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What are some suggestions for a person who really dislikes exercise?

Becoming physically active does not require structured exercise in a gym setting. If you’re the type of person who dislikes exercising in a gym or health club, try adding fun physical activities to your daily routine such as taking your dog for a walk, riding your bicycle, joining a sports team, dancing, or even playing hide-in-go-seek with your kids. Most forms of physical activity can tremendously affect your health and well-being reducing your risk for chronic disease and adding years to your life.

If you’re planning on starting a structured exercise program try the following to give you an extra boost:

  • Invite a friend or loved one to join you.
  • Hire a personal trainer.
  • Listen to your favorite music during exercise.
  • Join an exercise class with people of similar interests and fitness level.

If you dislike exercising, we will first remove the word exercise. Researchers have found that you don't really need to exercise. Just any old kind of physical activity is good enough, if you do it regularly. As little as 30 minutes of moderate activity (like brisk walking) a day can do you good. Try to find an activity that you actually like doing. The possibilities are endless - walking the dog, swimming, dancing, or even playing with a child or grandchild.

Try to pair that activity with something else you like to do. For example, if you regularly talk to a friend on the phone or over the back fence, go for a walk with that person instead. Or, if it's feasible to walk to work or the store instead of taking the bus or driving, give that a try.

You can also set some activity goals or milestones, and reward yourself as you progress and reach them. You decide on the reward. Eventually, you may find you are feeling better and are actually enjoying the activity, and the activity itself becomes its own reward.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.