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Exercise Will Stop Being a Chore and Start Being Fun--But When?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Last week, I blogged about walking my first 5K, a huge accomplishment for me.
At what point did exercise go from being a chore to something to look forward to for me?
When I quit making myself try to perform at other people’s levels, started challenging myself, began playing with workout fashion and discovered the power of music.
OK, so maybe I don’t always look forward to exercise, but that’s mostly because I hate working out alone.  At home, a workout feels more like a chore, so I pull out the high-powered music that MAKES me move. I throw on some workout clothes that make me feel fit, rather than like a slob.  The sum of those two things usually gets me arm biking in no time.
I love music! I keep a hot playlist just for workouts.  It’s my treat for working out. 
They are my most addictive songs of the moment.  They have to be very upbeat and leave me with a hunger to hear more.  That will keep me working out longer and harder.  If I can’t listen to my playlist, except for during a workout, you can imagine how that turns the tables on a workout.
Workout wear has taken a turn, too.  More options are available in larger sizes, from the novice to the serious athlete.  For serious athletic wear, I go to Junonia.com. Even Wal-Mart is carrying Danskin items in plus sizes now.  Many times I find large size items on sale at Lane Bryant or Fashion Bug. They are not athletic wear, just tank tops and skorts that make me feel like working out.  You can even pick up great finds on athletic wear (yes, even in the large sizes) at Goodwill and other secondhand stores.
Some of the things I wear to work out, I would not be caught dead wearing in public.  They are for my at-home private workouts when I need extra motivation.  Like what?  I might wear a tighter tank top or shorts I like and just avoid mirrors.  Then I concentrate on how I WANT to look in these items, and for my workout duration that is how
I look in my mind.
Taking extra fitness opportunities like the stairs, parking farther away, just walking to the mailbox all add up.  If you are just starting out, this is great!  If you need extra burn, it’s great!  Taking fitness opportunities is almost like a game.  Trying to find them and then challenging yourself more and more is easier and more fun than traditional exercise.  Play with the kids, walk the dog, walk along the beach, or like me, use your walker.
Some people may never like exercise in its traditional definition.  They may, however love the freedom it allows them and the choices later in life.  If you don’t want to lose your freedom of choice, don’t hand over your freedom of movement.
Where do you shop for plus-size workout clothing? What is your favorite non-traditional, "fun" exercise?

