“But I Don’t Like Exercising…”

man with bag over head

I’ve heard this many times before.

John, I just don’t enjoy exercising. I mean, I hate going to the gym. Running is painful. And yoga feels like self-inflicted torture. I’m just not into that stuff – never have been.

Here’s my response…

Have you ever stuck with something long enough to see if you could actually enjoy doing it? Have you tried to enjoy it?

The reason I ask is because many people who “aren’t into exercising” start doing it, and after a little while, something amazing happens. They change.

And quite to their surprise, they start to enjoy exercising. And after this transformation takes place, they all say the same thing:

I wish I had started doing this a long time ago.

They realize how much of a positive impact this one change has on their life. And now, they can’t imagine life without it.

What a difference, eh?

So, if you’re in this position – whether you don’t exercise at all or just don’t exercise as much as you’d like to – what’s holding you back? I think it’s good to identify the challenges you’re facing. Give them a name so that you can see what’s really going on underneath the surface.

I’ve found that the things holding most people back from starting their fitness journey have a common theme. Usually, it’s fear, uncertainty, and being too overwhelmed with life to deal with it. When you dig deep enough, people often verbalize these concerns as:

“I’m afraid of failing. So, why should I even try?” – Well, guess what? You’ve failed before you’ve even started with that excuse!

“It’s going to be a lot of work.” – Yes, but trust me, that’s much better than the alternative.

“I don’t want to become ‘that guy,’ and get obsessed with my health and fitness.” – You wouldn’t let that happen.

“I don’t know what I’m doing, and I don’t want to look or feel stupid.” – Neither does anyone else who begins their fitness journey. So, get help and learn something.

“I’m too far gone to succeed – too broken to fix.” – Tell that to the endless number of people who have it harder than you and still manage to succeed every day. I can provide examples, if necessary.


I remember a time when I was at a turning point in my life. I knew what I had to do, but I didn’t want to do it because I was afraid. But when I actually identified my fears, and wrote them down – the things that were really stopping me from making the right choice – they didn’t seem so scary. They seemed ordinary. Some of them were actually laughable. And so I made the right choice one late night in February of 2013. And to this day, I’m so glad I did.

So, if you don’t like exercising. If that’s not your thing. But you know you should be doing it – that you need it. And there’s a small part of you that wants to do it. What do you do?

You do what everyone else in this position does. You get started. You do whatever it takes to get moving. You set goals and start working on the daily habits necessary to achieve them. You start small – even easy. And you get the help you need.

And eventually, you’ll say the same thing that everyone else says:

I wish I had started doing this a long time ago. And now, I can’t imagine life any other way.

And you’ll mean it.

Note: if you’re still not convinced, this book may help – required reading in the Siffer-family!

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Health-First Fitness Coach

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