The title for this post has been sitting in my queue for months. The truth of the matter is that it was pretty difficult for me to find an exercise that I enjoy. The only real advice I have for anyone who hates exercise is this:
Try something different.
That’s it. If you hate your workout, then try something different. For YEARS, I thought that I had to do aerobics to get thin. I think it’s because I watched so much Richard Simmons when I was a kid and then I was a teen during the Jane Fonda era of physical fitness. Every second that I did aerobics, I HATED it. The teachers rarely explained the moves well enough so that I would know what I was doing, so I ended up just fumbling around. I can’t clarify enough how much I despised aerobics.
Even Denise Austin, wasn’t enough to make me like aerobics. She is so clear when she explains what she wants me to do. She is good enough not to be too repetitious, so her videos don’t irritate me with the same phrases over and over again. I was able to do Denise Austin workouts for a summer in 1992, and she will always hold a soft place in my heart, but I just don’t like to do aerobics.
About six years ago, I knew that I wanted to start exercising because I wanted to improve my cardiovascular health. It wasn’t about losing weight. I knew that the studies had only proven that exercise helps heart health, not necessarily weight loss. I thought back to all the different exercises that I did in gym classes over the years. The only one where I enjoyed it enough to actually EARN an A in the class was a jogging class I took the first semester of high school. I decided that I would run.
Luckily, it worked out for me. It was painful. It wasn’t easy, but there were no teammates to complain about my performance. There were no competitors to pass me by. It was just me, running around my suburban neighborhood or on my treadmill. Running worked out for me and strangely, it led to other exercises that I enjoyed like bike riding and even weight training.
So many of my friends stay in shape with aerobics. There was a kickboxing class at the community center that my sister just loved. When I attended it, I wanted to punch the teacher in the face for assuming that all her students knew what she was doing. Halfway through the class, I stopped trying to follow along and just stepped up and down on the step over and over until it was over. If I had insisted on using aerobics as my way of getting fit, I wouldn’t have a story to tell you today.
If you hate exercise, STOP DOING IT! I don’t think any other health and fitness person will tell you that, but I’m here right now to tell you that it’s okay to stop doing whatever it is you hate. The only thing I ask is that you try something different. I don’t care what it is, but try something else and stick with it for a month or two until you know whether you like it or HATE it.
I promise you. If you keep looking and trying new things, you will find an exercise that you love.