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NASFKAB 9/15/2020
Thank you Report
BONNIE1552 7/31/2020
Music definitely helps. Report
Some great pointers, Beth! Thanks, as always. Report
After my workouts are fun to me, ha! When I feel good about myself, sleep well and see results, it'll become fun as you can start seeing the fruits of your labor and want to keep going. Oh, yeah Report
Thanks for sharing Report
I love exercise classes. I love to exercise with other people, whether I came specifically to exercise with them or not. I motivate them and they motivate me. Report
I do enjoy swimming, I would really love to get waterproof MP3 for swimming, that would be perfect. Report
That's the right frame of mind to have. You go, girl! Report
Haha! I am also incredibly uncoordinated, but I LOVE Zumba! I have never had a better time exercising in my life than the first class I ever took. I looked rediculous, but was laughing so hard at myself and was just having fun! The next day, boy were my abs sore too. Report
My motivation to work out? Zumba, even if my top half and bottom half seem to belong to 2 different people (I'm SO uncoordinated!), at least I'm moving and having fun! Report
I use my music as a reward too. On nights I don't feel like going to the gym, I remind myself, if I stay home, I'll just have to do some chore, but if I go to the gym I get to listen to my great music I've put together. It really gets me going in all ways. Report
There is a commercial on TV where this woman is doing push-ups and everytime she goes down, instead of counting the reps, she lists one items of clothing she will buy before she goes on her next March break vacation. I just love that. What a good way to stay motivated! Report
Thanks for this blog! I absolutely hate to exercise, so I need lots and lots of motivation to get me started and to stick with it. You shared some good ideas! I really ought to put together a playlist of upbeat music. Report
Great Article....makes me want to get my playlist together right now and get to moving! Report
I got a tip from Spark that Marshalls carries good workout clothes, and they do! Lots of choices and sizes, at least the one near my house. Putting them on always makes me feel like working out. I like to run. Although I've dreaded going on a run, I've never regretted it once finished. Report
I do alot of my plus size shopping at Walmart, and as of lately I have been finding great stuff at my local goodwill. I have found out that alot of the quote trendy stores clothes seem to be irregular. Report
Working out stops being a chore once you find something you like and look forward to. For me, it's martial arts. Both karate and tai chi never feel like "work". And the clothes are typically loose and come in larger sizes although you might have to hem them up a bit. Report
Great blog. I have a walking dvd I really like. If I just put it in the player I start moving. Then an hour later I'm stretching and I'm finished!! But, some days, I have a hard time putting it in the player!! So, any hints to keep motivated are welcome!! Good luck on your continued success!! Report
Love the blog thanks for the inspiration! Report
I lived in Fl. walked and jog everyday. hated the gym, it was for sweaty men grunting and groaning. That was in the 80's.90's. Jump to 2000's very obese, on weight loss journey, found the gym and loved it. Lots of water aerobics, even Aqua Zumba, hence I have 8 swim suits that I ware. I also do the circuit training, so ware Danskin and whatever nice fitting workout clothes I can find at the GW.
When still in my 300's and up to about 230 I didn't mind baggy gym clothes. But i soon wanted to show off my smaller size, so fitted clothes were called for. But didn't want to spend a lot for sizes that would be too big in a short time. Good will or Wal Marts are good for inexpensive clothes.
I spend my money on the best fitting shoes I can buy. And not all shoes are for every workout.
I find myself doing exercises in the car, waiting in line at supermarket, there is so much one can do, without the gym.
I have found out sweating isn't so bad, it's getting me fit and I am a healthy soon to be 70 year old. Report
Take heart, sweetie, you're doing the work! Who cares whether it feels like a workout or not - you've proven you're gonna DO IT ANYWAY! Way to muscle through! Report
Zumba. That's when it stops being a workout. For me, at least. Report
Zumba. That's when it stops being a workout. For me, at least. Report
Zumba. That's when it stops being a workout. For me, at least. Report
You look terrific! You have come so far, it is wonderful. I also find music inspiring, now that I have begun to load my phone with a suitable playlist, music I enjoy and can match to my exercise rhythms. Thanks for the clothes sources. I get most of mine from Woman within, which has comfortable clothes I can move in, in larger sizes, tho I am so glad I don't need to look for quite SO large anymore. Kept blogging - yours are always a treat. Report
Thanks Beth, would love tom see your play list! Report
I got some great deals on Under Armor cold gear in discontinued styles on Herroom.com. I'm gearing up to keep biking to work through the winter. Report
You always inspire me.
I get the same feeling from the music and workout clothes.
You amaze me. Keep on Sparking! Report
Where do I shop for plus size workout clothing?? I like some of the outfits at Junonia.com but they are usually too expensive...so I keep checking the "Juno's Closet" (Junonia's clearance rack) for clothes and jump on it as soon as they are offered in my size and favorite colors. Another place is the discount or outlets on Kohls.com (or in person at the store, but our store on the east side seems to foucus on "skinny people sizes" - I rarely see plus size workout clothing in the store itself.). Walmart, like Beth mentioned...occasionally has plus sized clothing, depending on which Walmart I go to (the one in the "rich neighborhood" caters to skinny folks, the one down in the south central "poorer" neighborhoods seems to have LOTS of plus sized clothing always on sale because no one down there can afford them!)... So it varies.

And for fun non-traditional workouts... this is where I wait for the husband and the child to be gone to work/school for the day and break out my old skool 70's vintage and line dance or boogie down the way I remembered doing as a teenager (why did I quit? I could sweat all night gettin' down wit'd it!!)... Report
I am stark raving crazy over water aerobics. It is great fun, and an excellent work out. Report
I found Zumba to be so much fun plus an exhilarating workout. It really does take the drudgery out of a workout and turns it into a dance party. The music is so upbeat and exciting you feel like moving to it and never get bored with the workouts because there are always new routines to try. I am one of many people who have a lost weight in a short amount of time and have become a zumba regular, the clothes too are very fashionable and so bright and cheerful just like the music. Report
Fashion Bug or Walmart- I dont like to spend a lot. They need to be comfy and light. I did invest in two matching shorts/tanks this summer and another good pair of walking sneakers. I keep a pair at my work and one at home. I also leave my oder pair in my car just in case. I also have purchased mens tees as they are big and they are cheap. Good idea about the music. I think I'll try that! Report
I too have a 20 and a 40 minute cardio playlist ... but most of the time I do a 40-45 minute workout in front of a tv show that I love to watch... right now, that is Star Gate SG1! Can't wait to see the next episode! Report
I just donated a few bags of my (now) too-big workout (XL, 1x, 2x) wear to Goodwill -- it was nice stuff (Nike, Champion, Athleta, etc.) and in very good shape. My great hope is that someone else would be able to use it on her own journey to health and fitness. No reason she should have to pay the arm-and-a-leg I paid for it!

