Updated: Nov 24, 2021
It's not uncommon to feel like you don't like exercise. After all, it can feel really hard and unpleasant, cause discomfort and leave you feeling sore for days afterwards. It can feel a chore and boring.
If this is you, then I hear you. Here are some interesting questions to ask yourself that might just help the way you view exercise...
1. What are you currently defining as exercise?
Are you just associating it with killing yourself, boredom, repetitiveness, pain, or feeling out of your comfort zone? Does it mean running to you? A class? The gym?
Are these all just intimidating?
But you feel like you should be doing them?
Exercise doesn't have to be defined as just running/the gym/a fitness class etc. When did you last move in a way you enjoyed? Did you skip? Play a game with your kids? Go to a barre class? You don't HAVE to run. You don't HAVE to go to the gym. You don't HAVE to do anything you don't enjoy. Exercise can be dancing round the kitchen, a horse riding lesson, skipping, swimming, going on hikes, sex, cleaning, shopping...
(Clearly, if you have specific goals, you probably need to favour one type of exercise over another - but you get to choose that!)
Find the joy in your body. Do that.
2. What does movement actually mean to you?
What is your WHY for doing it? Get curious.
Why I hadn't tapped into my true why, lifting weights was boring and repetitive. My main reason for engaging in any type of exercise was to stay small. I went on the cross trainer. I went running. And I did core work. That was it.
There can be some bigger, more joyful and empowering reasons to move your body though. Focusing on what your body can DO and building on that, can become a powerful motivator.
Now, I workout for the way I feel mentally and emotionally. Exercise helps define me as a strong, confident and playful woman who hopes to enjoy moving her body for decades. That's why I move.
Maybe yours is for short or long term health, for your family, for your kids, to keep you creative or productive at work, to enjoy sex more, support your mood or mental health, or feel confident in your own skin again. Honour your body.
Find your why. Move your body for that why.
3. What gets in your way?
Identify what gets in your way. Do you really not have enough time and energy?
Or are those just excuses?
There is a difference between the story you sit in, that can give you all the excuses under the sun, and the real challenges that get in the way. We all have some of those, some people more, and some people less.
With a bit of reflection and awareness, you can work out which are excuses and which are the real reasons that get in the way of your work out.
Doing it after work when you're too fatigued and hungry?
Having family to care for?
Illness or injury?
Not having the space?
Workout your priorities. Your real challenges. Once you know what you're prepared to do, and you know what's getting in your way you can address those.
So. You're too tired and don't have the time becomes this:
"Resting and relaxing in the evening is my priority so I'm going to move first thing in the morning. I don't have time to get to the gym and back, plus I need the money for my rent right now, so I'm going to get a quick 10-20 minutes done at home before breakfast in my living room. Done is better than perfect."
You get me? This re-framing is powerful.
4. Get guidance
Five years ago, one reason I wasn't going to engage in any sort of strength training was I didn't have a clue what to do. I wasn't willing to venture into the world of weights until I had someone to actually show me the ropes (thanks hubby!). It's ok to admit to being a beginner. Get guidance. Get support.
This might mean joining a group of like-minded people (hi, we're here! Check out my membership), so that your desired behaviors are the norm. It can be in-person or online! You might also find some one-to-one support helpful, to give you the confidence, clarity, challenge or support you need.
Remember, everything's going to feel hard if you're not used to doing it. It's often going to feel hard even when you are used to it. Often, we get to choose our hard. The difficulty of doing the workout now, or perhaps the difficulty of having a less healthy body in the future. Having some help with your hard is often a smart move.
What was most useful above? Where do you need help with your movement, exercise or training?
Join my mailing list for weekly blog updates, plus other news, offers and need-to-know tidbits. Maybe a discount or two. Just saying. Plus, you can get a free copy of my Getting Started Guide. Join the fam!