Should Exercise Be Fun?

Edgar L. McCoubrey and Jack LaLanne

Edgar L. McCoubrey and Jack LaLanne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“…. to go into a cold gym takes a lot of discipline, boy, I’ll tell ya. … I never liked to exercise, but I like results.”   Jack LaLanne

I was reading on one of the many Facebook pages I belong to and someone was asking about not feeling up to a workout.  Some

of the responses suggested that workouts must be fun.  As I read them I had to ask myself two questions:

Are my workouts fun? Do they need to be?

My exercise routine is spit into two portions:

Strength training, in which I use weight lifting.

Endurance training, in which I use a combination of jogging, sprints and rope skipping.

Yes, I will admit that there is something exhilarating about pitting myself against cold, unyielding iron.  I look forward to my mornings in the gym.  If I am pressed for time, I always get in some sort of weight training. While I do relish weightlifting, I’m not sure if the word fun would be an apt descriptor.

When it comes to jogging; I like the the time alone, free from distractions, outside enjoying the weather, but do I have fun? Not really. I am not even sure I even enjoy the activity itself.  I am not really built for running, either physically or mentally, but because of the results I attain,  I get out there and I do it.

I am not sure if fun should be part of the criteria for going out and exercising or even in  the choice of a particular exercise.  I pick and chose my routine for the results I am going to achieve.  When I am bulking up and adding strength, my weight training is slower and the weights I use are much heavier.  I still jog, but I cover less distance and I do it at a much slower pace.  When I a leaning out, I decrease the poundage and I move much quicker.  I cover more distance when I jog, I do it at a faster pace and I include rope skipping and sprints.

No matter what my particular goal is, I always include both progressive resistance and endurance training.  They both contribute to the overall result I am looking to achieve.

Is fun important?  I guess it could be, but it isn’t a requirement.  Exercise should be done to improve the overall quality of life.  While I don’t really consider my exercise routine fun, it makes much of the other activities that I engage in much more fun. When I was in Chiropractic school I spent hours upon hours studying for classes, quizzes, exams and boards.  Did I have fun during all that study time? I would have to say no, but it was necessary to achieve my goal.  I look at exercise much the same way.  My goal in regards to exercise is not to have fun during my exercise time; it is to achieve an improved level of fitness. The fun is in the results —

European Jet Ski Championship, Crikvenica, Croatia

Image via Wikipedia

-because I am fit, I am able to hike longer and more difficult trails.

-because I am fit, I am able to participate more actively in beach and ocean activities

-because I am fit, I am able to live every aspect of my life much fuller and with much greater joy.

So, is fun a requirement when it comes to choosing an exercise routine? Perhaps to some, but it wasn’t to Jack LaLanne and it really isn’t to me.  I am much more concerned with the results of the exercises I pick.  Taking into account travel to the track, then to the gym, showering and dressing — only about ninety minutes of my day is focused on exercise. While fun is nice; I prefer effectiveness, which in turn  improves the quality of  the remaining twenty-two and a half  hours (and, yes, I sleep better because of exercise) of my day.



Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to and He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at and check out his website
************The information herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

6 thoughts on “Should Exercise Be Fun?

  1. Let the hiking and beach and ocean activities be your workout. If you’re not having fun you’re building up cortisol which is counterproductive to any lean mass gain or fat loss you seek. Short intense bursts of recreational activity are the most effective way to workout. Find some people to play frisbee or football or something with.

  2. I could NOT disagree more.. What you are advocating is a haphazard approach which produces haphazard results. I will take not only my improved appearance but my overall improved health level any day. Honestly, is sticking to a workout plan that stressful? Have we as a society become so weak willed that we view something that will improve are overall health and well being to be too stressful. Is it really that stressful to commit may be 60 total minutes a day to exercise? Is that really stress? There are men and women in Iraq who may not be coming home this week. There are police officers on the street who may not make it to the end of their shift. That is stress. A regular exercise program and an improved level of fitness allows us to deal with real stress much more effectively.
    Although we disagree, I appreciate that you took the time to not only read, but to comment on my posting.
    Yours in health and fitness.

  3. Hey Joe, I’ve read and thought about your post. In the context of the “work”out everyone has a different idea of fun. Fun to me is finding an activity that you like to do and gives you great results. For some that’s running, or lifting, or CrossFit (I do) Hiking, Biking, Climbing.

    When I am in the middle of a CF workout, I am NOT having any fun while DOING the WORK. I’m sweating, breathing hard, telling myself not to quit, fighting thru the pain, and fatigue of a hard workout. However when DONE, and I’ve achieved that end of workout, a different euphoria sets in, and when you reflect back on what you just accomplished in that work, you say…”yea that was fun!” Bring on Tomorrow!!


  4. Pingback: How Will You CHOOSE To Respond To Adversity? « Fat Then Fit Now

  5. Pingback: Chiropractor Joe Leonardi's Better Life Seminars

  6. Pingback: How Will You CHOOSE To Respond To Adversity? « Chiropractor Joe Leonardi's Better Life Seminars

Comments are closed.