Many of us are committed to building a more fit body and eating healthier foods, but sometimes this is at the risk of making ourselves bored and unfulfilled as our lives become centred around diet and fitness goals that put the other important aspects of happy, healthy living on the back burner. We won't go dancing or on vacation until the scale tells us we can squeeze into a strappy number or string bikini while looking like Elle MacPherson. We say no to dinner invitations because it may interfere with our calorie counting.
Diet and fitness goals should be not short-term commitments but lifelong pursuits if we intend to sustain the physical results and healthy habits. Since that's the case, we need to get on with living and weave together our diet and fitness goals with our social, mental and emotional needs and priorities. The bonus is that fun and fulfillment just happen to fuel our "get healthy and happy" aspirations, too.
Social interaction, relationships, hobbies, taking holidays and positive thinking all contribute to better health. And that means that there's a much easier prescription to follow than just eating broccoli or doing crunches -- although I'm sure you're doing that already. Here are 10 ways to have more fun while staying true to your fitness goals.
1. Join a sports team
It builds character, not just muscles, and it'll give you a chance to skip the solo workout and hang out with people.
2. Go dancing
Don't have the gams you want yet? Don't worry, what will shine through will be your exuberance, and that can be sexier than being a size 2. It's fun, and it burns calories.
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4. Find a cause
Get moving for a charitable cause, such as raising money for cancer or heart disease -- because the physical activity is attached to something as important as saving lives, not just squeezing into a bikini, you can tone up your self-esteem as well as your body.
5. Get a spa treatment
You work hard enough for your body, so let someone else tend to it and you. Besides, that after-spa glow makes any body look better.
6. Just relax
Yoga, meditation and tai chi aren't touted as big calorie-burning, bun-tightening activities. But they do help you destress, and stress can invite extra pounds, especially around your middle.
7. Do lunch with a friend
Skip your noon workout and catch up on life. You'll feel more energetic at the end of the day.
8. Play in the park
Toss a Frisbee or football, or play catch. Feel silly getting on the swings or monkey bars? Then bring your kids along, or borrow a nephew, niece or friend's kid.
9. Throw a party
It's an ego booster to be the centre of attention, and you'll get to see all the friends you miss while hanging out at the gym.
10. Disappear for the weekend
The gym will be there when you get back. A change of scenery and pace can also introduce new activities, so you can go hiking or mountain biking instead of weight-training or kickboxing.
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