Fun Fitness

by tinareale on July 24, 2013

Fitness fun. Fun fitness. Two things that, in my mind, should always go together. If you read my blog, then you should know that I firmly believe in finding ways of getting active that you actually like. You should enjoy moving your body. It should add to your life, not make you hate life. If you participate in Best Body Bootcamp, then you should know that I aim to keep things fun and interesting. Challenging still? Yes. But most definitely fun, flexible to you, and interesting. Fun. Fitness. Fitness. Fun. They go hand in hand.

I spent the first couple of years of my fitness journey doing just that. I worked out to Cathe and Turbo Jam DVDs exclusively with my sister and mom. It was a blast. I eventually joined a gym and started learning more about strength training, interval sessions, and group fitness classes. Once again, I had a blast.

Even amidst my binge eating disorder, I never really used workouts as punishment. But I did reach a point where the goal of my workout wasn’t to feel good, but to look a certain way. I got sucked into the fitness competition environment. I spent hours upon hours at the gym. I achieved the goals of getting on stage (and YES I’m glad I did), but fitness wasn’t fun anymore. It didn’t work for me.

Seven months after that, I got pregnant. I had fun with fitness again – doing what I wanted. After pregnancy, I branched out into running for the first time. I fell in love and trained for a 5K, then a 10K, then my first half marathon. I got bit by the bug and decided to do a marathon. I got injured. I pushed through as best and as balanced as I could. I achieved the goal of crossing a marathon finish line (and YES I’m glad I did), but fitness wasn’t fun anymore. It revolved too much around battling injury (which still rears its ugly head!) and managing running, at the sacrifice of the joy in other areas of fitness.

So far this year, I have been VERY over the whole idea of pushing to reach a particular goal, because it often reaches the point it is no longer fun for me. For some, training for a goal like that IS fun. And motivating. And inspiring. To that I say…AWESOME! But for me? I’m realizing it just doesn’t work. I have more joy in my workouts when I don’t have any specific goals. When I just want to try new things and use it as a release. So, that’s where my focus has been lately. The fun of fitness. I’ve been more about variety than any one thing.

Fun Races 


photo courtesy of Lee

A couple weekends ago I participated in the Atlanta Color Me Rad race with Lee and Lindsay. It was way messy (I had some stains through two or three showers), but also way fun. Lee and I ran/walked together through the course, which was surprisingly hilly and all on trails, while getting pelted with gobs of colored corn starch. I don’t think the smile left my face.


photo courtesy of Lindsay

That’s how I’m approaching running more so now, especially since my lower right leg has acted up off and on again. I’m still training for the Women’s Running Series race in Nashville but I’m not 100% sure if that means the half or the 5K option. I plan to run how feels good to my body and see where that leads me so I can enjoy more runs and races like this, rather than forcing myself into certain events.

Bringing Out Old Favorite Workouts

Heck yea that is a step, baby! Doing some Cathe DVDs lately because I love them. They got me started into fitness and I still want the workout DVDs around, so they’re coming out more often these days.

Workouts With Peter

We’ve been doing some Insanity DVDs together for an early morning workout. It’s a great way to start the day, even if I do loathe those days I have to drag myself out of bed and get moving that early.

Hot Yoga

After moving, I wanted to find a more convenient studio still with good classes and times. I found one that has a great price for a monthly, unlimited membership and they have fantastic classes too. I don’t think I’ve sweat so much in my life, but I always leave loving that workout.

BBB Workouts

Yes, I love these workouts too. Strength training was my first love, after all. I get great pleasure out of putting together workouts to share with others and forming challenging, but fun, series of exercises. I’m always doing trial runs of these for a strength session every week and it hasn’t gotten old yet.

Classes at Gym

I just welcomed a cycle class back into my life yesterday. I really want to give this Ball Pilates class a shot at the gym. I’ve done a CXWorx Les Mills class recently. I want to have the freedom to do these things.

Playing

And because not all fitness needs to be at the gym…I’m perfectly happy not getting in a formal workout some days and just having fun at the park or the pool with my kids, Then not feeling guilty about it because I didn’t stick to some plan I have to follow. I’m finding way more balance and pleasure again in my life with this approach to fitness. After all, I love fitness. All forms. Whatever you choose to do with your fitness self, make sure it is truly YOU. Not what you feel like you should be doing. Give your best to what you love…and nobody can fault you for that. Least of all, yourself. Now go get in a workout…and have a little fun with it for me, will ya?

Your Turn – What workouts are you having the most fun with right now? Do you more enjoy flexible workouts with no clear cut goal or do you prefer having a concrete goal with a detailed plan? No right or wrong answer! I’ve enjoyed one before and the other more now. Who knows what my crazy mind will want another few months or a year from now. Ha!

{ 25 comments }

1 Miz July 24, 2013 at 7:54 am

right now IM ALLL FUN’ING over my new slackline!!!

2 Lee July 24, 2013 at 8:22 am

I usually am one to work toward a goal, but I’m having fun just doing whatever at the gym right now. We’ve also been doing more walks outside (when it’s not raining!), which has been nice.

3 Fancy Nancy July 24, 2013 at 8:25 am

While I function best with a set schedule…I do admit that I like trying new things or going back to oldies that I love! Lately I have been loving learning Kettle bells….they make me feel so strong!!

4 tinareale July 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

Oh I still need a schedule to know what days/times I aim to work out, but it’s nice choosing kind of what I feel like on those days and having the freedom to mix it up. Love trying new things too – kettle bells are awesome!

5 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 24, 2013 at 8:59 am

I ran the Color Run last month and it was AMAZING! I don’t think a smile ever left my face either and after completing the race and taking part in the color cloud, I looked to my friend and said “can we do that again? like RIGHT NOW!?” I felt like a little kid playing on the playground and not wanting to go inside for dinner. ha! But i love when fitness feels like that. I’m happy to say I’m one of those people who LOVES being active but from time to time some runs, workouts, etc I’m not in it and therefore not having fun.

