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Dark Stranger 07-26-2012 01:25 AM

How to force myself to like exercising
I'll admit up front that I hate exercise. I will never understand how someone can do yoga or go for a jog in order to "unwind." I feel horrible after brief periods of physical exertion - sweating like mad, aching, and usually takes me a long time to fully regain normal breathing. This is why I have basically given up on exercise - not only do I feel godawful after doing it, but I have zero endurance and I have to stop after about 5 minutes.

But I need to lose weight, so I'm trying to figure out how to make myself like exercise so I have the drive to actually get up and move around. Not even then idea of being thinner is enough to get me going. I've tried yoga - didn't like it (got out of breath too soon). Tried belly dancing - didn't like it (went way too fast, even the beginner workout). Good old fashioned push ups and crunches and all - don't like them (can't do much because I get tired so fast).

I am considering belly dancing again if I can find something that moves at a slower pace, but I doubt anything will come of it. Is it possible to enjoy being completely winded to the point of being unable to move and drenched in sweat? How do you make yourself like exercise?

janewhite1 07-26-2012 09:00 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
Think smaller. It sounds like you aren't ready for jogging, fitness-wise, and no one really physically enjoys the end of a brutally demanding workout when soaked with sweat. (The feeling of accomplishment is nice, though!)

I have mild fibromyalgia, though, and a gentle workout looses up muscles and eases the pain. I definitely enjoy that part of it.

As for the rest... Ever drive out on the open highway, all alone, radio on, fast and free? That's what, say, bike riding or skating is like, once you get fit enough to really get going.

Find something you reasonably enjoy that involves moving. Maybe walking someplace pretty, like your local park. Maybe ballroom dancing. Heck, cleaning the house counts. You can use music or TV to get yourself moving. You don't have to go until utterly exhausted, but try to go for at least 20 minutes of gentle activity. After a week or two, increase the intensity or time slightly.

tinam7 07-26-2012 02:18 PM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
Excellent suggestions. I'll add that to lose weight you must change your eating habits. Exercise can help you maintain your weight, the rest is mostly fantasy.

But exercise is simply very good for your health. It is my great hobby. Approach it slowly without grand expectations. As suggested, simple walking might be a start. I walk every day, even in 3 digit temps. The outdoors gives it a whole new dimension. Above all, don't give up.

Dark Stranger 08-02-2012 11:56 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
It's just so hard to actually try and get started, even with taking a walk. I hate the heat and I hate walking around in a sweat-drenched shirt even more because it makes me feel so disgusting. Lame excuse, I know, but I can't stand how it feels.

It's hard for me to diet not only because I get hungry quite often, but because I'm being pressured by a parent to diet and when they try to force me to do things, I often do the exact opposite of what they say because, well, I hate them. I just don't think I have the willpower to diet like I used to. Not to mention I often do work from home that requires hours' worth of sitting and once I get into my "zone," it's hard to break out of it and I usually feel lazy all day long.

Sadly, there's really very little I enjoy doing that involves moving anymore because I get winded so easily. I used to like playing Dance Dance Revolution (which is a great aerobic workout on the higher difficulties), but I tried doing it again for the first time in about 2 years and I could not keep up at all. That and my PlayStation is on the fritz and won't play most of my DDR games now.

Plus I think I am just at a point of hopelessness right now. I'd probably need to lose about 80 pounds to reach my ideal weight, but I know how much I struggle and exercise for weeks and don't lose an ounce and it's the biggest disappointment in the world knowing all that hard work was for nothing, and I just figure I'm too fat to lose any weight, so I gave up. I've actually considered giving myself a tapeworm to try and lose weight (and if I wasn't so creeped out by bugs and them crawling out of my body, I'd probably have done it by now).

Thank you both for your advice - I'll try to put it to use. I would like to at least get a working PlayStation so I can play DDR again and maybe start on the lighter settings. Not much movement on those, but it's something. I also am trying to find a slower-paced belly dancing video. I think the hardest part is just getting started and forcing myself to do stuff I know deep down I don't even want to do.

As someone once told me, doing something you like means an hour feels like 5 minutes. Doing something you hate means 5 minutes feels like an hour. I have to agree.

janewhite1 08-02-2012 12:00 PM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
You know, you won't have to lose 80 pounds just to get to the point where DDR is fun again. If you manage to shed, say, 10% of your body weight, you'll find it's substantially easier to get around and do things. You'll also build a little muscle.

