How To Start Working Out When You Don’t Like To Exercise

by | Jan 9, 2013

Photo by kirainet

You know who you are. As hard as you’ve tried, you’ve never liked going to the gym. Maybe you’ve even hired a personal trainer a few times, hoping the added expense and accountability would be enough motivation to turn you into a regular gym rat.

But it didn’t work.

Every time you’ve started an ambitious workout program with the goal of getting in shape, something–you’re not even sure what–cuts you short before you’ve reached your goal.

Deep down though, you know what the problem is: you don’t like working out. It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable, it’s sweaty and the weight room has a weird smell. You don’t like how you look in those stupid clothes, and who even has time for that sorta thing anyway?

But still you wonder about those people who are in the gym all the time. What’s their secret? How do they stay motivated day after day and year after year? Are they a different species? Or is there something they know that you don’t?

Few people on this earth were born with an innate love of the gym. But what generally separates people who like working out from those who don’t is pretty simple: fitness.

Working out sucks when you aren’t in shape. But the good news is that you don’t need to become a complete meathead to get to a place where exercise is no longer a pain. Just like learning to cook, once you reach a minimum proficiency level–in this case fitness level–exercise stops feeling bad and starts feeling good. And just like with cooking, the only way to get there is to Just Do It*.

If you’re just starting a workout program your goal shouldn’t be to get buff or lose weight. The first step is getting to a fitness level where you no longer hate to exercise. And for that all you need is consistency.

When you first start your program don’t force yourself to do anything too hard or unpleasant, just make sure that you stick with it and never quit. I hated running my entire life, so the first time I went jogging after years without any cardio training I told myself I would just run until I got tired. I literally made it about 4 blocks and went home. After a week or two I was up to 8 blocks. That was over 10 years ago and I’ve since completed three marathons. Running is no longer my go-to sport, but I’m now the fit person I’ve always wanted to be.

There’s no reason to torture yourself at the gym. Once you’re in better shape you will enjoy pushing yourself a little harder every now and then. But until you get there, just make yourself do something. Anything. Just do it regularly and don’t make excuses.

The key to being consistent is making your workout so easy/convenient/fun/awesome that not doing it just feels stupid. Here are a few tips to set you up for a lifetime of fitness.

10 Tips For Starting & Sticking With Exercise

1. Commit to consistency

This is worth repeating. Make a commitment to sticking with your plan. If you find yourself not able to meet your goals, change them so they’re easier.

2. Take baby steps

I jogged around the block for years before I got lost one day, accidentally ran 8 miles and decided marathon training no longer seemed so ridiculous. Don’t expect to turn into Superman overnight. For now just try to stop being Hedonism Bot.

3. Pick an exercise that’s fun

Not all exercise happens in the gym. Like to climb rocks? Shoot hoops? Swing the bat? Start with the fun stuff and work your way up.

4. Bring a friend, make it competitive

Having a workout partner is one of the most effective ways to be accountable and make your workout fun. Making it a competition is also great for motivation.

5. Join a sports team

Even better than one friend is a group of friends. Intramural sports teams are a fantastic way to get a few weekly workouts.

6. Get into music, podcasts and audiobooks

If your schedule isn’t conducive to group activities, your iPod still got your back. Put together an inspiring workout mix, download some of your favorite podcasts and audiobooks and whistle while you work.

7. Get a dog

You know what takes a lot of energy? Puppies! If you can’t motivate to exercise for yourself, at least do it for Fluff Fluff.

8. Caffeine charge

Sometimes a long day can make an evening workout seem impossibly difficult. At times like these, caffeine is your friend. After about half an hour you’ll need to workout to burn off that extra energy.

9. Get some nice workout clothes, shoes and mp3 player

New toys are fun. Sometimes it’s the little things that help the most.

10. Reward yourself

Doing something consistently is an accomplishment, even if your actual task seems small and insignificant. If you’ve been exercising regularly, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for many jobs well done.

*Dear Nike, please don’t sue me.

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Originally published Jan 3, 2011.

