Doctors recommend it. Personal trainers swear by it and fitness buffs love it. What is it? Exercise, of course. What do you do if you know you should exercise but hate everything having to do with exercise? Well, you’ve got several choices. You can keep hating it but exercise anyway. You can learn to tolerate it, or you can learn to enjoy—and even love—working out.
If you hate exercise but know you should incorporate exercise into your daily life, here are some things to think about.
Do you really hate exercise?
So you think you hate exercise. I wonder if you really hate exercise or just the uncomfortable feeling you get when you exercise or the anxiety you feel when thinking about beginning an exercise program?
Think about it. Maybe it’s not so much that you hate exercise itself but you hate:
- Being sweaty after working out
- Getting out of your comfort zone
- The worry that you can’t follow an instructor’s directions
- The idea of exercise
- Feeling like you don’t fit in
Spend some time analyzing why you hate exercise. You may find that you are just fearful of the unknown, don’t want to be uncomfortable, or are creating barriers in your mind where there are none.
Do you perform activities you hate?
Just because you hate an activity doesn’t mean you never do it. Think about your daily life. Do you sometimes hate going to work, cleaning out your car, or taking out the trash? Probably. But you do those activities anyway.
Now apply the same principle to exercise. Sure you might hate the idea of exercise, but you know it’s good for you, so you just have to do it anyway.
Are you exploring all your options?
Exercise is much more than running a marathon or spending an hour in the gym every day. There are many ways to fulfill your activity quota for the week.
If you are reading this article, you may hate to exercise but know you want to begin an exercise program. Be open to trying a variety of activities in your quest to find one or two that speak to you.
Here’s a list of some common and not-so-common ways to exercise.
- Gardening or yard work
- Vigorous house cleaning
- Shoveling snow or pushing a lawnmower
- Stair climbing
- Water polo
You see, there are a lot of ways to fill your exercise bank without joining a gym or running. You just have to do it.
Are the payoffs worth the pain?
Starting an exercise program can be daunting, especially if you think you hate it. But consider the pain versus payoff ratio for a minute.
Sure exercise can be painful, challenging, and not always fun. But the payoffs you get from regularly exercising for 30 minutes several times a week can last a lifetime. You will be more flexible, be able to walk or run without getting winded, look better, and reap the medical benefits of exercise such as reducing your risk of heart disease and lowering your blood pressure.
And if weight loss is your goal, exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy eating program. For example, I never lost weight on a diet until I committed to exercising. It wasn’t just the exercise that helped me lose weight, but the willingness to change my outlook on exercise and make healthy changes.
As a word of encouragement to you, when I started to exercise at 305 pounds, I too hated exercise. Or I thought I did. But I made myself walk for a few minutes every day. Before long I didn’t hate it quite so much and over time I appreciated the sweat and the uncomfortable feeling of being out of breath and discovered that the temporary pain of exercise was well worth the rewards.