If you’re someone that loves to head to the gym during your lunch break or starts your day with a brisk jog, kudos to you! You let off steam. You feel stronger, invigorated, energized. And to be honest, I really wish I was that way. But I’m not. And if you’re more like me and less like the daily gym-goers and morning joggers, then you’re in the right place.
Why Do I Hate Exercise?
There are many reasons people don’t exercise. Maybe you’re busy and don’t feel like you have the time. Maybe you haven’t found a workout that you like. Maybe you hate the feeling of your lungs burning and your muscles aching after the fact. Maybe you’re someone who buys workout equipment from infomercials only to shove it into a closet after one use.
Before you can find an exercise or a daily routine that you’ll actually want to stick to, you’ll need to get to the bottom of why it is you hate exercise. Some common reasons include:
You don’t enjoy exercise
You break the habit before you make it
The gym is too expensive or far away
You do not see results
Exercise goals stress you out
You don’t know how to exercise
You’re a busy parent
It’s not a priority
You don’t think you have time
Whatever your reason is for hating exercise, it’s valid. To an extent, I’d say I can relate to pretty much all those reasons.
For me, I do not want to leave my cozy bed in the morning to go out onto a frosty street in the morning (or extremely humid street depending on where you live) and run with nowhere to go.
Why not just work out inside, you ask? Maybe it comes down to a simple lack of motivation. Each night when I go to bed, I think, “tomorrow, I’ll get up early and workout first thing.” Then morning comes. My bed is warm, my eyes are heavy, and if I do get up when my alarm goes off, it’s only to get a cup of coffee before crawling back into bed.
If you can relate to this, does that make you a lazy person? NO! We are not lazy! We just like sipping our hot coffee in bed and starting the day slowly, and that’s ok. Everyone’s morning routine is different, and just because some people can start their day with a brisk jog or an hour on the Peloton, doesn’t mean you have to.
Exercise for Exercise Haters
The first step to exercising, if you absolutely hate it, is to not think about it as exercise. Instead, try to think of it as movement you enjoy. How can you make exercise more enjoyable?
Make it part of your everyday life. If you work from your home office, take breaks throughout the day to get up and do some chores around the house. Things like sweeping, vacuuming, shoveling snow, and raking are all great ways to get your body moving and out of that computer hunch for a few minutes.
Incorporate it into your social life. Take a dance class another fitness class with a friend. Even going for a short walk (or dare I say? Jog.) gives you time to catch up with a buddy and get out of the house.
Explore workouts in apps or on YouTube that appeal to you more.
Choose physical activities the whole family can enjoy, such as backyard sports or spending a day at the swimming pool or lake together.
Focus on how you feel rather than how you look. Do you have more energy when you exercise regularly? Are you in a better mood afterward?
Listen to your body. If it’s sore or if you’re not feeling well, take a rest day and remember to do gentle stretches to accelerate healing.
Get outside. Take a hike, play disc golf, go kayaking, ride your bike, go snowshoeing, etc. Whatever it is you like to do fun, make time to do it. Getting your friends involved in these hobbies will increase the likelihood you’ll want to do it as well.
Making Time for Exercise
There’s no doubt that a healthy amount of daily movement is essential to our health. But if you’re like me and either don’t enjoy it or feel like you don’t have the time for it, it can be difficult to be regular with it.
The important thing to remember is that a little is better than nothing. While you’ll want to make time for it each, don’t be dogmatic about it. You might go for a 3-mile hike on Saturday and only stretch for 15 minutes on Sunday, and that’s ok.
You want exercise to be something you look forward to and not dread. You can do it by focusing on movements you love.
If you find that you’re getting too busy for daily movement, it might be a good time to step back and ask what’s getting in your way. It could be that it’s time to outsource some of your business responsibilities. It might be time to get extra support with your content and copywriting.