Medical science likes to continually remind us that the body needs exercise. However, medical science also incessantly reminds us that the outside world is dangerous. We continually ingest statistics that alert us of our cumulative cancer risk. About how crossing the street will get us killed due to anything from cars to rabid badgers. The body craves exercise, but our instincts crave ways for us not to be killed by it.
To further complicate everything, our minds has its own selfish wants, too. The mind wants to actually enjoy itself when it exercises. It’s looking for an excuse to release that sweet, sweet endorphin high into our white matter. Fortunately, this isn’t necessarily a Catch-22. There are ways to enjoy ourselves and exercise indoors and make all parts of this psyche happy.
Involve Someone Else
Everyone’s familiar with the phrase “misery loves company.” This extends into exercise too. There’s never been a need to go at it alone, and the best part is that you’ll be doing it with a friend. If you’re close enough, you may just derive some humor out of their floundering attempts to work out. Likewise, they’ll do the same. The competition will drive you both to be better than the other.
Play With a Pet
Dogs are more than just first-response vacuum cleaners. They’re also reputed to be giant storehouses of unbelievable energy. Most pets, including cats and ferrets, have rare moments where all they want to do is bolt around the house. Give chase! Wrestle with your dog. (As long as they’re not a Great Dane or a Mastiff, you should survive). Get a chew toy and play with them. You’d be surprised at how much you work.
Video games are no longer for sedentary nerds. As IGN will attest to, there are a number of game consoles that promote movement. The Wii was one of the first consoles to popularize the system and the X-Box Kinnect system also looks to get people off the couch and moving. And they come with all the fun of video games to boot.
Make a Game Out of It
You can also create a functioning game within your mind. Set rules to your exercise with a point total or goal to hit. For instance, you can assign every push-up a point value. A number of points can be “cashed in” on prizes, like a trip to the movies or that new game for the Wii U.
Let Your Imagination Run Wild
Don’t be afraid to embrace your inner child. Visualize scenarios that probably will never happen in real life. When you’re doing push-ups, imagine that you’re training for the world championships. If you’re running on the treadmill, pretend your running the Boston marathon ahead of every prior champion. Your limitation for fun is only limited by your mind.
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