Fitness Articles

Hate to Exercise? Try These Ideas!

Fresh Fitness Ideas from SparkPeople Members

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Are you the type of person who hates to exercise? You're not alone! If your motivation (or creativity) is lacking, try some of these workout ideas from SparkPeople members like you. They're simple, accessible and fun—you'll never dread another workout again!
  • "I used to hate exercise, because I associated it with things that are boring to me, like sports and bike rides and walks. But now I have a stationary bicycle, which is great for me, because I can read while I'm on it. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and definitely not boring. Now I actually look forward to exercise."
  • "I find it's easier to exercise if there's a purpose to it. I don't run on a treadmill, but I run to the grocery store to buy one small item. I ride my bike if I need to go to a bookstore. I walk to the grocery store if I need to buy something I can't carry while running."
  • "I have always thought of my exercise time as ME time, and I try to treat each session like any other appointment in my day. I don't do it for anyone else's benefit, only my own."
  • "Buy something that makes you feel good about yourself when you workout (a cute top, cool sneakers, etc) and that helps too."
  • "Try coming up with something you really want to do, like a triathlon or road race, and figure out what you need to do to accomplish it. It is a great motivator, and more importantly (I think), your motivation changes. It's no longer about losing a few pounds, but rather accomplishing something much larger."
  • "I used to not like working out—I'm not athletic at all. For me, it was as simple as signing up for exercise classes at my local community college. Once signed up, I felt like I needed to attend. My first class was Zumba, and it was such a blast I signed up for it again this quarter. I also signed up for weight training and water aerobics. It certainly seems to be helping not only my weight but also my disposition."
  • "You don't have to 'exercise.' Just find an activity that you enjoy—maybe dancing? The more you start to move the more you're going to want to move. It may sound silly but it's true. Start small and just add a little more movement each week. Also, weight lifting can be very empowering. You just may like it."
    —HEVER79 Continued ›
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Member Comments

  • Don't forget gardening, raking leaves, swimming, canoeing/kayaking
    , or even plain old housework, if you put it in high gear! - 6/17/2016 11:01:06 AM
  • BAUMAN147
    I listen to audiobooks on my mp3. I can listen while I'm walking or running outside, on the elliptical or treadmill (or stationary bike), stretching and lifting weights.

