Aliza Septimus, PsyD
4 Stay-Fit Tips for People Who Hate Exercise
Hate exercising? You’re definitely not alone.
It seems that each year, millions of people around the country start off with good intentions, committing to an exercise plan, only to quit completely a few weeks later.
Look, we understand, exercising is not easy. It’s hard work, but it’s hard work that’s really important for your health and overall well-being. And we want to make sure the next time you commit to an exercise plan you STAY committed.
So, with that in mind, here are 4 tips that will help you stay fit, even when you hate exercise:
Tip # 1: HAVE FUN!
No one says you have to go to the gym 5 days a week and do circuit training. If you hate going to the gym, then find something you actually enjoy doing. Do you like swimming? Hiking? Kayaking? Dancing? Playing basketball? There are PLENTY of ways you can get your body moving and condition your heart while building some lean muscle. Find something you love to do and try to incorporate it into your weekly schedule. You’ll find that you’ll actually want to do it more.
Tip # 2: GIVE YOURSELF SOME TIME
The science is out and it says that it takes roughly 30 days for a human being to form a new habit. So you can expect that days 1-29 are going to be challenging to ensure you work out. That’s okay. Just be sure to give yourself adequate time to allow this new habit to form. If you do, you’ll find it does indeed get easier to integrate exercise into your life.
Tip # 3: BUILD EXERCISE INTO YOUR DAILY LIFE
Some people will swear until they are blue in the face that “they just don’t have time for exercising”. Well, you can easily make time if you build exercise into your life. For instance, if you try and spend time with the family each day, why not get the family to go on a family bike ride after dinner? Do you live in an apartment building or work in a multi-story office building? Try getting into the habit of taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Try parking your car the furthest spot from the grocery store or mall entrance forcing you to walk those extra steps to go shopping.
Tip # 4: TAKE BABY STEPS
Too many people make HUGE goals that are simply unrealistic. For example, someone may make a goal to lose 40 pounds in 3 months. Well, that’s not only unrealistic but it’s also not healthy.
Someone else may have a goal of running a marathon in 3 months. Well, if you’ve never run a day in your life, that’s not very realistic.
When starting out, set small goals that you can easily achieve. As an example, your first goal may be to consistently swim for half an hour, three days a week for one month. that’s very doable! Setting realistic goals is important because when you achieve a goal, it gives you confidence in your abilities and energy and motivates you to keep going and reach even more goals.
If you follow these 4 tips, you will be able to stick to an exercise plan and see positive results from your efforts. Who knows? You may even learn to LIKE exercising.