One thing that might help is "useful" physical activity. Instead of going for a walk just to go for a walk, go for a walk TO someplace. When you run errands, go for a more distant parking space. Or, if you have a yard, do some yard work.

tinam7 08-03-2012 06:12 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
At our city rec. center we can join in a TOPS program, Taking Off Pounds Sensibly. It is not expensive and can help. A friend has done well with it. You keep track of what you eat and count calories. You meet with others once a week or every two weeks.

Maybe for starters you can get a calorie counter and a little notebook and star stickies to give yourself a star for each good day. Get your mindset in place, start today and you'll begin to feel good about yourself.

Dark Stranger 08-04-2012 01:52 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
I have used food journals in the past with success, and I've been meaning to start keeping one again. I would try my best to eat a certain number of calories a day (usually 1200-1400), and then one day I'd have a "free day" where I'd eat whatever I wanted (translation: excuse to have some junk food - something to work toward all week).

Another thing I worry about in terms of physical activity is my ankle seems to be giving out a lot in the last few months. I might just be walking and -boom- my ankle bends at a nice 45 degree angle and I fall on my face. I worry if I do something too strenuous with my legs, I will break my ankle. I'm about 250, so if I were to fall just right, I don't think a break is outside the realm of possibility.

Another problem I have is if I can't get something after a few tries OR I see no immediate progress, I usually assume it's not working and I quit. That's another reason why dieting//exercise has never interested me. While I understand it takes time to see the results, in my mind I think, "I see no change. This isn't working." I lose interest and then I start tossing in a half-baked effort. Then I see results even less, and basically I wind up back at square one.

@tinam7, that sounds like Weight Watchers. I did try that once....sort of. I didn't want to pay for a membership, so I looked up the points online and did my best to apply them to my diet myself. I did like that I could eat basically anything and if I can find that source again, I may try it again.

Ugh, as said, the hardest part is getting motivated. I only see failure on the horizon if I start, so I figure, "I'm gonna fail, so why bother starting?" I used to have more willpower and drive to do this, but not so much now. Thanks for all the advice, everyone. :)

nick779 10-11-2012 06:10 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
Try posting pinups on your bulletin board.. or putting up posters of motivationals on your cupboard or some place you frequently use so it keeps reminding you of whats needed. It really helps me. I'm quite lazy so i needed it :p

taylor782 10-12-2012 05:35 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
i think it will be not good if you trying to exercise by forcefully. i think if a person have set some goal for his then it will be helpful to achieve that rather then going to just do that you haven't think about it.

GymRat 10-25-2012 07:01 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
Simple answer Don't

More complex detail.
There is always something you will enjoy that either involves moving or is good enough for you to forget you are moving.
One guy I helped out years ago had done very well in business earning more than I will likely ever see, but the cost was a whale like physique he hated.
I asked the usual question 'What do you enjoy?'
'Nothing. Well not exercise wise anyway.'
'Ignore exercise. What do you enjoy?'
'I like chilling out in front of the tv.'
The answer we sorted out was a recumant bike, which had to be modified to hold his weight and the seat he had fitted was as comfortable as any armchair. While he watched tv he ped***ed, the noise bothered him at first but a quick increase in volume left this forgotten.
Within a few weeks I saw him again and he was elated. He had found himself ped***ing for hours without realising because he was so into the tv. The chair needed daily cleaning, he had lost weight, and his doctor advised that his blood pressure had dropped out of dangerous and into high.

Sometimes you have think later***y. Sad people like me love various forms of exercise, but I admit there are plenty I hate, footb*** etc. so I stick wit those I love. If there truly is nothing you actively enjoy, find something you love enough to be able to train through.

cupcake223 11-08-2012 10:14 AM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
I know how you feel. I hated exercising when I started and dieting. The hardest part is the first few months, then you start to enjoy it more. What worked for me was finding things I liked. I second the advise about finding a way to exercise while doing something you enjoy. I actually did the exact same thing, I have a recumbant bike that I ride while watching TV. I hated anything standing up after work because I work long hours standing up all day so after work the last thing I wanted was to exercise standing on my aching feet. You just have to find what works for you. I love yoga, what kind did you try, because Bikram or hot power yoga will scare a lot of beginners off. I love hot yoga now, but I am glad it was not my first class because I would have never come back. Maybe try an unheated beginner vinyasa class or anything labeled "Slow Flow" to start. I do hot vinyasa now but still keep going to the slow flow class because it is so relaxing.

