Fitness Articles

Hate to Exercise? Try These Ideas!

Fresh Fitness Ideas from SparkPeople Members

  • "I hate exercising to, so I have to be very creative in what I do. I always do my stair step machine because I can watch television while I am doing that. I usually pick something to watch that really entertains me because it takes my mind off of what the exercise is. Other times I walk my booty off outside. I take different routes each time I walk. That way I have something new to look at while I'm walking."
  • "I thought I hated exercise, but what I really hated was going to the gym, so I don't go. Now I have a couple DVDs that I do in my living room and I do power walks that include these really steep stairs in my neighborhood. On weekends I hike or ride my bike."
  • "You need aerobics and you need strength training. This can be exercise or it can be play. Since you hate exercising, then you need to play. For aerobics, try dancing, skating, sports, playing with the kids, or walking with your best friend while chit-chatting—find something FUN. For strength training, volunteer somewhere you have to lift things, find toddlers you can use as free-weights while playing, or wrestle your spouse for the remote control. You can choose to strength train or you can choose to have osteoporosis. Which do you think is more fun? Consider it insurance for your future."
  • "Working out is the hardest thing that I have to do all day. Try distracting yourself while you workout. I received an iPod shuffle for Christmas and use it every time I work out. If you figure that one song is roughly 4-5 minutes, then in a 30-minute workout, you will have listened to 6-7 songs. Not bad, right? I find music to be a great distraction when I'm working out. Each song takes me to a different place! It's great!!"
  • "I often find it hard to get motivation to go to the gym, but not to go on walks. What I did when I started was only walk outside. I lost 30 lbs in about 3 months, just by walking everyday and eating less."
  • "When I go to the gym, I dread doing cardio machines. So I do 10-15 minutes on three different machines. This way I get my 30 minutes in, but I have small breaks and I feel good. I am not thinking after 5 minutes, '25 more minutes?' I am thinking, 'half way there!'"
  • "Start small and build. I started by getting off the subway train a stop early and walking 10 minutes to get to work. Now I get off three stops early, coming and going for a total of 50 minutes a day."
  • "I used to hate exercise and only did it because I had to in order to lose weight. Then I started trying new things. I discovered that I love yoga. And the most surprising thing is that I like to run! I think once you find something you enjoy, the more you do it, the more you want to do it. I also used to hate exercise because it was hard for me. The more I do, the easier it gets, and the more I like it."
  • "We have to stop thinking about exercise as a nuisance. Our bodies were designed to move! Don't even call it 'exercise.' Just get out and live! I'm at a point now that I can't end the day without doing some sort of meaningful movement, whether it's taking the dogs outside or just 10 minutes on the recumbent bike. It seems like I usually end up doing more than I intend to do and I feel so good afterwards."
  • "I hate exercises too! I use Coach Nicole's video workouts."
  • "I do 'activity' exercises like tennis or rollerblading. Put me on a bike and I'm lucky if I can do 20 minutes, but when it's sport-like I don't even notice that I'm exercising!"
  • "Different things work for different people, so try a bunch of different things. Go to your library and see what they have in the way of fitness DVDs. There are also a bunch of places you can download audio files of workouts to use while walking or doing stuff at home. If you think you might enjoy group exercise classes, check out your local gym. See if they'll let you try it out for a week, or pay as a guest to see if you like it. There are more and more video games that involve activity. If you have a PlayStation 2, there are a bunch of dancing games, fitness programs like Yourself Fitness, and even games that use a little camera (EyeToy Kinetic)."
  • "I started running at age 44 (I could only run for 30 seconds before I had to start walking). Fast-forward 18 months and I now run 5 miles (average) 3-4 times per week. What keeps me going are the constant challenges I take on.—signing up for a 5K run weeks ahead of time, keeps me totally inspired to keep on training. If you need to find a race in your neck of the woods just check out Keep in mind that the majority of these events are run/walks. I have over 25 T-shirts and 8 medals and trophies and I wear and display each one. And the best thing is that I am getting healthier while donating money to many great charities."
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    Member Comments

