In my line of work, I hear “I hate to exercise” more often than you might think. A lot of people ask me how to lose weight or have more energy despite hating exercise. So, I’m excited to share my secret to hating exercising yet still working out five times per week (or however many times you are aiming to workout).
I hate exercising, too. What?!? This might be surprising to hear from those of you who know me. You might be thinking “If you hate exercising, why are you always checking into Orange Theory on Facebook and walking around disgustingly sweaty in workout clothes?” How in the world can you be a health coach who hates to exercise?
Here’s how. When I hear the word “exercise,” I think of going to an indoor gym and doing thirty minutes on the stairclimber (without any music!) and then meandering from one weight machine to the next doing high reps with light weight. Yuck. Not my idea of enjoying myself for the better part of an hour. But it is “exercise” nonetheless, and it’s the type of routine that used to be promoted as the ideal way to be more fit. Cardio and weights. And, ideally, you would stretch at the end. This is BORING in my book!
I Get to Workout
Now, here’s how I solved this problem for myself. I started changing “I have to exercise” into “I get to workout.” I first made this switch in college when I started running with my roommate. I had been a runner before in high school, but it wasn’t ever something I loved. But, when I ran with her, we used the time to talk, and the time just flew by. To top it off, I felt amazing afterwards, and I liked how it toned my legs. I ended up training for a half marathon and eventually completing a marathon with this trick – running with another person. I absolutely loved it, and the idea of “having to exercise” slipped from my mind.
Fast forward five more years, and I’m new to Denver. I don’t have the social network I did in college or even after first graduating and living in San Francisco. My workout routine had dwindled to minimal levels and the notion of “having to exercise” had crept back in. I knew it was time to find something I connected with again. You see, our needs and life situations change. And, even though a type of workout routine works well now, it might not always be what you find engaging or even able to meet the time constraints in your life.
An Exercise Community
In this particular situation, it took me trying a handful of different types of workouts and even workout times to figure out what would work. This is when I discovered Crossfit Park Hill. I was amazed at how supportive everyone was even on my first visit. The workouts were so different than what I had done before. I loved feeling strong and seeing my fitness progress from workout to workout. I never knew I could lift so much weight. And – I was excited to join a community of people – something I needed as a newcomer to Denver.
Crossfit was a great solution for me until I had children and moved to Parker. The Crossfit community in Parker was different than what I had known, and I wasn’t able to make the class times as regularly as I hoped. Plus – I started missing running. Time to shift again. At this point, I made the connection that “working out” is more than exercise. It’s “working out” other parts of my life through my chosen fitness routine.
My Workout Is MY Time
As a working mom of two little ones, I like to get in my cardio and strength at all once. Thank goodness for Orange Theory, where I can do all of that in one hour! Now more than ever, I connect with the idea of “working out.” You see, most of my day I need to have it pulled together (or at least I try). But, when I go to the gym, it’s my time to work out my frustrations or aggravations. The music is loud, I don’t have to come up with the workout routine, and the trainers are great at pushing me to try my best. Also, as an entrepreneur, I’ve found that being able to push myself in the gym gives me that extra confidence to get out there more. This has become my new workout, and it does so much more for me than just keep me in shape.
Five Tips to Working Out Even if You Hate Exercise
Here are some key takeaways that you can use to find a workout that works for you yet even if you hate to exercise:
1. Consider your personality type and thoughts about exercise.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Do you love to dance? Would you prefer to be sweaty in the comfort of your own home? These are all questions you can ponder to help you narrow down your choice of workout.
2. Use your workout as an opportunity to achieve more balance.
What are you wanting more of in your life? Less of? Your workout can be a great way to achieve the balance you are craving. As I mentioned, these days, I feel like I need to have my stuff together (at least most of the time), and I spend quite a bit of time planning activities for my kiddos and running my business. I want and need a workout that only requires that I show up and try my best, and that also makes me feel like I can take on the world when I leave. Are you the opposite? Maybe you are craving a low key workout that lets you stretch your muscles to relieve tension and stress.
3. Ask around.
Do you have friends or family members who absolutely love their gym or trainer? Sometimes the environment in a given studio or the playlist of a certain trainer is all it takes to start loving your workout. You forget that you are pushing yourself or that you are exercising. And, if you have a friend or family member who is going, chances are, you’ll hold each other accountable to showing up.
4. Give it a try.
You won’t know if you don’t try it. Make a list of different gyms and/or workout classes you’ve been considering. Many people who hate exercising can end up finding a workout class that they enjoy. Don’t base your decision on the class after one try. It’s helpful to go a handful of times so you can start to get the hang of it. If you don’t love it after a week, move to the next (plus, most gyms will let you come for a week for free).
5. Mix it up.
You can do different workouts based on the day and time you have available. Some people prefer getting sweaty in the comfort of their own home. There are tons of workouts available online! In fact, I choose to do yoga online instead of paying for another membership.
I hope these tips help you overcome your loathe of exercise and help you find a workout that works for you.
Here’s How I Can Help
If you’re looking for more guidance for getting on the exercise bandwagon, I would love to help! You don’t have to do a lot of different things to be more active – you just have to find one type of workout that speaks to you!
If you’d like to learn more about how you can achieve your goals – whether exercising or having more energy – by doing less download my free guide: 5 Tips to Achieving Your Goals By Doing Less!