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89 Responses to “How To Start Working Out When You Don’t Like To Exercise”

  1. Ken Leebow says:


    I’m two years into weight-training and the results have been remarkable. I never thought that I would enjoy and it now I am addicted.

    Two quotes that I live by … that might be helpful to your readers:

    1. Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding. – Harvey MacKay

    2. Every day is training day. (I saw the quote on a t-shirt at Target and bought 3 of them.) I love that saying so much, that I made wristbands that have that saying on it. It’s a constant reminder to … just do it.

    Happy New Year,

    Ken Leebow

  2. thomas says:

    oldie but goodie:

  3. Amanda says:

    Reading this article made me feel like you were talking to me. I hate exercising and I’ve only been in a gym once (and i remember who i was with and when i went). I’ve always been naturally thin, but when I learned how to cook, that quickly changed.

    I like the idea if the rock climbing wall, it seems like a lot of fun. It would be a great thing to do with my boyfriend since he’s big on outdoor activities. I’m still in college so I could probably schedule a weekly climb. At least it’s a start!

    And the dog! I’ve been begging my boyfriend to let me get a dog, this would be a great way to nudge him over to my side!

    I hate exercising but you’ve definitely made me motivated to at least give it a try. Thanks for all the great tips!

  4. nancy says:

    Great tips! Number 3 is definitely key. I’ve found that vigorous vinyasa yoga works best for me because I have so much fun doing it –practicing makes me feel like a kid again!

  5. Angel Felix says:

    I think a good start is Kinect’s Your Shape: Fitness Evolved for Xbox 360, it’s very fun.

  6. Doug says:

    This kind of goes with number 3, but along with starting with something fun, try different activities until you find one to stick with. I’ve tried running, cycling, weight training, etc. I could stick with them for 6 to 7 months, but then the routine would fade. It wasn’t until I tried Yoga, that I found something I can stick with. I’m about a year in and see no end in sight. I’m even training to become a yoga teacher myself.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Great point. Along the same lines, sometimes your preferences evolve as you get more fit. So it is worth revisiting different activities even if you never liked them before.

  7. Matt Stone says:

    Thanks Darya. Good post. I’m working through some similar ideas myself for an upcoming article on exercise rehab. I think most people come to dislike exercise because of long-held emotional issues surrounding being a poor athlete at a younger age combined with trying to use exercise as a tool to achieve weight loss as part of some barbaric calorie-counting, self-hatred “resolution” scheme (which is not a useful or productive way to use exercise). Hopefully it will tie in well with this badboy.

  8. Dave Anderson says:

    Some great tips here! Maybe not the most pleasant of inspirations, but I’ve always found adversity to be a very strong motivating factor. We all have it somewhere in our lives, and being able to tap into that can be very powerful.

  9. baahar says:

    I can be the laziest person … sometimes. The difficult part for me would be to go to the gym.

    So, I started using a kettlebell now (12 kg) and love it: easy, fun, at home, takes only a few minutes 🙂

  10. Sandy says:

    And here’s the other side if it helps anyone: if you don’t get active when you’re young, you HAVE TO MOVE IT when you get older. Two bone-on-bone knees were my latest excuse to add to all the others. Two titanium knees later that excuse is gone AND the surrounding muscles get stiff if I don’t get to the gym for the recumbent step machine (where I can read) and some of the easier machines. Even more demanding is the lower back which really screams when too many days elapse between gym trips. Several years ago I heard a reference to a new category of old folks, the fat frail, and that terrifying phrase echoes in my head whenever the knees tighten up and the lower back pain sets in to remind me it’s time to stop the excuses.

  11. Hi Darya,

    Great article – one I’ve already read aloud to my ‘sorta couch potato’ fiancee who is promising this year will be exercise year – yay!

    The one thing I’d add to the list is the unfortunate reminder that, for anyone who hasn’t exercised in a good long time, the first few times will be painful. Working out is not fun until you get at least a little fit. Its a sucky truth but possibly where the whole ‘no pain, no gain’ idea comes from. Besides once you get a bit fit it does get easier .. and then it can be fun! Just be prepared couch potatoes, be prepared… just because it hurts doesnt mean you should surrender!

