Body & Fitness

3 ways to exercise if you hate working out

Wine arm curls? Sounds good to us!

Despite the large amount of research establishing that exercise is highly beneficial for the mind and body, sometimes we can still struggle to muster up the motivation to go for a run or gym class.

On weekdays especially, it can be hard to leave the couch for that matter, particularly after a long, tiring day of… sitting at a desk.

I am one of these people.

As much as I love feeling proud and satisfied post-workout, the thought of getting up at 5.30am for a cardio class – or telling myself to go for a run after work – does absolutely nothing for me.

Despite my general ‘eurgh, must I?’ approach to going to the gym, I do manage to go quite frequently – and my fitness levels have improved dramatically (mildly).

So now I’ve decided to quit the gym because “why do I need to pay to exercise? Animals don’t” and “I can just workout at home and go for runs in real life”, I’m a little nervous.

I’ve worked hard to be average, I don’t want to lose what little bit of athleticism I have.

So I spoke to Lizzy Williamson, personal trainer and author of Two Minute Moves, about how to include more movement in our lives and incorporating exercises that don’t make us shudder – or require a gym membership.

“The more we can move in our everyday lives, the less inclined we are to turn to sugary comfort food or that third cup of coffee to keep us going.

“If you’re sitting or standing still all day at work, get moving whenever you can – walk on the spot or pace when you’re on the phone, stride up and down a set of stairs and incorporate walking and meetings wherever possible.”

“C’mon guys, get on board!”

While doing a bridge between meetings may seem extreme (is it really? My colleagues and I do daily planks at 10.30am, this is surely not far away), breaking up extended periods of sitting down throughout our day is highly beneficial for the body.

Finding the motivation to exercise after work (or in the morning – whenever you feel you’re going to get the most out of your workout) sans colleague peer pressure can be tricky.

Which is why Lizzy Williamson has let us know three exercises should we do if we have no intention of going to the gym – or leaving the house for that matter.


“Dancing can actually be something that puts a smile on your face and might even be something you don’t think of as exercise,” says Williamson.

It’s probably an exercise you used to do most Saturday nights – or in front of your bathroom mirror, let’s be frank – and it might be time to revisit your favourite dance moves.

“Dance reminds us that actively moving our bodies can be a fun, joyful thing. The fact you get to work up a sweat and give yourself an effective cardio workout is an extra bonus.”


“Using equipment around your house can make exercise more fun,” says Williamson.

“I love picking up my wine bottles and using them as weights.

“They may seem light at first but by doing little moves like small circles with your arms extended out to the side, or with them out in front of you like they’re on a steering wheel moving up and down, you get a serious burn from using whatever bottles (as long as they’re pretty full) you have around your home.”

The hardest part of this tactic is obviously resisting the urge to throw in the towel and guzzle the bottle of wine, but if you can resist that, look forward to toned arms.


“Then there’s one of my favourite ways to move – whilst binge-watching Netflix,” says Williamson.

“You get to the end of your day exhausted and all you want to do is crash on the couch. While those opening credits roll, take a moment to do some dips for your triceps and some leg cycles for your core. A total no excuses workout that you can turn in to a nightly habit.”

Sounds good to us, sign us up!

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