By Isabella Domhoff

Ok, so I know I’m definitely not the first one to say it but I hate exercise. Always have. Don’t get me wrong, I danced throughout most of my childhood and was very active, but you get me in a PE class and I’d be handing over a note to get me out of it. I did one term of PE in Year Eight and I did everything I could to get an exemption for the rest of high school. I was successful.

There are so many people that love going to the gym and running on a treadmill, and that’s great, but it doesn’t work for me and I know that, so I decided to change my approach and I’m certain that the following steps will help to turn anyone’s hatred of exercise into a perfect love affair!

Don’t exercise to lose weight, exercise to get healthy

This is definitely the most important point. I personally haven’t weighed myself in years and I don’t have any plans to anytime soon. If you are exercising to lose weight you are working towards a number, not a better you. Exercise to be a healthier, happier and better you, or do it to gain more energy to run around with the kids. Find something that will inspire and motivate you, not bring you down when you haven’t reached that ‘perfect’ number.

Phone a friend

This is definitely a great motivator. Exercising with a friend ensures that you won’t keep sleeping when your alarm goes off first thing in the morning. Having someone with you that first time you try out a new class makes the process a lot less daunting, and going for an hour walk a few times a week with a friend is the perfect way to catch up while getting some exercise in at the same time. You could even meet someone at a class and organise to work out together another time during the week. Exercising can be a social activity!

Love what you’re doing

Don’t waste your time doing something you don’t like. If you hate the gym – don’t go. Try a bit of everything until you find something that you enjoy. Join clubs/teams, go to gym classes like yoga, spin or pilates, go hiking, canoeing, swim in the pool or the ocean, run or walk along the beach, or play tennis, squash or volleyball. The possibilities are endless so find what it is that you love doing, and stick to it!

Plan

Now that you’ve got your friend to walk or play tennis with twice a week, and you’ve found a sport or class that you love, make a plan! Think of all the times you’ve planned to work out, your alarm has gone off and you’ve hit the snooze button deciding to leave it for another day, or you get home, you’re exhausted, you still have to make dinner and you think to yourself “it just isn’t going to happen tonight”.

Make a realistic plan and stick to it. If you know that Wednesday’s are really busy for you, then make that your day off and if you have more free time on Saturday, then plan your main workout for the week on that day. Make it manageable for you and write it down, then revisit it every month or two and change it around based on when you have time to exercise and the type of exercise you want to do.

Another thing to plan is your workout. If you’re joining a sport team or going to a class then this is one less thing to think about, but if you enjoy going to the gym, look up some workout guides or exercises. Plan a fun routine to do and keep at it until you know it off by heart or switch it up by focusing on different areas of the body on different days. Make a list of what exercises or machines you are going to use each workout and how long you want to use them for so when you get to the gym you’re not instantly filled with that sinking “I have no idea what to do first” feeling.

Embrace the process, have confidence and believe in yourself!

Now a very important part of the process is to have confidence in yourself. Believe that you can make a change and that you can stick to it, because if maintaining a healthier, more active lifestyle isn’t something you truly want, then it will be harder to motivate yourself to exercise. Find what being active looks like for you, then be your biggest cheerleader!