Learn to Love Exercise

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Not everyone enjoys exercising, but it doesn't have to be that way. You CAN learn to love exercise! I know some of you may be thinking to yourself that I'm crazy and that there is no way that you will ever learn to love exercise, but it really can happen.

For anyone who knew me before joining SparkPeople and going on my journey to better health, they probably would have told you that I didn't like exercise. Back then they would have been right, but I have changed that mindset. Now I honestly can say that I enjoy exercising. But how did I change my dislike for exercise? Well, what worked for me was trying various exercises and activities until I found what I liked to do. If you find something that you enjoy doing, or at least that you don't mind doing, then you are more likely to start to enjoy exercise and look forward to it. Any time I hear anyone say that they don't like to exercise, I always recommend they try a new exercise or activity. That usually helps them enjoy working out and sometimes even love exercising.

I like to do a variety of exercises and physical activities to help keep me interested and continue my enjoyment of exercise. So that is something else to keep in mind if you don't like exercise. If you are doing something that you don't like doing and you don't add in a variety of other exercises, then not only are you going to be less likely to do it, but you will likely be very bored. With my somewhat recent addition of fitness classes at the gym, I am definitely not bored and I am always looking forward to going to all of my classes. So you can say that I have learned to love exercise. But don't just take my word for it, you can find out how other members just like you learned to love exercise too!

Below is a collection of resources with a variety of other ideas that you may find helpful in helping you to learn to love exercise.

Quiz: What's Your Exercise Personality?

Ways to Make Fitness Fun

Keep Exercise Fun and Adventurous

Learn to Love Going to the Gym

Are You in a Cardio Rut? Break Free!

Throw a Fitness Party!

Discover Your Inner Athlete in an Adult Sports League

Dancing Like the Stars!

Add Adventure to Your Walks with Geocaching

Over 110 Cardio Workout Ideas

8 Workouts You'll Love if You Hate to Sweat

The 100 Best Workout Songs from the '80s

Various Workout Songs from Coach Nicole's Favorites Lists

You can also join any of our ongoing Bootcamp Challenge SparkTeams or the Staying Fit = Having Fun SparkTeam to try something new and challenging, while also having fun!

Whatever you do, do your best to get out there and have fun with your workouts! It doesn't have to be something that you dread. If that is how you feel now, then switch it up and try something new to find the joy in your workouts.


Do you love exercise? If so, have you always loved exercise or is that a new found love for you? If not, are you going to try some new exercises or some of the tips in the resources listed above to help you love exercise?

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JAMER123 7/16/2021
Thank you for sharing Report
JUDY1676 4/1/2021
Thanks Report
RAZZOOZLE 3/12/2021
thank you Report
NIKKIM231 11/10/2020
I couldn’t access any of the links in this article (the list of ideas). I forwarded this page to my email and same problem. Let me know if there is another way to access the articles you listed, starting with your workout personality Report
CD10676776 11/10/2020
Good need-to-know information, thanks! Report
CECELW 11/10/2020
These are great ideas. I don't mind exercise most of the time. Sometimes i'm lazy or just tired Report
CECTARR 11/10/2020
Thanks Report
Moms of the world have always been correct when it comes to the health and well being of their children.

They said,"go outside and play". Even they knew that being stuck inside the house all day wasn't healthy. That's what exercise should be now that we are grown up, it should still be play. Report
ROSSYFLOSSY 11/10/2020
Inspirational article. Report
Don't think I will ever love exercise,but I try Report
good ideas Report
thanks Report
Great Ideas! Report
great ideas Report
Good Report
I walk. Moving to a new house & planning a fitness room. Want a stationary bike, treadmill & weight machine or bench (not sure yet.) Plus space for stretches & yoga. I currently hula hoop in tbe back yard when weather allows, & "dance" in the small bedroom when it's rainy or I need a change up. Also going back to swimming. These are all solitary but music is also a part for me. I think it helps as does keeping a chart. I like color so plot my activities to match on a calendar I created from Office Depot/Max. Not sure I love exercise but some of it is more fun now. Report
Not sure I will ever love it! Report
Great ideas. Report
good info Report
I learned to love exercise during the Biggest Loser Challenge, round 22 (BLC22). At the beginning, I hated it and wasn't consistent with it. I joined the Official 10-Minute Exercise Streak Challenge and started doing ST for 10 minutes and the SP Cardio Blast for 10 minutes. As the days went by, I kept my streak alive. I had found my motivation to exercise! I tried the 80's Aerobic Workout on the Cardio Blast DVD and fell in love. I first started aerobics in the 80's and memories came flooding back. I was truly having fun now. I started working out with greater intensity as I found something I enjoyed.