    Oh and I totally LOVE the caffeine comment. One of my favorite things ever is to have an americano and hop on the treadmill – talk about runners high! Best legal high on the market by far. 🙂 You just have to be SURE to eat soon afterwards (bananas, fast releasing healthy carbs) or you could just turn into a cranky, crazy person. Not that I’d know of course..

    Anyways another great article and a good reminder to me to get my butt to the gym ASAP. I’m normally pretty good but havent been so far in 2011. Tomorrow I’ll be waking up to dates, Brazil Nuts, coffee and a good LONG run…

    Happy New Year! xox

  12. says:

    About 4 years ago now, I lost 80 lbs and started working out. At first it was about weight loss, now it’s about getting and staying fit and being healthy. Here’s my philosophy about working out, fwiw:

    You don’t have to LOVE working out. You don’t even have to like it. You just have to do it. It’s like paying bills, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the toilets (name your hated chore of choice). You don’t have to love it. But if you want to be a responsible, healthy adult, you do it anyway. That’s what gets me to the gym on days I don’t want to go, gets me to move when I’d rather be a couch potato. I don’t have to be all happy-happy-joy-joy about it. I just have to do it.

    • Great comment Kara – I think you just said I was trying to say, a bit better than me.. 🙂

    • Jenn says:

      Hearing all my friends brag about how much they love working out is really frustrating for me – why don’t I love exercise? Is there something wrong with me because running a marathon isn’t my idea of a fun time? And if I don’t *love* it, does that mean I’ll never be able to get fit and keep up a consistent workout routine? Should I just give up now?

      Your comment about it being something you just have to do and not having to “love” it GMH. Thank you, beautiful stranger.

  13. Susan says:

    I recommend this : John Bingham (a/k/a The Penguin)’s idea of 100 Days of Movement –

  14. Chris says:

    Great tips, Darya! I’m a boomer and have done some form of exercise most of my life. Exercise turned out to be key to being pain-free after a car accident during college (many years ago) left me with back problems. That and my dog keep me running today–running trails is my preferred exercise. Take it from me. Developing the habit early assures a healthier life later. Friends my age who don’t exercise have knee problems, back problems, hip problems, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Chris,
      Just now reading your comment from 2011 and I would like to get a T-Shirt printed with your last statement. Friends my age who don’t exercise have knee problems, back problems, hip problems, yadda, yadda, yadda.
      I love it! and it is so true from one boomer to another.

  15. Thank you; great tips! I think it’s really true when you start to take on an exercise plan with the express goal of “losing weight” – and then the weight doesn’t come off, it can get pretty discouraging. I much prefer your suggestion of aiming just to get in better shape – to get to a place of not dreading exercise.

  16. Jason says:

    A couple years ago I wound up buying a solid elliptical machine for around $2K and planted that in my living room. All of my furniture serves a utilitarian purpose from lying on the couch to running on the elliptical and watching a show or movie. The point is the gym is very easily integrated into your life and denies any opportunity to create an excuse. You like movies? Well, now just run while watching them… it becomes more natural. I think the key is buying a good, solid machine that can take a steady stream of abuse without swaying, rocking, bouncing or otherwise taking away from the experience. I suggest spending a decent amount but making sure to really test it out.

  17. Alice says:

    I see so many of my friends fail with exercise because they take an “all or nothing” approach – meaning if they can’t carve out 90 minutes 5 times a week to kill themselves at the gym, then they don’t even try. I’ve been so much more successful the past few years by being more realistic with myself, and just trying to find small ways to be more active every single day. I try to have a “workout” for about 30 minutes 4 or 5 times/week, and I try to find other things to do that are active like taking my son and the dog to the park and running sprints across the soccer field with them. Or shooting hoops at the basketball court. Or parking at the grocery store in the outter reaches of the parking lot. I would love to have 90 minutes, 5x/week at the gym, but I know my lifestyle won’t make that realistic right now. I workout in shorter chunks of time and find lots of ways to fill my days with activity.