    • JOTOP11
      Thanks, all ideas are great and very helpful!!
      - 12/31/2014 9:24:59 PM
    • Thanks for sharing. There are some really wonderful suggestions that I will be using! - 12/4/2014 1:11:43 AM
      I hate any and all exercise that is defined as exercise! LOL! So I purposely don't use that label.. I simply do FUN ACTIVITIES :D I don't just run - I run through the sprinklers! I don't do Zimba - I just dance! I don't use a stiff workout ball - I play with my flowing Vertical Vortex (vortexflowtoys.c
      om)! There are so many ways to stay active, and playing with toys or acting like a kid is what works for me :) - 9/19/2014 1:50:14 PM
      Mischelle40 fear not, you are right, we are not all made to enjoy the same things. I have Multiple Sclerosis and in "my world" housework is considered exercise. Pushing a vacuum, picking up a basket of laundry, even stretching to get things out of a kitchen cabinet must all be done with care and approached as exercise. Walking through a store such as Fred Meyer/Kroger, Target, Wal-Mart, let alone a mall is not just exercise but a hike deserving of a nap afterwards. Exercise is in the eye and body of the beholder. - 4/28/2014 8:40:57 PM
    • MARYROSE90
      I am one of those people that just hates to exercise. I don't like to sweat, it freaks out my already uncontrollable hair, and now brings on hot flashes, lovely. BUT, exercising is absolutely critical for me to control my weight. I eat healthy but I've got to burn those calories so I exercise. Some people like variety but I'd just as soon have a set thing to do and just do it. I live in a rural area so going to a class or gym is not an option. So for me the best exercise is my elliptical. Occasionally I try to throw in some floor exercises or try a video but the time it takes to learn something new frustrates me so I just go back to my elliptical. Recently I converted a spare bedroom into my workout room / closet and have really been enjoying the space. For me the best way to get through the 45 minutes is to flip on the DVR and get into a show for 45 minutes. It has become my "me" time to watch those shows my husband doesn't care for and he likes the hour to get to watch the Military channel. Win win! - 4/21/2014 8:41:53 PM
      Nope, still hate to exercise. You can call it "activity", "play time", or whatever, but it bores me to tears and all I can think about is how long is it until I can quit. When I am done, I just want to sleep. There is no runner's high for me, and I have no desire to run a marathon, so setting a goal to complete some contest is not any incentive for me. I don't think there is one for me. I like to read, but I can't concentrate on reading while I exercise. I like to listen to music, but I can't concentrate on music while I am doing something else. I am too uncoordinated for Zumba and I don't like any type of sports. I can't think of anything that I don't just force myself through, so I don't keep up with it. There are people out there who just hate to exercise! - 4/17/2014 4:11:14 PM
    • I love all the ideas. I used to hate to workout I still struggle at times but I am doing some kind of workout at least 4 days of week. This has been going on now for 2 months solid. I can say I feel good and I am waiting now for spring so that I can really get my walk and rock climbing on. Since it has been cold I do my walking inside and on warmer days I walk on the balconey of my apartment. - 12/30/2013 10:25:12 AM
    • Thanks for sharing - 11/9/2013 5:38:06 AM
    • Thanks for sharing - 11/9/2013 5:37:33 AM
    • BAUMAN147
      I was given an MP3 player for my birthday around the same time that our local library started allowing (free) audiobook downloads for checkout from their website. Time passes a whole lost faster when I'm running, walking or on the elliptical when I'm concentrating on an audiobook! - 11/4/2013 3:20:10 PM
    • I'm one of those hate-to-exercise people too, but I love to walk. I've started doing the virtual walks on the "Where Are YOU Walking To" team. It's helped me discover (at 70!) a competitive side I never knew I had.
      Gail - 11/3/2013 10:53:21 AM
    • Martial arts always made exercise interesting for me. Beating up a karate dummy with a baseball bat is about as good a whole body workout as you can get, and it never gets boring. - 11/3/2013 10:20:37 AM
      I am physically not able to exercise like most people. I LOVE the water, so the perfect plan of exercise is the pool for me. Treadwater, or mix it up with laps. I can relax and meditate and be happy I am getting some sort of exercise. - 11/3/2013 6:08:44 AM
    • I never thought of College for Zumba or weight training. I am going to look into what they have for Seniors! - 11/3/2013 5:07:44 AM
    • As odd as it might sound I guess this was part of the reason I used to love karayedo as you HAD to keep up with the class. Too bad there was so much politics.That's what killed it for me. - 11/2/2013 9:03:40 PM

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