My advise: start small and start a streak! Keep looking until you find something you enjoy!. Report
This just means that one must find an exercise that connects with who you are because there is a huge possibility that you will stick to it in the long run. Report
I have a friend who found out she loves to zumba. She has become the queen of zumba & goes to a class 3 or 4 times a week. She's having a great time with it. Meanwhile exercise is still work to me. Report
I've always loved walking especially outdoors on the track. I've come to enjoy the gym immensely---so much variety and that air conditioning feels good during those hot summer months. Also, watching a program on the tube makes the time past fast. Report
Don't discount giving yourself permission to be bad at something. It takes time to master new equipment, routines, sports, etc. Over time you'll get better at it and the improved skills will often bring greater joy in the activity.
I think this is part of the logic behind training plans like Couch to 5K, which recognize that beginners need to start slow and build up to new activities. Report
I love to exercise if I make it a personal challenge to improve on my previous "bests" for the exercise--number of reps, speed, incline, endurance, interval lengths, etc. This makes the exercise fun for me, and it helps me journal my improvement over time. Report
Love to exercise Report
I didn't use to like to excerise. But now that I have committed to making a life style change and not diet anymore, I have come to love excerising. Actually there are days that I crave to do more. I usually put in an hour to an hour and a half workout daily. I have a ton of fitness dvd's, wii fitness dvds and love to change them up all the time. I think that is why I love to workout now. I am not stuck in a boring routine and start to dread working out. I also love going for walks too. Report
as far as hints i didn't see any thing that said get going on your exercise. I am glad i have learned to enjoy exercise because i have seen the results. the inches I have worked off so far the fact the gym i belong to is supportive of its members and know you by by name when you come in to work out. like most i didn't like PE in high school for the reason you did get much time to change and get to the next class on time who stuff your uniform in a locker basket that you shared with some one else. even 40 years later I still hear the record GO Chicken FAT GO
Well, I failed this quiz. Good thing for me that I only want to lose ten pounds....but I know that I can't allow myself to remain sedentary. Especially at 62. Aargh. I gotta do it tobe able to do it. I bought a pedometer yesterday and will use it today..... Report
good reminder Report
I love to exercise, and have been doing some form or another all of my life. I love yoga, the pool, bike riding, walking. I'm just not so much into team sports.
Keep Moving! Report
If I get to laugh at myself and sweat I am simply thrilled and will usually return for more! I dont love exercise yet, but I am a better person because it has become part of who I am! Report
I have worked out now for 53 years and love it. Look at my blog at healthandfitnessat70plus.com
This site is great for being able to track progress. Report
You call it exercise I call it the best anti-anxiety medication I've ever had. Also I call it just plain fun (because nine times out of ten it involves dancing, which is just plain fun). Report
I really hate exercise, but then when I think about all the people there are who can't walk, I know they'd love to trade places with me, so I get up and do it. Not a negative statement, but just reality; I am lucky to be healthy. Report
It's a challenge for me to "start" my workouts (and I'd like to get past that), but once I'm a few minutes in, then I love that I'm exercising. May sound weird, but I like the (emotional) feeling of being sweaty after a good workout--I feel refreshed, like I accomplished something big! Report
The only thing that I like better than exercise is reading....I started dancing with family as a child, started yoga at 11 and cheered my way throught high school. From dance class in college(try being the chubby math major in dance class, I didn't care, just wanted to learn) and belly dancing after college, and now Zumba...I am a definite dance aficionado. I like to do it, I like to watch it, and I ENJOY it!! Learning to love the results of weight training...and I am getting there!!! Report
I definitely love exercise.

The only times I can remember not loving exercise was in P.E. classes, but usually less for reasons pertaining to the activity than either physical issues (being made to run in spite of a badly sprained ankle and doctor's note, for example) or stuff like being forced into shorts in chilly morning weather because it was the school uniform.

I like the challenge and I like seeing the improvement. I don't get involved in competitive exercises - aka sports - because I hate having other people focus on trying to outdo me. That just makes me not want to bother (feels like being the mechanical rabbit for the greyhounds rather than racing for the love of the wind in my face). I love competing against myself, though. Report
To like your workout, you don't really have to play.
Maybe "play" in the sense of playing a game with yourself. You could choose from any or all of the following"games"

1. I'll just work out for 10 minutes. If I feel like continuing, who's to stop me?
2. I'll start out reeaalll slow (though not so slow I put myself to sleep)
3. I'm learning something new about my activity or sport. What could I do if I just thought of this learning as just playing around ?... and that if I "failed" to improve (THIS time), I'll just ask myself, "What have I learned?"
4. On the other hand (and this is SO NOT ME (not that I care about that):) You could say to/about yourself: Damn, I'm GOOD at my sport! I'll just pretend Coach _______ is giving me a workout ...

Hey, it's all just a game.
Just like the rest of life. Report
I don't always want to exercise, but it feels good while doing it, and I feel great afterwards!
I tend to put off strength training. It feels monotinous. Report
When I began, I detested exercise. It took me two years, but my I suddenly realized my attitude had changed. Now, I enjoy doing it, and how it makes me feel. It is difficult to think of not doing it. Report
I love my cardio...........I also love my weight lifting classes. When they work me hard I so do love it. Sweating makes me feel like I have done real well at working out. Report
I love my cardio...........I also love my weight lifting classes. When they work me hard I so do love it. Sweating makes me feel like I have done real well at working out. Report
We need an article about learning to love cardio. Ugh, I can hate cardio. Report
good blog Report
I do love to exercise now but I haven't always!! It's been a new-found love for me lately that is a mix of finding the activities that I enjoy that work well within my current range/ability level along with not having high expectations for myself of what I need to be doing or should be "performing" at. Report
I love exercise these days. I used to dread walking a block or two, but yesterday I did 8.5 hours of fitness activities! Report
Thanks for all the ideas. I'm going to try some. Report
I'm learning to love exercise too. I may not be able to do too much, or only certain ones, but I like it. And I know that'a it's only going to get better as time goes on. Report