Exercise Tips For People Who Hate Exercise

By Elle.

My complete intolerance for exercise stems from childhood trauma. Reader, I was not injured in a catastrophic fitness-related accident, nor forced into daily press-ups by an abusive relative. I just hated PE. The dread I felt before every lesson has never left me – in fact, one of my best things about being a grown-up is NO PE!

Anyway, my thirties have decided to give my metabolism a reality check. Apparently you can only eat cheese and coleslaw baked potatoes every day when you’re 19. Pretty sure I was fuelled entirely by SpudULike (RIP) and Cherry Lambrini back then, and I’d never looked better. Alas, I’ve decided it’s time to finally get over my fitness fear, or forever be crying in the Topshop changing rooms.

Here are my top tips.

  1. Buy nice workout gear. I don’t care what anyone says – it increased my willingness tenfold. Get thee to Primark to buy some of Alice Liveing’s range – it fits really well, looks the part and is delightfully cheap. Another money-saving tip for those who, like me, resent paying for shit to exercise in – if you have size 5 or under feet, you can buy trainers for kids for loads less. I got these lil Adidas bad boys from the, erm, lil boys section.
  2. Figure out what you like. You’re gonna have to actually try stuff for this one. Soz. I’ve learned that I hate the gym and classes (PE PTSD kicks in), and prefer to go it alone. Force yourself to give a couple of options a go every month until something clicks.
  3. YouTube is your friend. Not only does it let you give things a go in the comfort and safety of your own home, it might end up being all you ever need…
  4. Which brings me on to Yoga with Adriene – I found her on YT a couple of years ago and have been a convert ever since. Her positive, sunny nature is really encouraging and she explains things so well. Try her 30 Days of Yoga as a starting point – you won’t want to break the habit.
  5. Hopeless at running but want to be better? Download the Couch25k app. I use this one. It gradually helps you build up distance by breaking sessions down into totally manageable chunks, alternating walking and running. The idea is that with three sessions a week, after 8 weeks, you’ll be able to run 5k uninterrupted. You can listen to music at the same time, as the nice lady voice gently interrupts it to tell you what to do. If I can manage week 1, you absolutely can too.

Finally, most importantly…all that shit people say about endorphins and exercise highs? I’m sorry but it’s true. I have never done exercise and felt worse afterwards. Yoga and running have cleared all the noise in my head that stops me sleeping well, and boosted my mood at the time of year I loathe and usually feel at my lowest. So don’t do it because of a skinny girl on Instagram – do it for yourself.

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