How many times have you heard someone say “I hate exercise”? Or maybe you’ve even said it yourself.
Hearing this always makes me a little bit sad.
Exercise doesn’t have to be on the same level as…um…I don’t know maybe sex or eating ice cream or laughing with friends, but it shouldn’t be something that you despise.
It took me a long time to find an exercise that I enjoyed. I tried running, yoga, bicycling, indoor fitness equipment and nothing really stuck. I got bored with it easily and it just wasn’t much fun. I even tried Zumba and other fitness dance classes! I found rock climbing, super fun, and hiking, and CrossFit.
So let’s talk about this. Do you hate to exercise?
Why do you exercise? Is it just to look better? Do you want to live a longer and healthier life? Maybe you enjoy the mental clarity and physical energy that exercise delivers. Whatever your reasons for working out, why are you doing exercises that you despise?
Aside from the physical and mental benefits that exercise delivers, it can be downright fun. So why waste your time doing something that you hate? There are other options AND…hating your exercise routine can cause other problems.
Your Hatred Can Spread Into Other Areas of Your Life
There may be some exercise routine or format that you dread. However, you have heard it is perfect for delivering the result you’re looking for. So therefore, you continue to pencil it into your regular workout schedule. Sometimes a day or 2 in advance of your hated form of physical fitness, you begin to think about how much you would prefer to be doing something else.
This can lead to a big problem.
The problem is when you attach a negative emotion to any form of exercise, that emotion can spread to your entire routine and even throughout your day. Not only can you start to hate all exercise, you carry that bad mood into your work, your relationships, and perhaps into your health.
You Increase Your Risk of Injury
As you know, proper form is everything when it comes to working out. If you perform an exercise correctly, your results come more quickly. You also limit your risk of injury. Certain forms of exercise are performed the way they are to limit injury risk. When you don’t like a particular exercise, your mind wanders. You do anything to try to “zone out.” This can lead to imperfect form, and eventually injury.
There Are Plenty of Amazing Alternatives
Probably the best argument for not doing exercises you hate is this … there are hundreds of alternatives. The list of alternatives to the plank body weight exercise is seemingly endless. The same is true for sit-ups, push-ups, yoga asanas, pilates forms and weightlifting exercises.
You can discover numerous exercises, many downright fun and enjoyable, that effectively replace the ones you dislike. You will also find that working a body part in different ways improves your results. This is called muscle confusion, when you keep your muscle groups guessing as to how you’re going to attack them in your exercise routine.
Here are a few steps to consider if you’d like to actually enjoy working out:
Step #1 Why don’t you like the exercise you’re doing? Get specific here, “it’s hard” isn’t enough of a reason. Is it boring, too technical, too slow, too fast? What isn’t working for you? For example, I don’t mind running if it’s short and fast sprints but I am super uncomfortable with anything longer than a mile. I can do it, I just don’t like to.
Step #2 What do you like to do? What ways can you move your body that you enjoy? Maybe you like hiking or riding your bike in front of the television or lifting heavy weights. Maybe you like jumping rope or hitting things. When I was trying to figure out what to do for exercise (I’d tried running and cycling and didn’t like them) I remembered that I really liked lifting weights in college when I would go to the fitness center. I dug into different types of exercise that included weight lifting and found CrossFit. Make a list of what you like to do.
Step #3 What do you want to try? Maybe you love dancing so you want to try a fitness dance class. Maybe you like competing on a team so you are interested in a local basketball league. There are more things out there to try other than Yoga, Peloton, CrossFit, or running. Trust me, there’s a whole world of activities just waiting for you to discover them.
Step #4 Everyone is a beginner sometimes. One of the reasons most people don’t try new fitness programs is that they’re hesitant to be a beginner. They don’t want to feel stupid or have people make fun of them. It happens. The beautiful Kim Joy from Great British Baking Show shared a tearful experience she had at a new gym on Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CPYdwCNJG62/
Consider taking a friend with you or calling and finding a time when the class or gym is most empty. You might also set up an initial private session so you can get some instruction before you start with a group class.
Bottom line…life is too short to do exercise that you hate and exercise is too important to avoid.