Admit it: you hate the gym. You can’t stand working out with other people watching, you don’t like breaking a sweat and you never know what you’re doing. You wish there was a way to stay fit and active without having to resort to a pricey gym membership.
It’s totally fine if the gym isn’t your favorite place in the world. In fact, it’s more than fine. You can live a great and healthy life when you’d rather do anything other than exercise. Here’s why it’s actually okay to hate working out.
1. You haven’t found the right workout
Barre. Crossfit. Yoga. Running. Pilates.
There are more workout options than ever these days, and it can be pretty overwhelming choosing one. How do you know which one’s right for you? What if you shell out for a membership at a yoga studio and then find that you hate it? It’s easy to feel like you’re doing something wrong when your BFF has found her fitness love and you’re still confused.
If you haven’t found the right workout for you, then, of course, you’ll hate working out. Anyone would. Spend some time trying different classes and don’t stress about it. You can try Class Pass and you won’t have to empty your entire bank account. Eventually, you’ll find your perfect fit. It just might not happen overnight.
2. Walking counts
Studies show that walking is actually an amazing form of exercise, which should be music to your exercise-hating ears. Experts generally agree that walking for half an hour every day will do the most good health-wise. You’ll be fit, and as an added bonus, you won’t suffer from insomnia.
The best way to get some steps in? Walk to and from work. Walk at lunch. Go for an after-dinner stroll around your neighborhood. You can even get up an hour earlier and go for a nice walk before your a.m. commute.
3. Rest is important
We’re starting to see a shift in our modern society. While we used to say that hustle was literally everything and sleep was for the dead, we’re starting to realize that rest and relaxation are equally great.
If you would rather chill out with a good book or juicy TV show on a weeknight than catch a tough barre class, who’s to say that’s the wrong choice for you? Do what feels right. Life and work can be pretty overwhelming sometimes, and it’s not great if the idea of heading to the barre makes you want to burst into tears because you’re so tired.
4. You won’t benefit if you hate it
If you head to yoga, but put absolutely zero effort into the class, you may as well have stayed home.
You can’t exercise without effort. You need to focus on your muscle groups and really be present in the moment. So, if you hate a certain kind of workout, you shouldn’t do it. You’d just be going through the motions, and you won’t reap the benefits.
5. You don’t want to hurt yourself
Working out incorrectly is the worst idea in the world. You’re just going to hurt yourself and no one wants to be sidelined by an injury, especially in the summertime. If you push yourself too hard and get injured, that’s going to make you hate moving even more—kind of defeats the purpose, right?
6. You can always work out later
Just as there are seasons in certain climates—the leaves turn from bright green in the summer to golden brown and red in the fall, and then the trees are left bare in the winter months—you have seasons in your life.
You can see this in your eating habits. Sometimes you crave certain foods and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you eat more snacks, sometimes you eat smaller meals. That’s why you love salad and smoothies in the summer and pasta in the winter.
Your workout habits are naturally going to change according to the seasons, too. Maybe right now just isn’t the right time for you to work out super hard. That’s cool. Go with it. In a few months, you could find a form of exercise that you love.
7. You can be active all day
Just because you’re not lifting weights and going for a run doesn’t mean you’re not getting any movement into your day. You can make the effort to be active all day long, as much as you possibly can.
8. You benefit from not sitting 24/7
Experts have been lamenting ‘the sitting disease for a while now. When you think about it like that, if you make a point to not sit for every hour of your day, you’re doing pretty well. You can stand for portions of your work day. You can always take the stairs. You can walk around your office block several times a day. Stretching is also a great way to move your body.
9. You should take a holistic approach
Being fit and healthy means so much more than just holding planks and running on a treadmill.
Holistic living is definitely having a moment right now. You’ve probably heard of holistic nutritionists—they focus on real food and being kind to yourself. It means listening to your body, getting enough sleep, resting and eating whole foods instead of junk. If you’re doing those things, you’re in great health.
A study now shows that too much working out is actually really bad for you. You can actually reverse any benefits. So, if you have the choice of training too hard or choosing gentler forms of exercise like walking, the latter is going to be much healthier.
Exercise is, of course, important, but there are other ways to get in shape. How do you feel about working out? Do you love it or hate it? Have you found a form of exercise that works for you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!