How to learn to love exercising

We all know exercise is good for us. We all join gyms, start running and buy home DVDs in the quest for better health and toned body, but sometimes after a few weeks our interest starts to fade.

After a while, tell ourselves we should do some exercise and the cycle starts again.

What's your excuse for not getting fit? author Joanne Henson reveals her top tips for learning to love to exercise…

Scroll below for tips on how to learn to enjoy exercising

Understand that exercise doesn't have to be unpleasant

Many people think that a workout has no value unless you're left gasping for air, covered with sweat and sore for the next few days. However, doing some exercise is better than none at all, even if it's a moderate level.

Exercise is not a punishment

If you use exercise to punish yourself for what you've eaten, you're never going to enjoy it or feel motivated to do it.

Find something you enjoy

If you love it, you'll do it. Whether it's exercising with a friend or alone, indoors or outdoors, keep trying different forms of exercise until you find something you enjoy. Exercise doesn't have to involve joining the gym or running, you could try everything from hiking to belly dancing to yoga.

Ease yourself into it

If you're new to exercise, or starting again after being inactive for a long period of time, don't go all-out straight away. Your body won't thank you for going too hard too soon, and the pain will reinforce the belief that exercise is unpleasant. Take it easy to begin with – you can always slowly increase how hard you work each time.

Made in Chelsea's Lucy Watson exercising in Battersea Park
in London

Make it a habit

Exercise regularly and consistently – make it your priority to establish the habit first, and then concentrate on increasing your level of fitness. If that means going to a gym but only for ten minutes per session for the first month, that's fine. Establish the routine and then turn your attention to improving your performance.

Don't expect a quick fix

Looking for a quick fix can make you become disillusioned. Be patient, give it some time, and remember that exercise has long term, ongoing health benefits beyond body shape.

Pick the right exercise for your goal

If you have a specific goal, make sure the time and effort you invest is well spent. Decide what you want to achieve and if necessary, get some advice on what will be the most effective way, for example what training will be the best for your target area.

Track your progress

Track each small improvement to keep yourself motivated. Use a stopwatch or apps to track how much better you're doing. It does take time and effort, but if you find something you enjoy and track your progress, it will get easier to stick with.
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