How to Make Exercise Fun and Stay Motivated

 Make Exercise FunThe World Health Organization recommends that adults get at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or 150 minutes of moderate exercise, each week. Unfortunately, many adults often fall short of this benchmark for a number of reasons. “According to President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, less than 5 percent of adults actually participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day,” writes Elizabeth Harmon, Huffington Post. “The problem is, for many of us, exercise can be boring and repetitive. But it doesn’t have to be.”

Simple Tips to Keep You Motivated

“My take home message is that the greatest risk reduction and the greatest gain for the individual and for public health is if those who are physically inactive take up some activity,” says Ulf Ekelund at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences in Oslo.

Here are our tips to help make exercise more fun to keep you motivated and help you hit your fitness goals.

1) Use the Buddy System

“If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning for a pre-work gym session, or come up with every excuse possible to avoid exercise after work, find a gym buddy,” says Harmon. “By going with a friend, you can have more motivation and can even have a laugh in the process.”

Now there are two people to keep you on track – you and your gym buddy.

“In my 10 years of experience evaluating what creates long-term health-and-fitness success, the single most important factor is having a support system,” says Wayne Andersen, MD, cofounder and medical director of Take Shape for Life.

2) Crank Up the Tones (Shouldn’t this be Tunes?)

Not only can music help take your mind off the fact that you are exercising, but it can actually  help you coordinate your workout, says Fabio Comana, a faculty instructor at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. The tempo of the music (beats per minute) you listen to reflect the type of workout you’re doing.

  • Warm-ups: 100 to 110 beats per minute
  • Strength exercises: 110 to 120 beats per minute
  • Endurance, speed, and agility exercises: Higher than 120 beats per minute
  • Stretching: 90 to 100 beats per minute

“Instead of exercising in silence, load your music player with upbeat songs that will help get you moving,” says Harmon.

3) Think About Exercise Differently

“One of the main problems is that people associate exercise with a gym or equipment,” says Dr. Marc Tinsley. “I tell people to think ‘outside the barbell.’ Fitness isn’t about sweat, six-packs, and sex appeal; it’s about having enough energy to do your activities of daily living safely and effectively.”

So, if you don’t like the gym – lifting weights or running on a treadmill – try something different. “Sports such as hiking, canoeing, swimming, racket and ball sports and numerous other physical activities give you more choices for enjoyable exercise, which is likely to keep you motivated,” says Tina Pashley of LIVESTRONG.

The important thing is to get up and get moving!

“The best advice is to keep in mind that any amount of activity is better than none,” says Brian Parr, associate professor of exercise and sports science at the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

Terrapin Adventures Takes Exercise Outdoors

“Exercising outdoors decreases feelings of tension, anger, and depression, while increasing engagement and helping participants feel more energized,” writes Abigail Wise,

Conveniently located in Howard County, Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington DC, Terrapin Adventures not only features the ultimate challenge course with three levels taking you up to 40 ft. in the air, but we also offer several guided tours and outdoor activities, such as biking, backpacking, kayaking, and geocaching, just to name a few. Activities levels range from easy to moderate, so there is something for everyone!

“Outdoor exercise can be adapted to anyone’s level of fitness,” advises Tina Vindum, the author of Tina Vindum’s Outdoor Fitness: Step Out of the Gym into the Best Shape of Your Life and the first outdoor fitness instructor accredited by the American Council on Exercise.

Find Your Next Adventure!

“Being outside enriches your experience,” says Ellen Miller, Outdoor Fitness Coach at the Vail Vitality Center and Vail Athletic Club in Vail, Colorado, and the only American woman to have summited both sides of Mt. Everest.

If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at to learn more.

Works Cited

  1. Harmon, Elizabeth. “13 Ways To Make Exercise Fun, Not A Chore.” The Huffington Post,, 9 Mar. 2017, Accessed 18 Aug. 2017.
  2. Wise, Abigail. “4 Scientific Ways to Make Your Workout Fun.” Real Simple, Accessed 18 Aug. 2017.
  3. Wagner, Gina DeMillo, et al. “Strength in Numbers: The Importance of Fitness Buddies.” Experience Life, Accessed 18 Aug. 2017.
  4. “Maybe that workout can wait till the weekend?” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  5. “Weekend exercise alone ‘has significant health benefits’” BBC News. BBC, 10 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  6. CBS/AP. “Do “weekend warriors” reap the full benefits of exercise?” CBS News. CBS Interactive, 09 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  7. Sample, Ian. “Weekend workouts can benefit health as much as regular exercise, say researchers.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 09 Jan. 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  8. Pashley, Tina. “Physical, Social, Emotional & Intellectual Benefits of Outdoor Recreation.” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 26 May 2015. Web. 12 May 2017.
  9. Writer, Leaf Group. “Physical, Social, Emotional & Intellectual Benefits of Outdoor Recreation.” Back., 29 Sept. 2016. Web. 12 May 2017.
  10. Iliades, Chris . “The Benefits of Outdoor Exercise.” N.p., 09 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 May 2017.
  11. Reynolds, Gretchen. “The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 12 May 2017.
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