Make Fitness Fun for You

By Jonathan Dugas

Children of the 1980s probably know the expression, “No pain, no gain.” It was the iconic Jane Fonda who championed the phrase as part of her aerobics routines. She meant it as a way to convey that if you are not working hard and experiencing pain, then you were not benefitting from your workout. It’s a catchy phrase but also very short on truth—you can definitely benefit from your workouts – no need for pain!  Even more, you can actually have fun and still improve your health.

The first important thing to know is that being active—and not sedentary—is one of the best things you can do for your health. Vitality members know this, and it’s why we work so hard to help people be active in whatever way works best for them. The next important thing you need to know is that “being active” means so many different things. If you are running for 30 min on a treadmill you are definitely being active, but if you are working in your garden or playing with your kids, you are also being active. Most will agree that running on a treadmill is one of the least fun activities. . .but playing with your kids? That’s right up there as the most fun!

The point is that as long as you are up and moving, it counts. If you are doing activities that make you breathe a little harder and sweat a little (or a lot!) then you are probably engaging in what we call “vigorous exercise,” and that means you get even more benefit. But being active in other ways is also beneficial and absolutely improves your health. Simply going for a walk with friends or family can be a fun and rewarding way to be active. If you are more adventurous, then visiting one of the many state or national parks and going on a hike is another great way to have fun while being active.

If you enjoy competition, sports leagues are an option in most cities. These are an amazing way to enjoy teamwork, socialize with new and old friends, and also be active and improve your health. Vitality members can even earn points for participating in sports leagues, as part of our flexible approach to rewarding members for healthy choices.

However you choose to be active, just know that pain is not required, and you don’t even need to feel the burn to improve your health. Be active however you can and make it fun. And don’t forget! Be sure to wear your fitness device so you can earn some Vitality Points, too, because we love rewarding healthy behavior.

With a PhD in Exercise Physiology, Jonathan Dugas spends his days thinking about how we can help more people be more active.  With four Ironman finishes and 13 marathons and counting, he’ll see you out on the road.

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