How to Pick an Exercise You Will Actually Like to Do!

By Lisa Kimrey | Body


Exercise. You know you should be less sedentary.

You totally get it.

You know that >52% of the adults >18 years old don’t get enough exercise.

And you’re one of them.

You want to do it.

But, what if you really don’t like to exercise?

Perhaps, it’s less about liking to exercise, and maybe more about finding a mobile activity that you just enjoy doing.

Past Exercise Assessment

Looking at your exercise experiences from your past-perhaps even going back to your youth is a great starting place.

In your younger days, it was disguised as:

  • Sports
  • Doing things while hanging out with friends
  • Playing games
  • Just having fun

To begin, think about every kind of mobile activity that you did.

Now, think about those memories and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Was I more active in team sports or independent activities?
  2. What did I enjoy most about those activities?
  3. How did those activities make me feel and do those memories still elicit those feelings?
  4. Can I still do that activity now?
  5. How about on a less vigorous level?

With a little adaptation, you CAN find ways to do some of the things that you genuinely enjoyed in the past.

Finding something that you enjoy doing is a key to sticking to an exercise!

Decide What You Want From Exercise

There is more to exercise than just…well exercising.

It should also be a form of stress relief.

But to obtain relief from stress, you need to do things that reduce your stress, not increase it.

That sounds silly, right?

It’s not-it’s crucial to enjoying what you are doing and continuing to do it.

Ask yourself these questions.

Do I find stress relief:

  1. Only when I’m alone, with another person/friend or when I am in a group of strangers?
  2. With quiet, loud or no music?
  3. When someone is encouraging me to work harder, or do I prefer setting my own goals & pace?

Do I like:

  1. Progressing slowly or quickly?
  2. Competition?

If you know that being in a room full of strangers with loud music in the background and a leader yelling at you to pedal faster will give you stress (and not the encouragement to do better), then that exercise is not a good fit for you right now.

To stick with it, choose something you enjoy and will be a stress relief…not cause more stress.

Exercise Can Start Small

If you are not active now, and you have never been very active, expecting to successfully train for a full marathon is a bit unrealistic and has a high failure risk.

But, if you find running to be something that you enjoy and relieves your stress, then start!

Just start small.

Aim for running a few minutes, 2-3 times a week. Then run longer time periods.

Then train for a 5K.

Then, slowly progress towards a larger goal.

Create an early win!

To sum it all up, exercising for wellness is about finding an activity that you enjoy AND also fits in well with your life preferences. If you start by examining your past exercise experiences,  you can then decide what you want from it and what exercise is a stress reliever for you. Be sure to start with small quick-win goals and then slowly progress. These tips will help you find activities you enjoy and then help you stick to a regular exercise schedule.

What exercise do you think you would enjoy and actually do? I want to know and cheer you on! If you would like ongoing accountibility and encouragement from me, here!




About the Author

Lisa has been an RN for 25 years and has a passion for helping people make healthy choices & build healthy habits related to self-care. Check out Lisa's free tip sheet "10 Ways to Save Money on Healthcare"!