Should Exercise Be Fun?

One of our brand values at Innerfight is Fun. Life is about having fun and creating enjoyment. Human performance skyrockets when fun is involved. 

I couldn't agree more, but recently I was asked how is pain and struggle fun? 

For me, that is the fun part, but it got me thinking how the word “fun” varies from person to person and how the global exercise community exists along a spectrum ranging from "absolutely no fun" to "all the fun and none of the pain."

Now everyone's idea of fun with regards to exercise is completely different. Some bury themselves in the processes, find absolute pleasure in the grit and the struggle, and feel that fun has no place in a training session.

There are your dedicated crossfitters, marathon runners, or triathletes that find their fun in discomfort and revel in the glory of doing what so many others will not. Fun to them is eagerly tying their laces at 5:58 am before Track Tuesday, clipping into their bike to ride down the same old road, or even going nowhere at all riding in their living room.

Some want all of the fun and none of the pain. They want to move, socialize with friends and enjoy post-exercise coffee. 

Then some find fun in six beers and a pizza, those that workout as a means of survival meant to keep them from tipping into obesity and losing all sense of health and well-being.

I am not suggesting that anything is right or wrong with any of these, fun is a relative term, and our differences make the world go around. However, prescribing health & fitness and pushing the world to be a healthier, better place, how much fun is too much? And most importantly, can we see progress and have fun at the same time?

While we must find something that we enjoy, there is a fine balance if we have a specific goal in mind. Those who seek only to enjoy individual workouts often end up doing too much of the stuff that we enjoy and not enough of the things we need to do.

We all know if you want something, you have to work hard for it. I am a huge believer in hard work, consistency, and grit. Just because a workout is fun does not automatically mean it’s not challenging or helping you towards your goals. At InnerFight, we still ensure progressive overload, skill work, aerobic capacity, muscle gain, and fat loss while making it fun for our clients, the results of which speak for themselves. 

Yes, exercise should be challenging, but it should be inviting enough to make everyone want to join in, fun enough to make them stay, and hard enough to reward their efforts.

As a coach, it is my job to continuously encourage my clients to make themselves strong and push past where they were before. I prescribe just the right stimulus to move the proverbial needle. Then it's about throwing some fun into the mix and letting the person be free. It allows the mind to relax and the body to work underneath the calm. Maybe someone hates going heavy, but they love the feeling they get when they are out of breath, or vice versa. My job is to give them what they need, but it doesn't mean I can't give them a little of what they want. 

So no matter how seriously you take your exercise or your sport, I encourage you to find a great environment and epic people, such as what we have at InnerFight, to keep you motivated, accountable and enjoying your fitness. I promise that if you nail the hard work and fun balance, you will get epic results and love the process. 

Life is short, and exercise should not be a core. It shouldn't make you miserable to do well for yourself. The pursuit of better health and wellness is essential but shouldn't be one that comes at the cost of your happiness, your well-being, and your emotional state.

Work hard, sweat even harder, but laugh and smile the hardest!

Connect with Jess Towl:
Instagram: jesstowl
Email: jt@innerfight.com