How to Fall in Love With Exercise

Have you ever caught yourself saying or thinking that you hate exercise? Or that it hurts too much and makes you sore? Not to mention that exercise makes you feel uncomfortable while you sweat. Here are a few steps on how to fall in love with exercise.

Having worked in the fitness industry for more than 10 years with Spectrum, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, Equinox, and LMU’s Burns Recreation And Fitness Center, I’ve learned why so many people make these statements and why they tend to struggle more with being consistent in their training routines. The reality is that exercise does hurt and it is difficult.

Pain is Temporary

The other day I came across someone at Roworx wearing a T-shirt that said “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”- Lance Armstrong.

I have to agree with Lance in his statement because there have been many moments in my life during workouts and competition where I have wanted to quit because it’s just too hard and it hurts too bad. Yet, I realized that my body would actually give in to the pain a couple minutes into a race and or workout as if your body said ‘Ok… I give up. I tried to make you stop but I guess I’m going to have to get up and train today.’

I always mention to all my members that just simply getting out of bed and to the class is the hardest thing to do. After the first 10 minutes of every workout I really feel as if my body is ready to go, awake, and a fat-burning machine.

Almost 100% of the time after teaching my classes at Roworx an intoxicating feeling of euphoria and happiness comes over me and I’ve noticed that working out even less than a half hour a day can leave your body in a state of bliss for the rest of the day. Endorphins get released into the body after every workout and you naturally become a happier more productive person overall.

The phrase ‘No pain.. no gain’ is generally very true; however, through this experience of aches and pains over the span of several workouts will also result in feelings of joy and a sense of well-being that lasts a long time. If someone tells you that exercise should be pleasurable and pain-free than that person has not worked-out hard enough nor challenged his or her body toward physical transformation.

There are tremendous benefits to exercise that have been studied throughout the years and have been proven beneficial to your body over and over again. Exercise along with proper nutrition will help an individual prevent diabetes, heart disease, depression, anxiety, stress, and obesity. When we discipline our bodies we are also disciplining our minds: our thoughts, moods, and attitudes.

Top 5 Ways to Fall in Love With Exercise

1) Embrace The Burn

“I want you to feel like you are uncomfortable during exercise and unable to hold a conversation.” This is something I tell all of my members to try and feel within their bodies at Roworx. As you embrace the burn it will help you transform your body to get stronger, leaner, and get you to accomplish your goals sooner.

When lifting weights and exercising you will tend to feel a deep burning sensation and moderate pain within the muscles. The burning sensation during certain weight training exercises or high repetition training is caused by an accumulation of acid in the fatiguing muscle. Anaerobic glycolysis utilizes carbohydrates and produces water and acid, or free hydrogen ions. Lactate helps prevent muscle acidosis by transporting positive hydrogen ions out of the muscles.

2) Be Positive

Try to not take anything for granted and recognize every small goal you achieve. Do not measure yourself against others or compare yourself to different people along the way. Look to the best in everything and be happier. Know that things can always be worse off and appreciate each day for what it is.

Life is a roller coaster and everyone has high’s and low’s so be sure to try and control your emotions and drive forward and accomplish your goals sooner by staying consistent through you fitness and nutrition goals. Every time you exercise think of yourself giving the gift of better health and longevity. “Those who do not find time for exercise now will have to find time for illness.” – The Earl of Derby, 1873

3) Pain is Only Temporary

Your body will thrive and never die from discomfort in exercise. If you can find just 20 to 30 minutes throughout the day a couple times a week doing some sort of physical exercise with moderate intensity you will experience amazing results and you will be giving your body fuel, energy, and strength.

Exercise along with good nutrition and hydration in order to transform your life! Dehydration and mineral salts deficit affects the correct functioning of the muscles and increase fatigue levels, reducing performance. For instance, a 3% hydration deficit decreases muscle capacity by 15-20% and performance by 5-7%. Throughout various workouts you body will tend to crave better whole food nutrition.

With more workouts, better hydration, and good nutrition you will be able to recover faster from day to day. If you find yourself in a chronic state of fatigue, negative thinking, and unhappiness, make sure to find a way to fill up yourself with joy, confidence, and optimism as you accomplish each small goal. Remember that you are worth it!

4) Write Down Your Fitness and Nutrition Goals – Start Small!

Throughout my four years of rowing at Berkeley I had a tremendous amount of stress while trying to balance the workload of studying for exams while rowing and training everyday 2-3 hours a day and still being able to maintain a part-time job. If I thought about everything I was doing all at once it would be incredibly overwhelming so I began to make small goals for individual things I was doing.

I wrote my goals down on post it notes and put them around my room. They were mostly for rowing as we would do very physically demanding fitness tests every week on the rowing machine that would decide later on if we made the team or not. Start with small goals and work up to bigger goals in the future. Remember that everything is a process and takes time to accomplish. Especially in the beginning of anything you do.


5) Plan an Event or Competition and Get Motivated to Train!

Last but not least sign up for an event and/ or competition so that you can hold yourself accountable for your training. When I decided I would do the Ironman in Nice, France in 2008 it was something I have wanted to do my whole life, but I didn’t think I had the physical and/ or mental capacity to race the extremely long distance.

I signed up with my best friend and we threw ourselves into training and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The next year it was easier to sign up for the Ironman in Florianopolis, Brazil because I knew what to expect from the competition. The course was flat and much easier than France as I did not have to climb a 50 mile section of the Pyrenees Mountains. Start small for your first event and work up to longer and more challenging events if that is what you want to do in order to stay motivated throughout your training! 

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Jack Nunn

Jack Nunn is the head trainer and owner of Roworx. Jack is a former national team rower who has competed in more than 100 triathlons, including 9 full Ironmans. He has created a system of rowing that prepares the whole body for both competition and fitness longevity.