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I understand the importance of doing morning physical exercises every day. And I do it. I don't do anything special. Just 15 min stretching, 30 squats, 30 pushups, 30 crunches and 30 raising of legs. The problem is I don't like it. I see this part of the day as the most difficult one. And in evenings I don't want to go to bed early because it means that the next thing I'll do is get up in the morning and do this boring exercises. So my whole cycle shifts, I go to bed late and rise late, my productivity and happiness decreases significantly.

Doing exercises outdoors is not an easy thing, because it's pretty cold now, the temperature is about 0 C or lower.

How can I make my morning exercises more fun, so that I'd look forward to do it?

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10 Answers

At first,you should know that why are you doing excercises?many things can be healthy,are you doing all of them?many things are harmful,are you avoiding all of them?e.g. eating fast-food is harmful,did you stop it?i should mention that i do excercises because it makes me happy,and this belief helped me to do exercises as a habit.so,at first,you should consider sport as a interesting and healthy activity and dont consider it as a bitter drug but healthy.and then when you changed your mind about doing sports,sth such as listening to a music can make it more fun for you.

health is the best present of the god,so we should try to keep it carefully.

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I had the same problem a month ago. I don't like outdoor exercises, but still I go for a morning walk sometimes. I used to go to bed late too. But after finding that my productivity has decreased, I started doing indoor exercises but it was not fun. So I searched and researched on internet and found out some interesting exercise apps that uses gamification. I know some people don't believe this would work, but it worked for me. I am an introvert so I don't like going to gym and also I like to exercise alone. And that's where apps like Fleetly, Fitocracy and Runkeeper comes in.

I don't use runkeeper as I'm not a runner but I do use fleetly and fitocracy almost daily. Both fleetly & fitocracy are nice webapps (also available for mobile) which helps you log exercise and in return give you points.

Fleetly has a wide variety of exercises and they also include some small video clips on how to do them. Once you start using, fleetly shows you your fitness level. It also suggests you exercises and gives you a graph of your fitness details. It also gives you medals. You can also take part in challenges created by other users or you may also create one. I have been using for last 3 months and I enjoy it. It gives me motivation of doing exercise daily.

Fitocracy is also a good logging tools except it doesn't have exercise videos. You can create you own routines too. It also has a variety of exercises. It also gives you points and badges for logging exercises. It also has quests and also gives you performance report. You can also join exercise groups. I have been using it for last one month.

I suggest you to try both the apps. They are really helpful.

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Don't try to become a martyr to someone else's exercise regime. Provided you are reasonably healthy, moderate exercise should be enjoyable. Eliminate all the painful parts at first, exercise indoors if you dislike cold and rain, skip the 15 minutes of stretching if it seems pointless (it is), exercise with others around if you crave the company and exercise alone if you feel self-conscious about keeping up. Take a hot shower to reward yourself after. Reduce the times you spend in the gym each week.

The point is to start doing something, keep it up awhile to get some benefit, and discover that it can feel good to exercise. You'll find yourself looking forward to your workouts rather than dreading them. You will then want to start increasing the intensity of your own accord.

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Someone else mentioned music. What I like to do is listen to audio books while exercising or walking. I also listen to audio books while commuting in my car every workday.

Get a pair of Bluetooth wireless headphones so there is no cord to worry about. Choose a book that has an engaging story, so that you won't want to "put it down" so to speak -- this will keep you exercising even longer because you want to hear what happens.

You can get books on a subscription basis at Audible.com which is owned by Amazon. Over the last several years, I have listened to hundreds of titles which I download there. If you don't want to pay for books, there are several places you can legally download them such as LibriVox.

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You need both a more interesting and a more phsyically challenging routine (what you described won't come close to getting you fit or keeping you fit).

Even though it is cold, working out outside is not a bad option, you just need to dress prooperly for it and do something you enjoy. Skiers are getting a good workout and it is alawys cold when they exercise!

Other exercise options include: Take a class at a gym - this could be anythign from hot yoga to pilates to zumba to spinning to crossfit. Just pick something that sounds fun and challenging. This is probably the best bet if you are social person. And gyms don't have to be expensive. If you have them, check your local city recreation centers for gyms that are usualy much less expensive than the private ones. And get a friend to take the class with you, having to meet him or her there will help keep you motivated.

Pick a sport instead of boring exercises. This would include things like skiing, snowboarding, tennis, horseback riding, skateboarding, crew, volleyball, raquetball, etc. Sports are fun and you forget you are exercising. If it is team sport, you won't want to let the team down by not showing up. If you want to compete, you will want to put in the practice time to do well at the competition.

Consider running or walking (indoors at the mall is also possible many places in bad weather). Invest in a treadmill or rowing machine. Using a machine like this, you can also watch a dvd or the morning news or with a treadmill, you could even read.