  18. Cheryl-Ann says:


    What motivates me to keep up the exercise is when I get what I call “the superhero buzz”.

    I’m fairly fit but hot yoga kicks my ass and I only sometimes enjoy working out at all.

    Even though all 90 minutes totally sucked, I’d leave each class and experience a 3-day body buzz. Eventually – after 7 classes – I was able to stop thinking about how much each minute sucked and then it was suddenly awesome. It’s become an addictive good habit.

    The high alone is worth it and the results are undeniable. If you have a shitty day, you lay down and you breathe.

    If you’re at the ‘running just until you’re tired’ stage, I think I’d recommend a steam room. Seriously.


  19. I actually love your words before the list more than the list. I struggled with my weight and getting in shape. I tried motivating myself to go to the gym and I always hated every minute of it. Then I quit the gym and started running, just like you. Slowly at first, then more and more and now I’m 70 lbs lighter and as fit as can be. I don’t hate the gym any longer, though I will admit that I do still hate to exercise. I just love it more than I hate it.

    I do wish you had an asterisk about the dog ownership point. A huge asterisk. Dog ownership is a huge responsibility. You have to provide the complete care and fulfill the needs of another living being. I love going for runs and walks with my dog, it’s the best! But I see so many people get dogs that really don’t lead a lifestyle that is really fair for canine ownership. Or at least the wrong breed. My husband’s parents have a crazy neurotic border collie mix who gets maybe a mile of exercise a day and no positive reinforcement. It’s sad. I am completely against getting a dog solely for the reason of getting your unmotivated butt into shape. But, if you are able to devote the care and attention a dog requires and deserves, then it’s definitely a great BONUS.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Good points about the dog stuff. Generally Summer Tomato readers are so awesome that I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they know all of my advice lies on the foundation of “…and don’t forget to not be an irresponsible douche bag.”

      • Well if I’m any indication, then that’s a safe assumption. 😉 I just know too many idiots personally to not see the thought going through someone’s mind.

        Also, I love your number 1. The thing that really stuck with me was not just getting workouts into my everyday routine, but making the workouts approachable enough that I was willing to do them enough that they became everyday habits. Once my morning workouts were part of my lifestyle, that’s really when things started to click for me.

  20. Natalie says:

    Routine is what got me into exercising. I joined a gym and started 1 hour class, 3 times a week. Always the same class, same time. Then I slowly became addicted. All the classes are free when you join, so I tried many things yoga, pilates, spinning, weight, zumba… Sometimes, I don’t feel like going but I know I will feel so good when I come back. Seriously, I heard it triggers some hormones that up your energy, focus and mood. Exercising is better than coffee!

  21. Jen says:

    I just went through this process last year. Starting easy is so important; it is enough work to start a habit of consistently making time to exercise and following through with the commitment. Once ‘showing up and breaking a sweat’ 3-4 times a week is habit, dialing up the intensity is not nearly as hard.

    I still rarely look forward to exercising, but when I am done I never ever regret doing it.

  22. Lauren says:

    You got me pegged. Hate going to the gym. Maybe if they served cocktails I would like it more.

    I’ve recently discovered It’s awesome, free and you can do the workouts in your living room. All short workouts that are totally doable no matter what fitness level.

    The other bit to get more fit that I’ve been doing is making part of my daily commute either walking or biking. I’ve actually found that I feel more relax and ready to start the day. Defo going to make it part of my routine.

    • Karen says:


      Thank you for providing the bodyrocktv website. I am going to “start there” for my exercise motivation this week. Looks cool. We all need to start somewhere. I am one that hates exercise and starts and stops constantly. I appreciate the tip.

