Finding the Fun in Fitness

by Tavon Johnson

This post is part of a series about Mission Thrive Summer, a program of the Institute for Integrative Health and Civic Works' Real Food Farm that empowers youth with skills and knowledge for a healthy life.

Many people who find exercise too boring, difficult, or time-consuming put off getting in shape until next week, next month, or next year. But often, that “next” turns into "never." The fitness training component of Mission Thrive Summer aims to change next to now.

The program's participants—Baltimore high school students—learn and practice enjoyable ways to incorporate exercise into their everyday lives, such as finding a workout buddy or trying new sports. According to the youth themselves, here are five revelations about making physical activity a regular habit:

Partner up. “I liked working out in pairs,” said Diamond. “It helps to motivate each other.”


Get active. It doesn't have to be traditional exercise. Just start moving more. “It helps you to be healthy and really strong,” said Diamond.
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Get instruction. “You can’t do everything alone, so you have to get some help sometimes,” said Tyriq.

Have fun. “Exercise can be boring, so I like to do exercise when it’s fun,” said Shabazz.
Pace yourself. “When you pace yourself, you can keep yourself motivated to do more,” said Shabazz.

How about you? What are your words of wisdom for incorporating physical activity into everyday life?