Do What You Love: 10 Suggestions for Exercise Success

Do What You Love: 10 Suggestions for Exercise SuccessI don’t like running. I think a lot of people don’t like running. I’ll bet most of those Couch-to-5K people are miserable. But, it seems that it is everyone’s go-to when they want to lose a few pounds.

Worst…decision…ever…. At least it is if you hate running.

Yes, it is great cardio and you burn a ton of calories, but if you end up hating running so much that you quit after a few weeks, what good does that do?

One day, I saw an overweight woman running on the side of a major thoroughfare in town. She was barely shuffling and looked absolutely miserable. My first thought was “Good for her!” My second thought was, “I’ll bet she won’t stick with it if she feels as awful as she looks.”

People probably say the same thing about me when they see me running in the park. My body is not built for running. I’m short and solid. Built more for gymnastics than running. I do run from time to time, probably at a slower pace than my racewalk stride.

God bless the people who love running. I get it. I really do. When I walk in the 5k races, I always want to break out in a run. The endorphin rush must be amazing.

Other than the time element, I really think the other reason why most people don’t start  exercising is they think they’ll hate it.

Exercise doesn’t have to be anything you don’t want it to be! It can be very simple.

  1. Fall/Autumn

    Wouldn’t you like to take a walk on this path?

    It’s fall. Falling leaves are soul candy. Start walking in a park. If you don’t live near a park, I’ll bet you’ll see some pretty trees just walking around your neighborhood.

  2. Do you have a dog? Walk it.
  3. Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s for you. Going back to the short and solid thing, I’m not that great at yoga. Some practices I enjoy, with others I feel like I must be doing myself more harm than good. Zumba would be a nightmare for me. But, I love Pilates.
  4. Are you a social person? In a new area and want to meet people? Take a class. If you don’t like spin class, move on to kettle bells (see #3). You could also try Search your area for walking groups, biking groups, hiking groups, “we like to do outdoorsy stuff” groups. There are groups for everything.
  5. Think about what you like. Are you more a cardio person or a toning person? It’s always best to mix things up to achieve maximum fitness. That being said, you don’t meet too many cardio people who enjoy lifting and you don’t meet too many toning/defining people who like cardio. The well-rounded fit people usually just tolerate one or the other.
  6. Toning/defining doesn’t have to mean lifting heavy weights at the gym. It could mean taking a core class, working out to a Pilates DVD, or doing one of the 30-Day Challenges.
  7. Make exercise a way of spending quality time with your kids, spouse, friends, or family. Take a bike ride with the kids, take a brisk walk with your spouse. Meet a friend and go kayaking.
  8. If you are older or have mobility issues, try chair or water aerobics.
  9. Join a team. Played softball in high school? There are some great adult leagues out there. Most recreation sports leagues keep a list of “free agents” who want to play but don’t have a team .
  10. Buy some hand weights and borrow a workout DVD from your local library. Some cable companies have a series of workouts On Demand. The possibilities are endless on YouTube also.

I could go on and on, but the key is to think about your personality, interests, and fitness level and it will help you identify what kind of exercise would be best for you. Remember, every little bit helps. If you don’t like something, don’t quit exercising all together – move on to something else.

What is my key to success?  I do lots of different things so I don’t get bored or plateau. We belong to a gym. I lift weights and use the elliptical and bike. I borrow exercise DVDs from the library so I am always getting new workouts. I love to walk. I walk pretty fast. I’ve actually won medals. Despite my intro, I do jog (shuffle) from time to time. But, no two days are the same. It keeps me from getting bored.

What are your keys to fitness success? What is your favorite type of exercise and why?


Fall foliage image courtesy of dan at

Woman near mountains image courtesy of Feelart at, edited by The Wellness Wife

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