I do have to say that I am so grateful that so many more places have high-quality plus-sized workout wear these days. It helped me feel good about myself and my workouts in those hardest early days of this journey. Fitness should be for everyone! And everyone deserves to be able to look her best at the gym... Report
I like that bit about avoiding the mirror, and thinking about what you want to look like. That's good! I find the greatest hindrance to working out to be boredom. I find it boring to work out alone, so I put some music on, or play a talking book on my player. It helps me to stay on the treadmill longer. Report
This is a great reminder of what I love. Very insprirational. I need to find my ipod, charge it up, and get that playlist ready. Report
I find it fun to hike it does not seem like exercise. Report
Love the blog and the great info! Report
Nice article.........I too find cool workout clothes to motivate me. I also keep my play list good so it motivates me. I use a new workout outfit as a goal to reach for. I also have been know to use a new peice of fitness equipment as a reward. I just bought me a curl bar..........I love it. I also am a walking machine. I walk every where. To town to pay bills... to the store to buy a few groceries and any where I can think of. And this is on top of my morning runs. Working out is key for me. Report
We have ballroom dancing for teachers twice a week at school - I have no idea how many calories I burn in an hour of class, but I work up quite a sweat, have fun, and I definitely feel more graceful! Report
i usually like going for walks when i can't make myself do my workout dvds and knowing i have an awesome playlist waiting for me is a big help too. i agree about how workout clothes can help motivate you to move! that's why i use that as a reward and i asked for gift cards for my favorite places so i can get some more clothes for christmas and my birthday! Report
If folks are looking for great (as well as discounted) exercise clothing, check out TJ Maxx or Marshalls. They have a good selection of clothing in various sizes. I have seen larger sizes. So, definitely check them out.

As for my "fun" non traditional exercise, I'll admit it, I love to roller skate. Loved it as a kid, still love it as an adult. although, now, I do more in line skating in the summer.
I enjoyed this BLOG and understand totally! Now, when I get in the car, as a passenger, I want to turn up the tunes and "chair dance" to them! What ever "floats your boat, and gets us moving!" Report
It can be tough for me to haul myself out to the gym. It can feel like a chore, even while doing some of the exercises. However, I love the feelling I get when I'm DONE, and I know I've had a good workout, so I try to focus on that. I'll often push myself extra hard for the last 5 minutes on the treadmill, not because I find it enjoyable or comfortable, but because I'll feel guilty and ashamed afterward if I don't give it 110%. Completing a good workout makes me feel energized, healthy, and ready to take on the day.

I also love walking and hiking outside. If the weather is good, I just start itching to get out there and find the best (and preferably somewhat remote) vista. I don't think of it as exercising. I think of it as an adventure to explore new trails and scenery. Report
I am not keen on working out as in doing exercises...have learned to like the T-Tapp program and some walking videos for when it is inclement outside. Last Spring, DH and I took a dancing lesson...and to my surprise even DH enjoyed it...we are STILL taking lessons and have just signed up for more. It is great aerobic exercise, strengthens all sorts of muscles and is FUN. The skills we are learning build on each other and we will be able to enjoy our skills in social settings. I NEVER expected to do this...and certainly never expected to enjoy it so much.

I DO admire those who can do "workouts" at home and who love going to the gym. I wish you ALL success. Report
I love your choices and dress for how you look in your mind when you work out! I have some stretchy yoga pants that I shouldn't wear in public - sometimes I do anyway - but they're great for exercise, great for sleeping in, and I totally understand the motivation behind the exercise clothing! For now, I also love my curves and though I work to reduce my obesity, I might as well enjoy what I can about the moment! I don't have a weigh scale and my pant size isn't changing as much as I'd hope, but I do have some muscles that are tightening and toning. Baggy sweats won't help me appreciate that at all. Thanks for your post! It's a great reminder of what it's all about! Report
Right on the money..very informative.. Beth let me know when you would like to do another 5K or maybe.. a 10K.

I do not listen to my exercise playlist unless I am exercising but my playlist is now stale. I enjoy listening to it but I have listened to it for so long now that it is no longer motivating. Guess it is time to update the list because I have certainly fallen off the fitness wagon -- ouch! Report
GREAT blog, exactly what many non athletic people need. I was always an athlete and always over weight. No problem till middle age when things like high blood prssure and arthritis begin. Exercise earlier for me would have saved us money if I had made it a lifestyle as it is now.Thanks to spark I was not too late getting my priorities back in order. Pat in Maine. Report
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