Exercise videos can also help. They will be more varied and challenging than your current routine and possibly more fun. You will be less likely to slack off too as they set the pace.

Dance is lots of fun and essentially free if you already have a way to play music. Dance to upbeat music early in the day and you will feel pepped up when you finish. You can even ham it up and sing along with the music.

A personal trainer can help you find something you wenjoy and more importantly give you exercises that will be more physically challenging than those you are doing.

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Choose someone inspiring like say michael phelps , the great swimmer . imagine how good and confident you will feel even if you become 30 % fit as he is. whenever you start exercising say his name 10 times and try to imagine how he feels. also find out what he does , how he does it. talk to a trainer about it. set a time frame let say 6 months for a goal of 100 push ups and so on. Setting goals will keep things very interesting.

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I would challenge your assumption of exercising first thing in the morning. Why is it a requirement?

For me the biggest motivator for getting out of bed is doing something I like--no, something I truly love. That aligns with advice to use your fresh energy on what's most important to you. Is that exercising? For me I can make myself wake up at 4:30am if it means I get to immediately work on my side project--my passion--before even going to the bathroom or anything. Even better if the laptop is already by the bed side. I can pull it to me and slowly crawl out of bed between work breaks.

And then I would do the exercising during the work breaks. Every half an hour (like the Pomodoro Technique) or every hour you take a 5-10min break and do one of your exercises. The first break you do pushups, the next squats, etc. I would also advise you to start with the exercise you like the most (if there is such a thing) and not to end with the one you dread the most (or you'll end up always skipping it). So just like the sandwich technique for delivering criticism, begin and end with pleasant things and put the worst in the middle, when you'll be already warmed up but still retain freshness. Ask any army commander, that's the best time to tackle the big foes.

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Is it good idea to take work breaks in order to do exercises? While it is indeed a good use of time, maybe it's not a proper distraction of work when the OP has a problem finding exercises to be compelling. It would feel more like switching between two different sets of work, wouldn't it? –  Alpha Nov 8 '12 at 3:53
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In my experience at least, it's the best kind of break possible. I find that when I'm tiring my body (exercising), I'm refreshing my mind. And whatever your mood while working, after you give your heart rate a push you come back to work with full attention. It speaks to our hunter primate. I've had my best ideas while working out, so it's potentially great to cook on any problems you might be trying to find a solution for. On top of it, it's been found that coffee improves exercise performance, so it fits right into the work schedule. –  Vic Goldfeld Nov 8 '12 at 11:29
    
Off top - the sandwich technique is not recommended, as in this way people forget the criticism ( from Team Geek ). But in case with exercises - I think it's OK :) –  Andrei Podoprîgora Nov 14 '12 at 10:14
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Change your exercises!

If you find the exercises you are doing boring, find new ones. Speak to a fitness instructor about a new fitness regime. Currently, the exercises you are doing wouldn't excite me much either.

I tend to go with a morning workout a couple of times a week: 15 minutes cycling or rowing at as high a pace as I can manage, then a half hour of chest, arms, shoulders and abs/lats finished off with a 15 minute swim and I find that leaves me full of energy for the day - and that is the key:

  • You need the endorphins to be there at the end of it, as they are what persuade your body this is fun and should be done again!

Your exercise routine is probably not driving you hard enough to end up full of endorphins.

Also, once a year or so, I'll develop a new routine so I don't get bored of the same old exercises.

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I am the same type; I think I know how you feel; here is what I do

  • music (it really helps)
  • trying new types of exercises
  • using Xbox360 Kinect (there is a bunch of workout apps/games)
  • sparring (if you can find a partner)
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+1 for the Kinect approach –  Alpha Nov 8 '12 at 3:55
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Before someone says gamification, I don't really think gamification works. It is a drudgery, one of those things you have to force yourself to do.

One method you could try is to do it with others. I'd say the main reason gyms and libraries are so popular is because they're providing motivation to do boring things. Maybe try and get an exercise buddy; it's not too hard because everyone wants to get fit. Instead of doing 15 minutes every morning, you can do 1-2 hours, 1-3 times a week.

Another trick would be to get some exercise clothes. Don't tell yourself you have to use it every morning. Just put on those exercise clothes for 15 minutes every morning and then take a shower, without having to do any exercise. You'll likely find yourself being compelled to exercise.

Similarly, get an exercise machine or exercise mat and put it somewhere you can see every day. Every now and then, you'll feel compelled to use them, just because they're there and because you paid for it. Just be careful not to turn it into the backdrop; a lot of people tend to use their exercise machine as a place to hang clothes or stack boxes onto. Once it's cluttered up or tucked away, you'll never use it.

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I can attest that taking a shower with clothes on can be fun. –  Vic Goldfeld Nov 4 '12 at 10:45
    
I mean put on the clothes, sit around for a while, and then take them off and shower :P –  Muz Nov 5 '12 at 2:51
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