What To Do When You Hate Exercising

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After he got off work yesterday, Shawn brought home an amazing present for me… a bike!

I’ve been anticipating this to arrive for a couple of weeks and when it finally did, I was thrilled. I took it for a quick spin down the street to test it out and it was so much fun! All of a sudden I had these visions of biking with Shawn and the toned muscles that would come along with it. I felt the wind blowing in my hair and then I remembered last week.

A friend lent Shawn a bike for me to ride last week so out we went. I complained the whole time, my butt hurt like crazy, my thighs burned, we didn’t know where we were going and I stopped a few times just to be angry.

In light of that, I have a confession: I hate exercising. I know, I know… I should do it anyway, but it’s just so.dang.awful! I have tried everything from running to yoga to rock climbing to strength training and while I do some things for a period of time, I can’t get anything to stick. I am a professional quitter in this area and I’m not proud of it.

To be honest, this is actually really hard for me to admit. My whole life revolves around health and wellness and yet this is the one area that has been the most difficult. I eat amazingly well, I work out my mind, spirit and emotions every day, my relationships are good, my eduction is a joy… but exercise? Practically non-existant.

This has got to change! We all know the reasons why we should exercise. It could not be any more clear that this should be a non-negotiable in our lives. If I’ve learned anything recently, it’s if I should then I must.

I’m writing this post as a commitment: 

1) I will change my story. I will no longer identify with the old tape that says “I hate exercise”. My new mantra must be, “I love to exercise. It gives me energy, health and vitality. I do it because it’s a joy and I feel amazing when I do.”

2) I will exercise. Oh gosh… I’m going to regret this one later. I commit to exercising a minimum of 3 days a week. I will use my bike and I will try new things until I find something that works for me.

3) I will push myself beyond my comfort zone and I will not give up. I will not do the minimum required, but I will challenge myself to go beyond what I believe it possible.

Who’s with me? I think that this moment can be the change, we just have to make a choice.

What is your favorite type of exercise? Are you in the same situation as I am? If so, how are you going to get over your road block? If you are successful, how did you overcome? Let me know your story in the comments below.


I choose to exercise and move my body for the sake of my health and happiness. What do you choose?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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13 thoughts on “What To Do When You Hate Exercising

  1. Oh Madeline. I didn’t want to have to face this. However, it’s growing more apparent that I must add this into my daily routine. Where is the time? I need to work on scheduling the time in on my calendar, and “gasp” wake up earlier….

    I’m not sure how to get over the block of simply: not having the time, and not having the energy. Please let’s work on this together. I did just buy a treadmill – and I commit to using it. Keep me accountable 😉

    • Ugh, I feel ya. It feels like there are just not enough hours in the day. Shawn get’s up every morning at 6:15 to go riding. I’m going with him tomorrow… ah!
      I think you’re right. We need to schedule it in and wake up earlier. I think getting it done 1st thing will be helpful.
      I will definitely keep you accountable and I hope you’ll do the same for me. We can do this!

  2. The key for me is finding someone to do it with and having you kick me out of bed in the morning when my alarm goes off, but guess what? You’re going to get up with me now! hahaha!

    Mary, getting up a good bit earlier is not bad at all if you get something to eat right away, brush your teeth and just get out the door!

    I really enjoy just sitting on my butt for about 10 minutes after getting in from my ride taking in the endorphin rush :)

    Good luck!

  3. I am new to your site, and I love how open you are. My wife describes me as an all or none kind of guy.

    How do I overcome the feeling that I need to be at the gym or on a long bike ride for 2-3 hours. My wife tries to tell me that a half hour is better than none (which intellectually I understand, but I don’t feel that way when I work out so short.)

    I hope that makes sense. I enjoy working out, but I really love getting into it for a longer period. For example I don’t like doing just a 2-5 mile ride, I love doing 15-30 mile rides but with 4 kids a full time and part time job and a blog this is not practical. Any advice?


    • Thanks for the kind words, Allan.

      I am by no means an expert in this area yet, but I think if you only have 30 minutes to exercise, maybe you could try just going really hard for the amount of time you do have. If you really wear yourself out then you may not feel the need to go longer.

      I will also echo your wife and say don’t let the BEST be the enemy of the GOOD. I understand the all or nothing mentality and how it can be hard to find motivation if you feel like you’re doing something halfway. More isn’t necessarily better though in the case of exercise.

      You can reward yourself for keeping up with shorter bursts of exercise by going on your longer rides when you do have the time.

      Just my thoughts! Good luck with all this. We’re in it together!

  4. I am totally with you! I hate (or used to hate) exercise! Thank you for your honesty and for letting me and others know we are not alone.

    I have been trying to become an active person for a while now, and feel I am gaining some ground. Here are a few things that have helped me –

    Music – having upbeat songs pumping through my headphones is essential to me. Without music, I wouldn’t last five minutes.

    Finding something I actually enjoy, and then build from there – It’s true you can try lots of things, but unless you actually enjoy it, it won’t stick. I have progressed from walking to using an elliptical machine to jogging. I have very recently started learning to jog by using the Couch to 5km app (C25K) on my iphone. It is so far going really well and I actually enjoy it.

    Exercising Alone – I am infinitely more self conscious when working out with others. So for now, I work out alone and feel a lot more freedom in this. This is one of the reasons my jogs currently happen before 6am, because no one else is around!

    Being Supported – My husband is amazing and thankfully looks after our daughter when she wakes up if I’m out for a jog, this is so helpful.

    Celebrate the small victories – This has also been key for me. One thing I hate about exercising is being sweaty! And I mean, HATE! It is just such a gross feeling. However, when I started really enjoying the elliptical and being capable of staying on it for 30 minutes, I had a mini-breakthrough when one day it felt good to be sweaty! I didn’t think it was possible, but I have overcome the sweaty feeling obstacle!

    God bless you as you work on this!

    • Wow Jessica! Those are some amazing tips. I definitely need to put together a great playlist for working out and find an activity I actually enjoy. I went biking this morning for 6 miles…Woo! And I’m going again tomorrow so we’ll see how it plays out in the long run.

      I actually enjoyed myself today! I think that is a small victory to celebrate. :)

      You are also right about having support. My husband is so key in this. I actually really enjoy exercising with him because it’s really great for accountability and his enthusiasm rubs off on me.

      Thanks so so much for those ideas, I’m feeling better about myself already!

  5. こんにちは!ハッカーとトラブルの問題の問題私はちょうどあなたがいずれかを持っている場合聞きしたかった? データバックアップバックアップ私の最後のブログ(ワードプレス)は、ハッキングされたと私は負けてしまった原因なしにハードワークの 。ハッカー に| メソッドソリューション何かありますか?