Dieting was really hard for me to get into. Again, you just need to find what works for you. I really LOVE sweets, desserts and ice cream. I don't really care much for the savory carb stuff though, so cutting out chips and french fries were no problem. Weight Watchers worked great for me! I never paid either, I just downloaded an App. The new points system where you get unlimited fruits and veggies is great for me. Now instead of a bowl of ice cream for dessert I have a bowl of strawberries and bananas covered in lowfat whipped cream and its like 2 or 3 points depending on how much whipped cream.

I think your goals matter too, are you losing weight to be healthy or to look a certain way? Getting "Cut" muscles and sixpack abs requires major diet and exercise. Getting to a healthy BMI or close to it can be done with some simpler changes. I was 5'2" and 170 pounds and a size 12. Im now 5'2" 140pounds and a size 8. Im really happy now but I am hoping to get down to 125 to 130 and for me that means more aggressive diet and exercise, but where I am right now is healthy so I met my goal the rest is just icing on the cake. I think keeping in perspective that this is for your health not your looks really makes it easier to stay positive.

eric909 11-08-2012 02:49 PM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
The best thing to do when exercising is not to force ourselves to exercise, because when we force only our self, it is not anymore a good exercise. you may need a great motivation in order to do a certain activity, you may think your goals as your motivation, your friends or your family can also influence you and be more motivated. For me, if we are not used to do exercise, we should do a little stretching at first or a simple walk

elizabeth62 11-08-2012 07:48 PM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
I currently live in the burbs, but plan to retire in a big city, as every time I stay in a city, I find it fun to walk to the store for this or that, walk to the subway, to dinner, etc., so I think it will be easier for me to stay active.

For now, the best form of exercise for me, is a treadmill in front of the television. 30 minutes every day or 50 minutes 4 x per week.

Kaji 11-08-2012 08:06 PM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
I spent 30 years of my life LOATHING exercise. I saw it as something sweaty, frustrating, exhausting, and ultimately futile because I would never be 'good enough' to compare to the people who actually do that stuff for fun. Wrong attitude! So I can't run and I can't catch or throw a ball and I'm totally uncoordinated... so what? Anybody with two working legs can walk! If you need a reason to get yourself out there, start by picking a nearby destination and telling yourself you just have to walk THERE. Walk to the post office, the grocery store, the local mall, the library - whatever you can find that kind of interests you and it less than a mile away. If it's too far to walk both ways, get somebody to drop you off there, then do your thing and walk home. This year my ability to walk has been severely limited by my health and it's actually extremely frustrating not to be able to get up and go whenever I want to. Walking has become a quiet time of being alone with my thoughts.

Oh, and if you live somewhere hot, walk in the early morning or in the cool of the evening. Since I live in Florida, I usually time my walks for the late afternoon/early evening. No point frying myself if I don't have to!

PS. You don't need to force yourself to 'like' anything... all you need to do is to get out there and do it regularly enough for it to become a habit. The liking will come by itself, and if it doesn't you can always try something else later... just start easy and be happy with baby steps.

Nomaria 11-18-2012 08:24 PM

Re: How to force myself to like exercising
The hardest part of any fitness journey is your eating habits. Seeing as how this isn't a nutritional topic, I'll steer clear of that discussion.

Now, it seems to me as if you are thinking out of the box, too big, or too far ahead of yourself. Think baby steps. I'm not a professional jogger/runner, heck I don't consider myself a professional in any area of fitness, but I do know a lot about it. Here is my suggestion. Stop forcing yourself to like exercise. All you gotta do is get up and on your feet and start somewhere. When it comes to cardio exercise, stick to a steady pace you can handle. Everyone sweats, so sorry to say but that is something you will have to deal with. You will feel good afterwards. Take breaks when you need to, and drink LOTS of water. Picture someone you would love to have a body like in your mind and tell yourself, "I'm gonna look like that some day". Join a support and accountability group. Get friends and family to motivate you. There are a lot of resources out there that can and will help you out and put your mind in the right place.

As for resistance training. Don't work on the same muscle group everyday. That will not help you get to where you need to be. If you work on your arms one day, switch to your legs the next day, and then your core/abs the day after that, and so on and so forth. When it comes to weights, I like to use free weights. Pick a weight that allows you to reach your goals. Are you looking for Size and Bulk? Then pick a weight that allows you to do no more than 10 reps. Are you looking for a lean physique? Then pick a weight that allows you to do no more than 15 reps.

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