  23. Mike says:

    Excellent article. Also, congrats on it being re-published on

    Most of my exercise goals are are met by biking, hiking and walking. I am restarting my weight loss program and have gone back to Livestrong’s site and its iPhone and iPad apps to keep track of my eating and my exercise calories (that, coupled with Garmin Connect to keep track of my cycling, walking and hiking activities, setting monthly goals for these activities on its website). I find that just the act of tracking my calories/activities is a motivator and having the apps available wherever I am forces me to think about what I’m eating and what I’m doing.

    For me, your comments about consistency and podcasts/music are exactly how I keep motivated. For consistency, I set up my monthly/yearly goals calendar and plan my activities. Using a site like Garmin Connect meets my need for visual feedback and helps me get back on track if I get derailed. And, since I catch up on all my audio netcast listening on my solo walks and my solo hikes I’m motivated to get out almost every day to keep current.

    Thanks for all the work you do.

  24. Great site. I just ran across it on Jimmy’s links this weekend. Great stuff and look forward to connecting and chatting online in the future. Have added to my RSS feed. Love the list, there are so many things that can make this list which means there are many reasons not to put it off. I recently did a post too and came at it from a completely different angle.

  25. Darya,

    Great list. I’d also add shaping your environment to make it easier to exercise. That may mean always keeping a jump rope in your car, or building an affordable home gym to serve you on the days when you don’t want to go outside or to the gym for your workout, or placing motivating fitness photos around the house to trigger you to exercise. I find the things that silently surround around us can play an important role in getting us to move more.

  26. Grace Cheung says:

    Taking classes keeps me motivated: pilates on the reformer, hot yoga, bar method, cardio barre, boxing, & on occasion, spin. Doing different workouts on a regular basis prevents me from getting bored. Also, I push myself harder when I have an instructor encouraging me (or yelling at me!)

  27. Priscilla says:

    I also think that it’s important to not beat yourself up if you miss a day, or have a day where you just don’t feel like working out- even if it’s a scheduled day to do it.
    My husband and I are doing the Insanity workout videos (can’t get to the gym with a new baby) and we have worked out 6 days a week for almost 6 weeks (!!) and last night I just couldn’t do it. I was SO disappointed in myself for “quitting”, but this morning I feel better and put it into perspective that hey, maybe my mind and body just really needed a night off! Doesn’t mean I can’t pick back up tonight! It just made me realize the importance of recognizing a need for a little break.

  28. hareem says:

    Dear pls tell me how to loose weight at least 10-15 kg…i m tired of being fat…..

  29. RahRah says:

    A great place to start is C25K.. get the app for phone or download the podcasts for your mp3, put on your running shoes and away you go… can’t stop raving about it.

  30. Fernanda says:

    I always tried to exercise but never did it consistently. I’m in the beginning of what I think is a turning point in my life fitness wise.

    A month ago I started biking to work everyday. It’s 4km to and another 4km back. The first day I arrived at work feeling like I was about to day. The very second day I was feeling a lot better.
    It was functional, so I did it because I had to, and it was starting to make me feel great about myself.

    About a week into, my tailbone started to hurt. I went to a orthopedic and decided to do it three times a week instead. So the days I didn’t bike, I decided to run. It was the best thing I ever did.

    The first time I ran I could barely do it for 5 minutes. My marathon-running dad told me to go as slow as I could at first. A fitness coach friend told me biking was a great way to strengthen my muscles and knees for running.
    I’ve been doing this now for about a month and I feel better than I ever have. I actually WANT to go running at night when I get home and I see huge improvements everyday.
    I can tell I’m going to stick with this.

    Runkeeper has helped me a lot. I love seeing how I do each day and being proud of myself.

