It’s okay if you don’t love fitness and working out. Really — it’s okay. And today, I’m going to tell you why. I’m also going to let you in on a little secret: You’re not alone. There are a number of popular reasons why people struggle to love exercise, and with some coaching and mental tricks, you just may be able to see the light.
And by the way, I can relate. Even though I’m one of those people who love to exercise, sweat and get moving these days, I haven’t always been this way. There was a time in my life when I didn’t go to the gym at all. And there was a time in my life when every time I tried to exercise, I hated it. But of course, over the years, things changed and now I’m actually someone who tries to motivate others to get active. It took work.
That’s why, if you find yourself loathing the thought of exercise, struggling to fit it into your day or totally avoiding the thought of all things fitness, perhaps you just need to see past the roadblocks you’re putting up for yourself, and one day you may find yourself in an entirely different situation. Let’s see if any of this resonates … (and please, read this one all the way rather than skim and send it to a friend if you have one who needs it.)
What you should know if you don’t love fitness
Ask yourself: Can you see past these roadblocks?
Here are a few mental roadblocks that may be standing in your way …
You think you are too out of shape to work out.
You may feel like you are too out of shape to enjoy working out and perhaps you even assume that you would like working out better if you were already in shape. Here’s why I disagree with this one: The moment you start making even slight fitness gains, whether that is going from jogging to running or being able to hold a plank off of your knees for 10 seconds longer, you will crave that improvement.
In fact, when you start a workout program, you are at the very best place possible to see the most amount of gains and improvement. Soak that up! Once you get super fit, it’s harder to make gains and better yourself. Rather than thinking, I’d like to work out only if I lost a little bit more weight first, know that taking that first step will get you to progress faster than waiting will. Everyone can move and work out no matter your fitness level or abilities. Nobody is too out of shape to try to exercise in some way. So just get going! It’s okay to exercise and not look amazingly fit. It’s still super beneficial for your body, even if you don’t get any visible results for a while. (But I bet you will!)
You haven’t found the right type of exercise for you.
Perhaps you don’t like working out because you just haven’t found the right kind of exercise for you yet. Or you’ve been forcing yourself to do what you think you should be doing. Perhaps you’ve even read on this blog that you should be lifting weights, but because you don’t really know how, every time you try, you hate it and give up. In order to find an exercise that you love, you have to try many different things and then see what sticks. And sometimes you have to try things more than once. Maybe you are perfect for yoga. Maybe Zumba is the workout for you. Or maybe you’re a candidate for triathlons and you don’t even know it yet. Try a lot of different things, including working out in a group, working out alone at home, working out outdoors or at little studios and see where you feel the most comfortable. Then keep at it.
While it’s best to vary your workouts and do a mixture of cardio and resistance training with some flexibility each week, if you would be totally inactive if you didn’t do the same dance class every day, then choose the same dance class every day. Hands down. And if all you want to do is power-walk, then get out there and swing your arms and walk with power. I used to love running alone on a treadmill as my exercise of choice. Today, I choose group fitness with a barbell all the way. People change. Our tastes change. And you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your exercise prince or princess.
You’ve never had a regular routine, so you always feel like an awkward fish out of water.
If you only lace up your sneakers or go to the gym once every other week, then you are setting yourself up for feeling like an awkward beginner every single gym session. And there’s a strong chance that that factor alone is keeping your from wanting to go back. But if you come up with a regular routine, whether that’s walking four mornings before work or hitting the gym three times a week after work, the consistency will not only help your body to get results, but you’ll find the entire process less painful. You don’t have to jump into a tough Orangetheory class every single day to get started, you just have to move regularly.
Trust me. If you wait a long time between workouts, it will feel tougher on your body, you will lose your fitness gains, and you’ll downright feel like you shouldn’t be doing it. Our bodies do what we teach them to do, so teach your body to become a regular exerciser, and you may be surprised at how easy you adapt and start to enjoy it.
And now that we’ve established some of the reasons why you may not like exercising, which you can get past, let’s talk about what you can do about it.
Tricks to try: What you can do to get excited about working out
Here are some mental strategies you can employ to convince yourself that you’re looking forward to your workout …
Focus on the benefit of routine and the dedicated “you” time.
Adding a 30-minute activity to your day that is solely devoted to you and to your health and wellness is a beautiful thing. Maybe you don’t get pumped up for a workout, but I bet you can get pumped up for solo time and self-care. Think about that workout session as something that is JUST FOR YOU. It’s not for your boss. It’s not for your kids. It’s not for your friends. It’s all for you. It’s a benefit for you. It’s yours. Soak up the opportunity to focus on nothing but the good things that you are doing for your body and mind when you choose to work out. Protect that time, schedule it in your calendar and be consistent and know each and every time that it is a little gift you are giving to yourself and to your body. It may mean you have to wake up extra early for you time, but there are a lot of good things coming your way if you do.
Live for the reward of endorphins.
Do you know that feeling you will get at the end of a workout when your face is slightly flushed, your heart-rate is up and you’ve broken a sweat? You’ve exerted yourself, worked your body and you’re just about to welcome those super happy and positive endorphin feelings that come in when you finish. Endorphins are free happiness. They are better than coffee. Better than a treat. They are naturally delicious feel-good vibes that make everything seem better. Live for those. You’ll get them every time you put the effort in to work out.
Know that it will get easier if you stay committed.
Just like the mental roadblock in the beginning where if you don’t go to the gym regularly, you’re always feeling like a beginner, the key to success is just to commit. Put it in your calendar. Cancel social plans if you need to. Set your alarm an hour early before work. Just do it. Put one foot in front of the other to maintain a workout schedule at a minimum of three times a week and you will reap the benefits. You will! Trust me!
Find a partner who feels the same way as you.
Remember that you’re not the only one out there struggling to love working out or struggling to find the time for it. Maybe you have a coworker or friend who is in the same boat? What if the two of you sign on to be accountability partners and plan to work out three times a week together at set times. Reward yourselves with a massage if you make it through the first month without missing a session. Cheer each other on. Stay positive. And know that everything worth doing will take some effort. You can do it!
In conclusion, a lot of people hate the gym and fitness, and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. A lot of people want to be healthy, they want to feel vibrant, look good and have energy, but they don’t know how to learn to love exercise. Because you’ve read this post, it’s clear that you care. So just know that it will take time, and sometimes we are the ones standing in our own way of success. Give these mantras a try and get moving!It's okay if you don't love #fitness. Trainer @apstyle tells you how to learn to get excited about your #workouts… Click To Tweet
Questions of the day
What’s something that holds you back from working out?
What’s a positive mantra that you can use to help yourself get excited about exercise?