Advertising
Advertising

4 Ways to Finally Start Exercising and Participating in Sports

4 Ways to Finally Start Exercising and Participating in Sports

How many times have you promised yourself that you will begin exercising next Monday, or when the new month starts?

Whenever that Monday comes, you usually find an excuse not to start. Or the best scenario, you start something that turns out to be way too painful, boring, or taking too much energy.

I don’t know why it happens, but we usually make the diet or exercise decisions when we can’t button our favorite pants or devour an entire chocolate. But the moment the guilt disappears, we forget about the promise. Some of us are bound to laziness; there are too many unpleasant sensations, side effects like dirt, sweat, and much more. The unwilling brain can find dozens of reasons not to participate in anything away from the couch.

I can understand your attitude if you’re not into sports, but the reality is: if you aren’t physically active, you’ll get weaker and develop some kind of illness. Still, it’s not that scary; working out and participating in sports is a very fun way to burn calories, develop muscles, and boost your overall health. It doesn’t have to be that hard.

Let’s get you out of that chair and develop some healthy habits – this time for real.

Advertising

1. Find something that will interest you

stretching-498256_1280

    As a regular couch potato, any activity will get you somewhere. Depending on how long has been since your last outdoor recreation or visit to the gym, the more painful the first encounter with activity will be.

    The trick is to find something that will interest you, and use some possibilities to your advantage. Even if you’re ultimately not interested in sports, I can guarantee that you can have fun trying out different sports with your friends. Any sport out there can be good: lacrosse, table tennis, golf, soccer, paintball, swimming, cycling, or bowling. You never know until you actually try it.

    Just be creative and give the sport a chance. Here’s what you should do next:

    2. Find a partner

    Advertising

      To start and endure in the decision to exercise or regularly participate in sports, find someone to accompany you. It can be your emotional partner, a friend, sister or brother, or anyone else you like to spend time with. Doing it this way, you will connect two useful things – physical activities and socializing.

      To have some extra motivation, arrange some activity linked to a workout that you both will enjoy, like a post-workout dinner. That can be a reward for a productive exercise or sports session. If you’ve decided to hit the gym, try to find a partner who has experience in exercising. Your partner can assist you with weights, show you how to do some exercises or correct you if he or she sees that you are doing an exercise incorrectly.

      If you choose some other sports activity, such as group training or running, a partner can give you advice that will help you achieve better results. Of course, there is the competitive aspect; try to beat each other’s records will improve both of you significantly. If your partner has no experience in training, you will have someone to answer to. You can’t evade the training when your partner awaits you. Even when you aren’t in the mood, you’ll have to meet your partner and go through the workout.

      3. Get yourself a new equipment

      fitness-1677212_1280

        One of the things that always helps you stay motivated is getting some new sports equipment. It would be a pity that a fancy new pair of shoes or a new tennis racket gets left behind in a closet, right?

        Advertising

        If you do workouts in the gym or some group aerobic sport, a new sportswear will always be handy, such as stylish sports T-shirts & shorts and a pair of good sneakers. As soon as you refresh your outfit and look at yourself in the gym mirror you will feel much better. Besides the sportswear, getting yourself the equipment for the sport might lead you to pick it up more often. For example, if you play tennis, buying a new racket could be a good motivator.

        Here’s an interesting trick; get yourself the clothes and the equipment somewhere you can see it every day. Some people go a step further and put it right next to the bed so as soon as they wake up, an upcoming workout reminder is there. Another interesting method to get you out of the house: get yourself a set of golf clubs and put it in your hallway. The sight of your new fancy equipment will increase the probability of a new golf session. It won’t require much sweat, but you’ll still be outside and active.

        The space in which you exercise can play a vital role in how you feel. If you are getting bored of the same old gym or program you are participating in for some time, try to find something new that can get you more interested in and don’t be afraid to experiment. After all, the most important thing is to enjoy whatever you are doing.

        4. Music is a great motivator

        5628423451_437ce89189_b
          Image Credit: GoToVan, Flickr

          A good motivation plays a key role in keeping you primed during your sports activities or workout session whatever that may be, and is there a better motivator than music?

          Music has the power to affect and boost our emotions in powerful ways, and that is why it has been known that working out with the help of music can give you the edge and push you much further. First of all, you should get a pair of good earbuds; besides that they are much smaller, earbuds are more resilient when dealing with moisture especially when used in sports activities, being soaked with a solid sweat.

          Advertising

          Also, they are a much better option regarding staying on your head while you are in motion, and some earbuds even have built-in stabilizing fins to ensure that they will stay in your ears no matter what you do during your workout. Now, when it comes to motivational music, everyone prefers something different. Try to find which kind of music suits you the best according to the type of sport or workout you are performing.

          Make a playlist of your favorite songs which will motivate you to get off the couch, start running, or push through some heavier lifts at the gym. It has been found that music with a strong beat often helps people’s movements to stay consistent during exercise.

          Get out and start the change

          You have one life, and you choose how to live it. It’s your turn; choose the sport or activity and enjoy it. You’ll get hooked in no time.

          More by this author

          Dejan Kvrgic

          Blogger, Writer

          Haircare 101: Hairstyling Tricks for Both Men and Women 30 Excellent Slow Cooker Recipes For Lazy People 5 Things You Must Know to Find the Best Headphones Bedroom Makeover 101: Enhancing The Most Important Place In Your Home 8 Fun Ways to Make Your Wedding Truly Memorable

          Trending in Exercise

          1 8 Yoga Poses to Help You Achieve Strong and Toned Inner Thighs 2 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly) 3 3 Home Exercises To Fix Your Rounded Shoulders In One Month 4 Workout Every Day: Thursday Music Playlist 5 Cut down on drinking! Time for a post-holiday detox

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising
          Advertising

          Published on July 18, 2019

          11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

          11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

          No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

          Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

          The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

          While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

          Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

          1. Planks

          Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

          Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

          Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

          For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

          2. Side Planks

          To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

          From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

          Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

          Advertising

          Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

          3. Reverse Crunches

          The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

          When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

          The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

          Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

          Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

          4. Flutter Kicks

          The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

          If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

          Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

          It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

          5. Arms High Sit-Ups

          Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

          Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

          Advertising

          Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

          Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

          6. L-Sits

          The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

          To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

          Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

          Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

          7. Stomach Vacuums

          And now for something different!

          It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

          This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

          To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

          Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

          You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

          Advertising

          8. Star Planks

          Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

          The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

          From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

          Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

          9. Boat Pose

          Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

          Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

          Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

          Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

          10. Mountain Climbers

          Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

          Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

          Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

          It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

          Advertising

          11. Russian Twists

          Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

          Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

          You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

          For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

          The Bottom Line

          The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

          However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

          If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

          Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

          Give them a shot!

          Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

          Reference

          Read Next