    • Fernanda says:

      I also get my boyfriend’s dog every time I go running and found that that has helped me a lot too. At first he would go much faster than me. Now I notice I outrun him.
      This is a major help too. He’s a french bulldog and I live in the hot city of Rio. I actually think that pretty soon he won’t be able to come with me because of how much better I’ve gotten and how far I can run. (french bulldogs don’t do well with a lot of exercise and heat)

  31. Alice says:

    I think it’s a really bad idea to suggest that someone get a dog (or a puppy) because they want to exercise. If you want a dog, get a dog because you want that animal to be part of your life and part of your family. It’s a big responsibility. The upside is, if you enjoy walking (or running), then you’ll have a companion to join you. Treating a dog like a piece of exercise equipment (if I get an elliptical, then maybe I’ll exercise or if I get a dog, maybe I’ll run/walk a lot) is not in the best interests of the person or the animal and can result in the dog ending up in a shelter, unwanted. I love long power walks, and I’m so fortunate to have a fantastic doggie family member who joins me, but I didn’t adopt her to that I would do the walking. I adopted her because I wanted a dog. Having a walking companion is a bonus.

  32. Eddy Adams says:

    Just yesterday I reached out to my Facebook friends asking if there existed an app/game that simulated a real scenario that you would naturally have to run; like a secret agent simulator for instance. Two people in the thread suggested the Zombie Run app so I gave it a download and tried it last night. It’s a well written story that unfolds over radio transmissions as you run. Collecting supplies, evading hordes of zombies, building up the home base. It’s all in there. I would highly recommend it for any zombie enthusiast/gamer/adventurer looking for some motivation to run! And for added intensity, do the missions at night…in the rain. Makes it that much more exciting.

    Here’s their website:

  33. Jaime says:

    I think all your tips are great and I’m pretty sure I’ve used them all at one time or another, except for the pet one.
    Only thing I can add is to try walking or riding to work, the store, etc instead of driving a car that way you don’t even have to work out since unless you live pretty close to where you work you’ll get a pretty good workout that way.
    Whatever you end up doing, enjoying it is key, if you don’t enjoy it you won’t do it.

  34. fanny says:

    I’m not sure about the proficiency thing. I mean, I’ve always liked working out, even when I was very out of shape. I was very overweight at some point, but I always enjoyed how I felt during and after exercising. I guess I was mostly self-conscious to do it in front of others. My problem was my eating habits. But since I can remember my sister was always telling me much of a weirdo I was to like sweating and getting tired like that.

  35. Nina says:

    You’re advising people to get a dog as a means to getting more exercise? You gotta be kidding…

    • Jessica says:

      She was not recommending getting a dog just for exercise, but an added bonus of having a dog is being able to take him/her for a walk/run with you since dogs need plenty of exercise too! Think before you post, my dear!

  36. Lora mccloy says:

    Great article thank you. I recently gained back the 50+ pds I lost and need to lose again my problem seems to be keeping it off. Well here I go again I will not stop trying due to my health issues when I gain.

  37. Katherine G says:

    This helps so much. I’m going to start slow and do what I can. I think comparing myself to others and forcing myself to do more than my body will let me is what’s stopping me. I need to find a motivating attitude and tell myself every little bit helps.

  38. Tom Reilly says:

    I just read this article and I’m going to start today and take my dogs for a walk right now. Thanks for the motivation.

  39. Joel says:

    Very encourage article. Makes me wanna start small and progress big!

  40. Chintan.R07 says:

    Nice briefly explaination .Like it

    But I am having problem is that my bro & my Dad dont allow me to go for gym for some reasons .ie,I am pursuing degree in 1year only ,so they are saying that joining gym would loose your 3kg weight after some period and than after you will feel so tired Dont go gym daily in short lazyness 🙁 ,But I want to join ,so can u advise me that its true loosing weight.

    **I dont want to loose my weight but I want fitness…
    reply !

  41. Nicole says:

    Please don’t get a dog just so you can walk it! It’s a stupid irresponsible thing to suggest without giving it a great deal of thought and research. Get yourself a nice peice of exercise equipment instead!

  42. Awua says:

    You presumptuous, stupid trash.

    It’s not about the fitness level. I could outdo you in physical activity, cupcake leaving you in the dust. I’ll let you do my postal job for one day, and see how you (don’t) hold up.

    You will never make exercise fun for me. NOT EVER. You will never make me like it, because I do not like mindless, boring and FILTHY things.

