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Hate exercise? Here's how to change how you feel about working out.

Exercise — do you hate it?

Do you think it's not for you?

What about if we looked at things from a different angle? Have you thought that maybe it's not exercise that you hate but the way it's delivered? Or the way the trainer makes you feel?

My experience is that many gyms and fitness establishments tell clients how it must be done. The ‘go hard or go home’ approach. The mainstream approach very rarely asks the client what they want or what they enjoy.

The stats are very clear on this. That approach only suits around 18% of the population. 82% of the population don't like it.

So, how about you reframe how you see 'exercise'? Reframe it to be movement that nourishes you. Movement that you enjoy. Movement that makes you feel fantastic. Movement that enriches your life.

For some people that is the go hard or go home approach. For 82% of the rest of us, it's whatever works for you.

Explore what might work for you. Because, as human beings, we need to and must move for health, longevity and just bloody enjoying life! But movement can be all sorts of activities. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym.

The centenarians in Blue Zone areas in the world, where the oldest and healthiest people live, move every 5 – 6 minutes of their day. They don’t go to the gym, they walk everywhere, they do gardening, they move throughout their day as part of their day.

A study in 2012 was completed on the data of 11,561 people. The finding in that study was that ‘life enhancing movement’ was a key habit in longevity, regardless of weight.

As humans, we need to move regularly, yet in our modern world there are many barriers to moving, especially in traditional fitness environments.

We do not have to go to the gym to exercise. Our bodies just need to move. Sure, strength training is a huge benefit to women and things need to change to make strength training more accessible to all women. However, don’t let that stop you!!

Just think movement: What do you enjoy? What can you do? Is it a 5 minute walk every day? Is it a 10 minute run every day? Is it hiking, playing a social sport, dancing, swimming? Or trying something new like learning to roller skate!

Exercise comes in so many forms, reframe the old thinking, think of it as joyful movement, not exercise that punishes.

Our bodies rejoice in moving. Move in a way that makes you feel good. Ditch listening to or looking at the ‘influencers’ on social media that send a different message about exercise. Those messages make most of us feel awful.

Look for environments that you’re comfortable in and are with people who you enjoy being around. And wearing comfortable, well-fitting clothing can help you enjoy the movement experience!

Joyful movement, not exercise. Let’s reframe how we think about exercise and do it to have fun in life!

Sonia Hennessy is a specialised women’s health personal trainer and health coach. She has a staunchly anti-diet approach and started Bella Femme Fitness as a way to address the harmful effects of the current culture of the fitness industry. Bella Femme Fitness operates a personal training studio for women in Gisborne, Macedon Ranges, Victoria, Australia, helping women get fit and strong mentally and physically.