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How to Work Out When You Don’t Really Like Working Out

I’ve always been envious of people whose safe space is a gym or workout center. I cannot think of a worse time than going to a crowded gym and trying to lift weights, run on a treadmill, or stretch in front of a bunch of strangers. Don’t even get me started on the crazy fees you’re expected to pay every month, too. If you’re anything like me, and your personal hell sounds a lot like this, I have some good news for you: you can still make healthy decisions and move your body without having to go to a gym.

    I have a short list of alternatives to “traditional” exercises that I want to share with you. Whether you utilize only a few of these things, or you just do them for a short period of time until you get comfortable in a gym setting, I’m hoping you’ll find some new ideas to stay healthy and happy as the seasons transition.

    One of my favorite things to do when it gets warmer outside is simply walking. It’s not super intense or exciting, but it gets my body moving and breaking a sweat. Oftentimes I’ll invite a friend to go with me, too. If I’m feeling particularly energetic that day, I do a sequence of walking to one song on my playlist, then jogging to the next song, and repeat that process until I’m done with my route.

    Workout videos are a great way to get some exercise in without even having to leave your house. It might take some trial and error to find ones that you like, but once you do, the feeling after a good workout is so rewarding. I search for my videos on YouTube and have done a few different kinds of workouts ranging from yoga to more high intensity cardio. One of the main reasons I like this method of exercise is that I can pick and choose which style I want to focus on, as well as decide if I want to do multiple videos for one workout.

    Lastly, I’m going to throw out a silly one – if you’re really looking to get a good workout in, I highly recommend deep cleaning your house. Top to bottom. Every corner, crevice, and carpet. Just clean the whole thing. Not only will you be super satisfied with the end result, but I promise you’ll be tired after as if you just spent an hour at the gym. This is especially nice if you’re in a kind of exercise “rut” where no other option sounds like a good option. Just throw on some music and start scrubbing!

    With this tiny list, I hope you were able to take some inspiration from it and think about what kind of physical activities are more suitable for you. Even if you aren’t that scared of the gym, sometimes it’s nice to get a change of scenery and do something different for a while. Always keep in mind that living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to look like weightlifting and running marathons every day. Taking small steps (literally and figuratively) is always a good idea.


I am a senior at MNSU studying Social Work! I have a passion for educating people about self-care and mental health.
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