Fitness

Exercise ideas for those who don't like to exercise

By: Dr. Ali Zentner

©istockphoto.com/digitalskillet Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©istockphoto.com/digitalskillet

Fitness

Exercise ideas for those who don't like to exercise

By: Dr. Ali Zentner

Reason 1: I find exercise really boring.
I hear you. But there can be certain activities that are interesting. Some of this involves trying different things and seeing what interests you.

Here's an exercise: Make a list of the things you enjoy doing and try to find some physically based activities around that. If you like spending time outdoors then a gym is the worst place for you; go for a walk instead. If you love watching television, get a piece of exercise equipment and put it in front of a television set. You need to amuse yourself while you exercise as a distraction.

Here are some ideas to start you on the right track:

Exercise ideas:
  • Join a walking group or make your own; having someone to talk to is a great way to ease the boredom.
  • A television and a treadmill is a powerful pairing; pick your favourite show and make that the time you exercise.
  • Listen to a book on tape while you exercise. 
  • Join a team sport
  • There are plenty of boot camps or exercise classes specifically geared toward beginners or people with weight issues. Why not give one a try?
     
Reason 2: Exercise hurts.
Yes, it does. But it won't always be that way. Sure sometimes we have to do things that are not easy. Most things in life don't come easy for any of us. The interesting thing about exercise is that everyone gets better at it regardless of where they start.

I learned to ride a bike when I was a kid. It had a classic 1970s banana seat bicycle and I loved it. It had streamers on the handlebars and a big bell. I can remember being a kid and riding my bike every summer night in the street until it got dark and my mom would flash the porch lights for us to come in and go to bed.

Do you remember when you were a kid and exercise was play? We would run in the streets and play baseball or hockey or soccer or whatever. Exercise wasn't work – it was fun. And then we got old and life took over and exercise lost its play. Now it is all about work. So I propose we bring back the play.

Exercise idea:
Find the sport you loved as a kid and modify it to meet your daily needs now. Sure it will be hard at first, but eventually you'll get better at it and it will be less uncomfortable. Make no mistake, it will never be easy, but it will hurt less.
Reason: I don't even know where to start.
Start with just 20 minutes a day. I find walking to be the easiest thing to do because we all know how to do it. Increase your walking time by five minutes every two weeks until you are up to 45 to 60 minutes a day.

Exercise idea:
Another thing to consider is a personal trainer. I'm a fan of personal trainers. I think most people erroneously think that personal trainers are both expensive and only for fit people. Wrong. A session with a personal trainer is the same price as a family dinner out at a restaurant. 

The trainer can give you a set of home exercises to do on your own time and tailor it to suit your needs. Further, you may find you only need a couple of sessions with the trainer, or you may find that the expense is worth it and find something else that can be budgeted out of your life to accommodate the change.

Reason: I have no time to exercise.

Who does? Most of us see exercise as a time-intensive activity we have to fit into our already taxing days. We see going to the gym as a two-hour event, and an exercise class is out of the question.

Exercise ideas:

The key is to fit activity and exercise into your day. Find ways to fit exercise into the tasks you are already doing. Here are some classic ways to add exercise into your regular day:
  • When you take the kids to hockey practice, walk up and down the stairs at the rink. Is it soccer practice? Walk around the soccer pitch. Newsflash: Your kid won't care if you don't watch the entire practice. 
  • Take 20 minutes over your lunch hour to go for a walk.
  • Before you leave work for the day, go outside and go for a 30-minute walk. Then get in your car and drive home. If you are home 30 minutes later from work the world will not end.
  • Get up 20 minutes earlier in the morning and walk on your treadmill in your pajamas. You don't need to change, and you can even pour yourself a coffee and drink it while you walk.
  • Ever thought of riding your bike to work? How about taking public transit and getting off a few stops early and walking the rest of the way? If this is even a remote option, see if you can make it happen.  

Click here for 5 quick ways to cut calories from your diet.

Check out our tips on how to cut back on your liquid calories.


From The Weight-Loss Prescription: A Doctor's Plan for Permanent Weight Reduction and Better Health for Life by Ali Zentner, MD. Copyright © Ali Zentner, 2013. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Group (Canada), a Division of Pearson Canada Inc.

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Fitness

Exercise ideas for those who don't like to exercise