Exercise: a treat, not a chore

Sometimes, we tend to see a lot of things that are bad for us as “treats”: things like chocolate, crisps, takeaways, lazy afternoons slumped on the sofa. I know I’m a bit prone to doing this too, but after an email from one of The Office Diet’s readers, I’m trying to rethink my attitude! Why shouldn’t I think of things that are good for me – like exercise – as treats too?

After all, I know that a trip to the gym is a real treat for me – when I was working full-time, it was a wonderful hour of freedom away from the office, and now that I’m studying, it makes a nice break from my desk. Going out for a leisurely walk with my boyfriend is also a treat, as is eating something delicious, homemade and packed with long-lasting energy, like pasta with a chunky vegetable sauce.

Here’s a few ways to think about your exercising as a treat, not a chore:

  • If you work from home during some or all of the week, treat yourself to a half-hour walk every morning and afternoon as a break. You might want to listen to your favourite music or podcast while you walk, or use it as “couple time” with your partner.
  • Pick a fun activity to do at the weekend – perhaps ice-skating, trampolining, rowing, skateboarding, or anything that you genuinely love to do. Set aside a morning or afternoon to indulge. If it’s something that brings out the big kid in you, so much the better!
  • Get some friends on board, and have a blast doing something active together. How about a game of Ultimate Frisbee in the park, or an afternoon at an adventure playground with your kids? I love Lazer Quest (my competitive spirit comes to the fore when I get to prowl around and shoot people in the dark…), and I’m keen to try Paintball some day.
  • Enjoy a long, chilled-out gym session: make some time for yourself, work off some energy on the machines, push yourself with the weights, and then take a long soak in the pool – or relax in the sauna – to wind down. Start viewing your workouts as “me time”, a chance to escape the computer, phone and pressures of daily life.

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