Better Goals

For example:

  • I want to be able to train Crossfit every weekend with people 2o years younger (and keep up).
  • I want to go out for a paddling session whenever I want and not have it feel like work.
  • I want to hit the slopes all weekend and be able to drive home without my quads cramping up every time I hit the brake.
  • I want to be able to do everything I want to do without getting injured.

The focus is on maintaining fitness, muscle mass, connective tissue, and bone mineral density, rather than setting new personal records. This focus makes the more “boring” training more enjoyable because it is directly related to the your goals.

Spend half your time training and the other half playing. Tain to support your play and help you get better at it. Know why you’re doing this and what the purpose is.

Integrate Training Into Your Work Day

When you’re working hard on the computer, take ten minutes to go for a walk, run up and down the stairs, do some pushups and squats, or swing the kettlebell you keep in your office when you feel like a break. You’re still working, but it’s different. You’ve switched from the mental to the physical, and that change is everything. Suddenly you want to train because it’s not filling out a report or writing another email. It’s for you.

The extra perk is that if you take little fitness breaks throughout the day, you’ll be more excited to get back to work. Plus, thanks to the increased blood flow to your brain during these breaks, you’ll be more productive once you start working again.

I find that taking a ten-minute break to move or train every hour is the perfect amount of time.


If you have kids, this is a great way to spend some awesome family time. Prepare dinner while everyone hangs out in the kitchen. Throw on some music and dance. Get silly. Try something new, don’t be afraid to move. A Spotify (or similar service) account works well here because you can create playlists and just throw them on when needed.

Challenge Yourself

Tabata training is a 4-minute routine consisting of eight work/rest cycles. The work periods are 20 seconds, and the rests are 10 seconds. This type of training was developed in Japan by Dr. Izumi Tabata.

Bend With Friends

Hang out with your friends and do something good for your body by taking a yoga class. Make it a night by sharing a healthy dinner afterward.

Pump Up the Volume

Choose music that will keep you motivated during your cardio sessions and add a slower playlist for when you are cooling down and stretching. Try shuffling your music to keep things interesting.

Catch a Little TV

If you want to watch television while you workout, do it from your exercise bike instead of your easy chair. If you’re just starting out, take a rest during the commercials and pedal through your favorite program.

Get Social

The University of California’s Department of Preventative Medicine has conducted research that shows people enjoy exercising more when they do it with their spouse, friends, or coworkers.

Go Outside

Leaving the gym to go on a walk, hike, bike ride, or swim can be a refreshing change.


Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey or trying to break through a plateau, document your workouts and snap some progress photos along the way. Having a visual record of your progress can help keep you motivated when things get tough.

Dress for Success

You don’t need to buy the most expensive athletic clothes for the gym, but wearing the wrong clothing can be uncomfortable by trapping sweat, chafing skin, and causing blisters.

Avoid Overtraining

It is important to take time to recover between workouts in order to stay efficient. This includes time for relaxing activities such as reading, visiting friends, and others things outside of the gym.

Celebrate Small Victories

If you want to make a major change through exercise, start by setting small goals that you can achieve in a short amount of time, like losing one pound a week for a month.

Run (or Walk) for a Good Cause

Choose a workout goal that is enjoyable, such as training for your area’s next breast cancer walk.

Add Some Variety

If you want to avoid getting bored of your workout routine, and prevent yourself from hitting a fitness plateau, you should change up your routine frequently.

Get Pavlovian

You can create a motivation reward system to help you get into better fitness habits more quickly. Try rewarding yourself with a healthy treat, like a post-workout smoothie, after you’ve completed a workout or other fitness goal.

East Into It

Warm up your workout with a little cardio to signal your brain to secrete endorphins. Endorphins produce a natural “high.”

Skip Rope

Jumping rope can help people of all ages burn calories.


If you’re not up for skipping rope, you can still improve your stamina and balance by bouncing on a personal trampoline.

Jump on a Pogo Stick

If you find jumping to be hard on your joints, you should try jumping on a pogo stick instead. Pogo stick jumping reduces stress and provides many of the same benefits as other types of jumping exercises.

Try “Exergaming”

Do you or your kids enjoy gaming? Try out some video exercise games to get active.

Don’t Save the Worst for Last

Do your most challenging exercises in the middle of your routine to show that you are making progress. You will be more likely to finish your routine knowing that the rest of it will be easier.

Swing Some Kettlebells

These cannonballs-on-a-handle are popular because they are so versatile.

Stand-Up Paddleboard

Kayaking and surfing is a challenging core workout.

Get Professional Help

If you are looking to improve your workout routine, you may want to consider working with a professional trainer. A trainer can help you create a workout plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals, and can also make working out more enjoyable by incorporating fun activities into your routine.

Use Fitness Apps

There are a lot of fitness apps available that can help you to get in shape.

Learn New Things

If you want to learn while you exercise, load TED Talks or podcasts onto your MP3 player instead of music.

Push Yourself (Gently)

If you’re feeling like you can’t do anymore, challenge yourself to do just one more rep, minute, or mile. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment because you pushed yourself just a little further.

Get Mental

If you want to give yourself a boost, try coming up with a positive phrase, such as “I can do this.” Repeat it to yourself while you’re working out, especially when you start to feel tired.

Stand on Your Head

By working on your balance, you can learn to see things from a different perspective and gain more control over your body. Start by practicing against a wall, and gradually work your way up to being able to balance upside down on your own!

Eat Right

If you want to have more energy for your workouts, you need to make sure you’re eating the right foods. One way to do this is to make sure you’re getting enough protein.

Suspend Yourself

This training technique can give you a full-body workout.

Get Inspired

Motivate yourself with fitness success stories.

Use Your Body Weight

You’ll never need a gym membership or equipment again with exercises you can do anywhere.

Hula Hoop It

Go back to your childhood and have some serious fun while toning your abs with a hula hoop.

Get Some Doggone Company

There are many ways to enjoy exercise, such as taking your dog for a walk, playing fetch, or meeting new people at the local dog park.


To get a dual action workout, get on a swing. Pushing off engages your leg muscles, and pulling back works your midsection.


You’ve seen the viral video of people doing creative and unorthodox dance moves in public places. Now you can show off your most flamboyant moves as you groove your way to better fitness.

Do a Domestic Sprint

Get your kids to help you with some quick housework and it’ll be done in no time! Not to mention, it’ll be a good way to get them to help out around the house more often.

Pedal While Sitting

You can use a foot peddler while sitting down if you can’t stand for long periods of time or are just starting out.

Sit and Be Fit

The Sit and Be Fit program is another way to stay active while sitting down.


You can exercise simply by flexing your muscles. For example, you can flex your abs, back, or arms each time you get into your car or stop at a red light.


You can do squats while brushing your teeth, and they are great for your legs.

Take the Stairs

You can turn taking the stairs into a game by awarding yourself points for each flight. Give yourself a reward when you hit 100 points.


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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

Learn More About Elegant Eating and How to Get Started

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