6 Dana @momrunshalf July 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

I just bought a step at a rummage sale and was so excited! I have been wanting one even though they make me think I need leg warmers and a leotard on but I love all the stuff you can do with the step-

7 Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut July 24, 2013 at 9:13 am

I like BOTH! I like training for something AND making sure I don’t put too much pressure on myself. Often this means that I’m not the fastest or fittest person at the race, but it’s okay. My personality is one where I could get depressed and down on myself very easily if I aim at being the best or even try to stick to my training schedule to a T.

I did get burnt out on races for awhile…but I just signed up for 3 races in October, so I’m getting back out there!

Thanks as always for sharing such a healthy perspective on fitness and life. Your thoughts and blog are very valuable to the “healthy living” community. <3

8 April Jacobs July 24, 2013 at 9:55 am

Right now, I love my workout program. I do various exercises scheduled every day. I’m going to have strength training this week. :-)

9 Kim July 24, 2013 at 10:05 am

Fitness for me has always been something I enjoy. When something starts to feel like work or a chore (even running) I usually take a little break from it. Lately, I’ve found that I enjoy my running more if I push less and all of my other fitness activities when I push harder so that is what I’ve been doing for awhile.

10 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries July 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

I don’t necessarily need a huge goal to work toward, but I DO like having a workout plan. It helps me stay more motivated and stick to my workouts better. I’ve been loving the Best Body Bootcamp workouts, and family walks are another one of my favorite activities lately. I went swimming for the first time in awhile this past weekend, and I forgot how much of a workout it can be, but also how fun it is! I’m thinking we’ll have to do more of that in the near future!

11 Paige July 24, 2013 at 11:42 am

This post is awesome because I have been thinking so much about this recently! I have finally learned that exercise should not be about looking a certain way, in fact I have finally learned that life is not about looking a certain way! A long overdue realization if I do say so myself.

I do like to plan my workouts on Sunday nights, just to get an idea of what would work great with what I have going on that week, but I don’t allow myself to feel guilty if something comes up or if I decide to completely change my workout for the day, like I used to.

Recently, I have been basing my workouts on what makes my body feel great and taking more rest days. The freedom to workout according to what my body is craving is pretty new to me, and knowing how awesome it feels, I never EVER desire to go back to working out for the wrong reasons. Putting a little trust in your body goes a long way once you let go of the fear that comes with doing so!

12 Tina July 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

That is exactly where I’m at. I still plan ahead, but love the freedom to listen to what my body wants on any given day without feeling pressure to “stick with the plan”. It’s so nice, huh?

13 Caroline July 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

I’ve been LOVING pilates barre classes this summer. The previous dancer in me loves it, and I can see muscle slowly being built too!

14 Taya July 24, 2013 at 11:44 am

I love to have a schedule, basicly to just keep me well rounded. I love all kinds of acitivty. Road biking is my passion. However that is only seasonal so while the weather is nice you can find me on bike. I love going to the gym and creating different workouts. My favs at the gym are strength/cardio circut type stuff. My work outs need to be fast paced and I am always changing things up. I agree with Tina if you are not having fun in your activity then you are just setting yourself to failure. Find what motivates you and go after it!!

15 Tina July 26, 2013 at 11:56 am

Love how you have a sport passion, but also enjoy doing so many other things and make it work. That’s the balance I’m trying to find too since I love so many forms of fitness. Thanks for sharing, Taya!

16 [email protected] July 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm

You’re right–it should be fun!

I’ve been loving teaching cxworx lately–such a good class!

17 Kimberly {Manifest Yourself} July 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Gosh…I really struggle with making my workouts fun. I just started making my own workout for the first time, and those keep me encouraged since I have control over my workout. I also want to start incorporating more dance workouts into my routine though. I love to dance!

18 lindsay July 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm

fitness should be fun AND enjoyed with others. Not worrying about calories burned but more appreciating the movement. YES. love it! what a fun race and so glad you and peter and FUN’Ing it up in the morning. hehe

19 Laura @ Mommy Run Fast July 24, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Thankfully, running is really fun for me right now, which is a good thing at the start of marathon training! I love the variety of your workouts. That’s definitely what I prefer, when I’m not in the middle of a training plan!

20 Tina July 26, 2013 at 11:58 am

I think that’s what got me. I hated being stuck to a training plan. If that means I can’t do distance races then so be it is where I’ve come to. If I can manage it (by making sure to get in my long run and then whatever other runs I feel like/cross training other times) then I’ll keep up with halves. I know there are people like youre strong self that LOVE the race plans and thrive on them. It’s so cool to see how different we all are and support each other with what works for each individual rather than pressure to do a certain one way.

21 Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona July 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Right now I’m really enjoying soccer. I get to be outside and play with some amazing ladies. Plus it’s a rec league, so there’s no pressure to “be amazing”. If I miss the ball or pass it to someone on the other team, no one gets upset.

22 purelytwins July 24, 2013 at 6:26 pm

really having fun with our plank workouts and designing workouts for our clients :)

23 Tina July 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

love your plank workouts!

24 Heather @ Better With Veggies July 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I’m loving strength workouts right now – although I’m getting a little urge to do more cardio again. Still debating my next move after LiveFit is over next week (wierd!), so I guess we’ll see. But I agree 100% with you – it’s supposed to be FUN!

25 Nicole July 26, 2013 at 6:11 am

I love having your BBB to follow basically because it gives me direction. I don’t really have any specific goals either right now and I love it. I’m so glad you are having FUN with your workouts! :)

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