of movement

It’s time to stop making exercise a chore

October 22, 2021

It’s time to stop making exercise a chore

October 22, 2021

What if exercise felt like a reward rather than a chore? Over the last 50 years, as the fitness industry has grown, the word “workout” has become almost synonymous with “punishment”. A culture has developed within the industry, where exercise has become a penalty for not being enough; not fit enough, strong enough, lean enough, sexy enough, small enough, big enough – the list is endless and exhausting.


It’s time to change the narrative. If you are one of the many people buying into the Message that intoxicates the fitness industry, it’s time to recognize that you are enough. It is time to focus on the joy of movement and the incredible reward that comes both during and after exercise.Because movement inherently makes us happier people.There is no denying that exercise helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression while boosting positive thought patterns and overall energy thanks to the release of serotonin, our natural “happy” hormone. This should be reason enough for exercise to be seen as a reward – our bodies are made to move and thrive when we are active.


It’s time to reframe exercise and re-connect to the joy of movement.


Exercise doesn’t need to be boring (read that again)


Exercise can be fun, connected, social and different. Movement can become more fulfilling by choosing an activity you enjoy, whether it is a relaxing hike, a lunchtime surf or an intense interval session – there is no correct choice, only the one that suits you. Keep in mind that “fun” looks different for everyone. Take the time to understand what makes you feel satisfied and invigorated rather than following along with your training buddy. Most activities can be split into two types of fun:

Type 1 fun is enjoyable while it’s happening (e.g. dancing, rollerblading, or sea kayaking) while type 2 fun is miserable while it’s happening, but fun in retrospect (e.g. sprint intervals, heavy weight sessions or hill repeats). Think about the type of movement you enjoy and what type of fun drives enjoyment for you.


Find your people


Finding a tribe of people that enjoy the same type of movement as you can be a gamechanger. Making exercise social, shifts that “chore” mentality, gives a sense of belonging and can make movement feel like less of an effort. Even during tough workouts, knowing that you’re all in it together not only helps you to become fitter and stronger, makes you more consistent and less likely to quit BUT also increases the feeling of connection and support.


Discover what drives you.


If you are someone who loves a challenge and thrives off the structure of a training program, go in search of a goal that both scares and excites you. Finding a goal that will stretch your capability can add an element of fun and reward to the process where you can measure your progress, taking pride in the achievements and changes along the way. Keep the process enjoyable by making the goal realistic and social.


Adjust your workouts, based on energy levels.


Humans are not like robots. We need rest and recovery regularly and this need increases as a response to stress. Plan your activities around your energy levels and choose an activity that fits. Training like a robot can lead to burnout and exhaustion. To avoid this, do a simple check-in each day, rating your energy levels from 1-10, where 1 is completely exhausted, 5 is feeling ok but a little flat and 10 is feeling fully recharged and ready to go.


Then choose your exercise accordingly, for example:

1-3/10 Choose activities that recharge you, for example Yin yoga, dancing or a walk in nature.

4-6/10 Choose light exercise to boost serotonin without draining your energy levels, for example, Vinyasa yoga, Pilates, a light jog or an ocean swim.

7-10/10 This is your green light to go hard and enjoy pushing yourself, choose activities like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), a long cycle or boxing.


Stop making exercise a chore. It’s time to change the narrative and reconnect to the joy of movement.

Try new activities or train with a group of people, go in search of a new challenge and make sure you’re listening to your body.
But don’t waste time moving in ways you don’t enjoy. Reward yourself with the joy of movement. Because you are enough, and your body was made to move.

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