Thursday, 7 July 2022

6 Workouts Even Exercise Haters Will Love


Some people like to go to the gym. They like the feeling of pushing their body hard and seeing how their limits have changed over time. They enjoy the rush of endorphins that follows a hard workout. They feel accomplished when the sweat pours off their bodies, their muscles ache and their heart races. Others read those sentences and wanted to go hide under the bed covers. Heart pounding, muscle burning exercise is about as fun to them as getting a root canal. In fact, for some people, the root canal sounds preferable. At least the root canal is largely one and done. Exercise requires repeatedly and willingly torturing yourself. 

Whether you like exercise or not, the fact of the matter is that you need to be doing it. Regular exercise is essential to maintaining your health. If you are not terribly healthy to begin with, exercise is even more important. It can be hard, however, to make exercise part of your usual routine when you hate every second of it. Thankfully, there are some workouts that even the most determined couch potato will enjoy. Here are six workouts even exercise haters will love. 


Who doesn’t wish that they were an Olympic athlete or professional baseball superstar? Generally speaking, even the person who loathes exercise the most wishes they were capable of some of the extraordinary physical feats that are on display when professional athletes face off against each other. Getting to that level, of course, takes years of dedicated, daily practice and a certain degree of innate talent. That said, doing your best Michael Jordan impression on a basketball court is a perfectly good way to exercise. 

Not everyone thinks of playing sports as a form of exercise, but chasing a ball around a soccer field or trying to wrestle a football away from a friend is a great way to get your heartrate up. Sports also allow for a fun outlet for stress as well as providing healthy competition and a social element that may be missing from most gyms. In addition, playing in an adult sports league gives you a reason to practice since you have something you are working toward.


Anyone who claims that dancing is not exercise has clearly never really danced. Actual dancing requires a great deal of muscle control and constantly engages some of the largest muscles in your body. Extended sessions up your heartrate, and quick tempo dances can leave you as sweaty as any fitness class. Even slow dances require a great deal of focus, balance, flexibility and careful control. Dance is a great way to both get some good exercise and learn a useful skill. Everyone is always impressed by a person that knows a specific style of dance, such as the waltz or the bachata, and dancing will do incredible things for your balance and kinesthetic awareness.

If you want to do something based on dance but enjoy a more traditional workout, try a fitness class that is based on dancing. Zumba, cardio dance and other dance-based classes mix real dance moves and contemporary music with traditional exercise actions such as squats and lunges. 

Home Workout

For some people, the biggest problem with exercising is not getting sweaty or having your lungs ache while you try and catch your breath after a hard workout. The part of exercising they struggle with the most is actually making themselves go to the gym. They do not mind working out once they are there. It is the idea of having to change clothes, drive to the gym, workout, shower, change again and then drive home that has them giving in to the temptation to simply skip working out altogether. 

If your biggest mental block is making yourself physically go to the gym, then you need to find a way to work out at home. Thankfully, devising a workout you can do without ever leaving your home is easier than it sounds. Your home is likely filled with everything you need for a good workout. For cardio, run up and down the stairs several times or see how many mountain climbers you can do in a minute. For strength training, do bodyweight work such as pushups, crunches or lunges. If you want to add some weight to your workout, fill your largest stock pot with water and then hold it like a kettle ball while you do squats. For an added challenge, fill it to the brim and challenge yourself not to spill a single drop of water. 

Interval Work

Some people do not mind working out, they just hate how long it takes. To get a good workout, they feel like they need to be at the gym for 30 minutes or an hour. They simply do not have the time to dedicate several hours a week to sitting on a bike at the gym. If that is the problem, then you simply need to find a way to increase the intensity of your workout while cutting down on the time. Thankfully, there is an easy way to do this. Simply do interval work. 

Intervals involve alternating periods of hard work and gentle recovery. One of the most common forms of intervals is sprinting as fast as you possibly can for one minute, then walking normally for two minutes and then repeating the cycle. You can do intervals with almost anything, and they will dramatically cut down the time it takes for you to get in a good workout.

If you do interval work, do be aware that they may not completely equal the workout you already do. Five minutes of interval work will not equal a 60 minute run, no matter how fast you run during your sprint minutes. You also need to be careful when doing interval work. It is not a good idea to do more than 20 or 30 minutes of interval work at any one time. 


If you are a parent, at some time in the past or future your child looked at you and demanded that you lift them into the air. They wanted you to carry them. They wanted a piggy back ride. They wanted to sit on your shoulders. They wanted you to toss them up into the air and catch them or launch them up into the sky at the swimming pool. If you have children, you likely do a lot of picking them up and putting them down. Why not include that as part of your workout? 

Rather than weightlifting, parents can practice kid-lifting which is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than driving to the gym to life iron weights, simply lay on the floor at home and bench press your delighted five year old or chase your eight year old around the yard for 20 minutes. The kids will think this is a fabulous new game since it involves Mommy or Daddy playing with them. Mom or Dad, meanwhile, manage to simultaneously keep the children entertained and get in a workout. Everyone wins.

Learn Something New

There is very little that the human brain likes more than new things. Your brain is hardwired to give new information extra attention and see new skills as more important. You are also built to constantly seek newness. This is a large reason for the rise in smartphone and internet addiction among young people. 

The instinctive love of newness is part of the reason that exercising can become boring for some people after a while. They do not feel that there is anything new for them to do. As such, they slowly stop coming to the gym. They do not want to spend their time doing something that bores them.

If you are someone who needs to always be doing something new, enjoys learning new things or likes the sense of improvement that comes when you begin to master a new skill, learn something new for your exercise. Take up rock climbing, archery or learn the basics of gymnastics. Take a class that will teach you the four swimming strokes used in the Olympics or start practicing a martial art. Find something you have always wanted to do that requires movement and use that as your workout.
Exercise is essential to maintaining your health, but it can be hard to make yourself get out there and sweat it up when you loathe going to the gym. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of ways to get in your necessary exercise every day. From playing a sport to playing with your kids, you can easily find ways to fit some extra movement in your day if you really try. All you have to do is be a little more creative with your workout.

Stephanie Hertzenberg is a writer and editor at Beliefnet. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary where she majored in Religious Studies and minored in Creative Writing. She maintains an avid interest in health, history and science.

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