  43. Aimee says:

    Hello, Darya!

    Thank you for this article. 8 of them definitely speak to me! I’ve been unhappy with my body since I was 15 (so that’s 13 years…Yipe.) and have been talking about changing my body for the past, well, 13 years. Not even my impending wedding (back in 2010) could inspire me to workout. I’ve tried all kinds of things but $ and time restrictions have always gotten in the way. And I’m sure I’ve used them as excuses. My husband and I want to have a baby in a couple years and from what I’ve researched, it’s much easier to recuperate from pregnancy and childbirth if you’re fit prior to becoming pregnant. And that continuing to workout throughout the pregnancy results in a healthier baby. And momma! Anyhoo, I just wanted to tell you thank you (and to several of your followers who contributed wonderful suggestions as well) for encouraging me on my “I’m finally serious about starting to workout regularly” adventure. =]

  44. CDemon says:

    Nobody ever addresses the biggest thing that holds me back (outside of time): I am incredibly self-conscious. I’ve been uncoordinated my whole life and often I can’t seem to get my body to do what I want it to do. Limbs flail and muscles that I’m trying to tighten up just seem to clench instead. Honestly, I feel like I never outgrew the “awkward teenager” phase of body development and I’m in my 30’s. So whenever I have to exercise, I get so frustrated because *everything* seems hard. And forget anything that anyone might see me doing – I’ve wanted to try jogging or going to a pilates class, but the thought of someone seeing absolutely petrifies me. I’ve got one pilates DVD I use, but I close the blinds and can only manage to do it when no one is at home – the thought of looking so foolish with my butt in the air and doing everything so clumsily is horrifying. The way most people feel about public speaking is the way I feel about exercising!

    • Darya Rose says:

      I wrote a bit about being self-conscious while exercising in this post. But since your case is so extreme you may consider visiting a cognitive behavioral therapist to get some help. Might clear it up much more easily than you would guess. Pretty much everyone I know is in therapy for something 🙂

    • Tyler M says:

      You may also want to ask your physician about it in case there’s a neurological component to your situation (unlikely as it is).

    • Barbara says:

      I feel that way too. I prefer to do things privately, and not just exercise. I guess I am avoiding what feels like judgement.

  45. These are 10 great tips. My favorite is “Pick an exercise that’s fun”, because if it’s fun, it will get done.

    When you enjoy doing something, you will always have the time to do it and excuses will no longer be an issue.

  46. Jessica says:

    This article literally changed my life. I never worked out because I hated it and having asthma, I never felt like I was really good at anything because everything hurt. I read this, and I started working out and took it slow and didn’t feel crappy about how little I could do. Now I run 5ks regularly and have a blog for other asthmatic runners. Thanks for an awesome article! It gave me the boost of confidence I needed to become who I wanted to be 🙂

    • Darya Rose says:

      Oh my! Huge congratulations, that’s an amazing story. Thank you so much for coming back all these years later and sharing your success. If you’d ever like to contribute a guest post sharing your story and letting people know about your blog you’re welcome to contribute any time.


  47. My favorite class at the gym is my Saturday morning cycle strength class. Not because it’s easy (I get my butt kicked every Saturday) but because of all the friends I’ve made in class that help keep me accountable. It’s also harder to hate plyometric jumps when you’re laughing with your neighbor while performing them.

  48. Barbara says:

    I never liked exercise
    Don’t like gyms.
    There are people there.

  49. Vanessa says:

    Walking is a great way to get exercise. I try to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. Each 2,000-2,500 steps is about a mile. I use a pedometer. I love the exercise and it keeps me in shape. I got a great pair of insoles called SmartSole Exercise Insoles [link removed] that are really helping me with my workouts. It has great arch support and a special gel in the heel that helps my legs from getting tired and sore at the end of the day.

  50. Tsuki says:

    Another way to make it fun. Is look up a video of someone doing a really cool dance – ballet, pop, jumpstyle, etc. If you are someone who loves music or just likes trying things this is what gets me to exercise.

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