    A good book will keep me distracted from how much further I need to go on days when I'm not "feeling it" and when I'm done working out, I am more likely to go on to do other "active" activities (yard work, housework, etc) instead of just sitting down. - 2/22/2016 10:15:12 AM
  • I walk to the library downtown (about a 15-20 walk) to attend a knitting group once a week. I get to knit and chat for a couple of hours before having to tackle the uphill walk home (about half the distance). I try to walk to appointments downtown when I can as well and park my car further away when I do drive.. Lately I have been jumping on the treadmill first thing in the morning and using music to keep me moving and motivated. I also have a stationary bike but find it very uncomfortable or I would use it an get some reading done. Maybe I'll get there eventually when my fitness level increases! - 1/16/2016 10:29:22 AM
  • I liked the comment about exercise with a purpose. Walking to accomplish errands, reading while peddling, linking watching TV and listening to music with movement - really made sense to me. Also breaking your exercise up into several small intervals throughout the day. Five or ten minutes of exercise after sitting at a computer for a couple of hours seems more like a reward than a burden. Great article and challenge. - 1/15/2016 2:50:45 PM
  • wow, I did not think to read while on the stationary bike. I am so excited to try it. I know alot of people think they don't have time to exercise but I read an interesting quote from a doctor to his complaining busy patient. "You think you don't have time now? Wait til the health complications start. Do you have time for an early death?" It spoke truth to me. I kept putting off taking care of me and now I will pay the price for that choice. I am taking the time now to make my life better in ways it counts and that means less "stuff" and more relationship time with my family in healthy ways. - 1/11/2016 11:32:30 AM
  • I don't hate the exercise itself, but I do hate the time it takes out of my life. Recent research shows that for effective weight loss and maintenance you need to do at least 300-350 minutes a week. With two "rest" days, that's 70 minutes a day. I have a job, I am in a band, and I run a sewing/crafting business on the side. I also like to read, game, and occasionally I like to find time to clean my house (LOL). At 70 minutes a day, I usually have to sacrifice two or more of these things (usually the things that I do "just for me") and I find myself thinking about all the other things I would be spending my time on if I didn't have to exercise. This is distracting and I find that I don't work out as hard as I should. It is also very hard to stick to this much exercise in the long run. YES, I always start out slowly with just a few minutes per day, but eventually I reach a point where I feel like all I do is work, sleep, and exercise. This gets old. I never regret working out and I always feel great afterwards, but that doesn't change the fact that whenever I am in my workout room getting ready for another 40 minute workout I feel like I was just there doing that same thing; like I just got done working out, yet here I am again! Does anyone else have this problem? - 10/12/2015 1:11:11 PM
  • I do not hate exercise, but have never been the "athletic" type. More of a "klutz" who never really fit in organized teams, games, etc. Actually, I find that my body and spirit really CRAVE exercise and love it !
    Found out I really love walking! Was doing that outside for a number of years till we moved to an area with no leash laws, where a dog thinks the whole neighborhood is his territory and is somewhat threatening. Now I only do neighborhood walks with my husband.
    On the other hand, DVDs and free online choices have helped me a lot and are my primary go tos. Found out, too, that I need a lot of diversity in even 1 week. Can be doing some NYC Ballet workout, Leslie Sansone, Denise Austin, Richard Simmons, Spark videos, etc in a period of 1 - 2 weeks - balancing low impact exercise, aerobic, strength training, some yoga. - 9/20/2015 6:42:58 PM
  • I have excuses for everything. Walking to any store would be a 20+ mile hike for me. Walking in my "neighborhood" is dangerous with a narrow road, dogs and the occasional log truck whizzing by (they aren't supposed to be on our road!) I can't read when on a treadmill or ebike, I've tried. Playing with the kids is out, my kids are grown, no grands, a new pair of shoes! I did that, love 'em! wore them once so far. Do something you love: I love reading, writing, drawing, creating... can't do those while being active. I do watch tv when on the treadmill sometimes, but still ugh. Dancing I love, only when I'm alone and no one is at home, which lately is NEVER. hahaha. excuse after excuse. truth is I just need to suck it up and do it. I do think I'd like an elliptical machine. :) - 7/28/2015 3:07:40 PM
  • I hate to workout in the house but love to take my puppy for a walk or walk/run. She makes it very enjoyable because her joy of the adventure is infectious. Since I've been limited with my ankle surgery she often comes up and whines and I know she wants me to take her. The kids will take her out, so she still gets her workout and breath of fresh air but my mood is really dampened by my imposed sentence to the house, LOL. - 7/28/2015 12:22:15 PM
  • "Find an activity you like". The activities I like to do are reading, singing and playing the piano. I don't think those would qualify as exercise.
    I exercise simply because I have to, not because I like to. Walking for longer than about 15-20 is out of the question since I have a bad back. The recumbent bike is the main cardio and it's about as boring as it can possibly be, and I can't read while exercising. I literally count down the minutes until I'm finished. - 5/13/2015 12:12:32 PM
  • YEYA017
    when you are too lazy to actually write an article, just copy-paste comments from the users in a compilation - 5/13/2015 8:05:18 AM
    "You can choose to strength train or you can choose to have osteoporosis. Which do you think is more fun?" (LITE99)
    WOW now that really is helpful and motivating (NOT)!!! - 5/12/2015 1:55:11 PM
    Nothing new - 5/12/2015 10:31:06 AM
  • I don't know that I'll ever "like" exercise, but I like to keep my dog happy. Walks are a must!

    A water walking class at the pool was fun, easy on the joints, & sweat-free. Hope to do that again! Great article!
    - 4/19/2015 11:59:50 AM
  • I joined a walking group. Found one on and we get together 3 to 4 times per week. Making lots of friends who inspire me. I didn't realize how much I missed the social side of life. Definitely something I want to do for a lifetime! - 4/13/2015 7:57:19 PM

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