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Home > how to fall in love with fitness forever

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with exercise: We love to hate it.

We find fitness uncomfortable, time-consuming and oh-so boring. And let's be real. It's much easier to hit the alarm snooze button and catch 40 more winks than to drag yourself from a warm bed for a crack-of-dawn fitness session.

But maybe we're looking at things all wrong. Instead of treating exercise as a necessary evil, a brutal means to a distant end, why not enjoy the ride? Take pleasure in the power trip that only a good workout can provide. Relish the way exercise boosts your energy, builds your stamina and transforms your body into a lean, sculpted and conditioned tower of power. Savor the thrill that comes when you finally reach your fitness goals--then surpass them.

True, loving fitness isn't always easy. But if you're ready for a full commitment to good health, the following "love lessons" can help you have a passionate affair with fitness that will stand the test of time.

[check] Spice up your flex life.

Boredom is one of the main reasons people abandon exercise. Performing the same fitness routine in the same place at the same time can get old fast. Relieve the workout blahs by finding activities that satisfy your need for fitness and fun. And by all means, change your scenery.

Instead of working your muscles on a weight bench, work your body to the beat of James Brown or Ja Rule on the dance floor. Leave the health club and hit the beach for a game of volleyball or a refreshing swim. Pull out your bike or put on your Rollerblades and take off down the street. Take a sightseeing tour of your city--by foot. Learn a new sport; put a new twist on an old routine.

[check] Enjoy a fitness "quickie."

You need at least 30 minutes of exercise, three days a week to reap health benefits, but you don't need to do it all at once. In fact, exercising in smaller, schedule-friendly segments throughout the day is equally effective, health experts say.

Take a brisk 10-minute walk during your morning break, spend 10 minutes of your lunch hour climbing stairs, then work out with your favorite exercise video for 10 minutes when you get home in the evening. Add it up. Congratulations! You met your fitness quotient for the day, and it wasn't hard to do.

[check] Move it all day long.

Find easy ways to work more physical activity into your daily life. Just be sure to keep comfortable clothing and shoes on hand so you can workout anytime, anyplace.

Get off the bus or train a few stops early or park your car farther from your destination to work in a good walk. Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators. Forget about e-mail and voice mail; get up from your desk and hand-deliver memos to co-workers. Do toe stands while you wait in checkout lines and bicep curls with shopping bags while you walk home. Do lunges across the living room while you vacuum or garden with gusto. If it gets your heart pumping and your body sweating, then it's exercise.

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