What to do if you hate exercising and can’t get consistent

hate exercising
by megan dahlman
October 4, 2022

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If you’re a fitness junkie and workout 5 hours a week and absolutely love it, then this episode’s not for you. But If you hate working out and feel that exercising is one of the most miserable things ever - and because of that you’re totally inconsistent with it and really struggle to meet the goals you have for yourself - then lean in, take notes, and we’ll see if we can make this workout thing a little less awful.

For Starters...

Ok, let me ask you a questions: Are you somehow always on the fitness or workout struggle bus?

Maybe you KNOW what you should be doing and you WANT to be fit and healthier, but things always stand in your way!!

You don’t have the time. You can’t get a routine going. You never have any energy.

Ok, STRUGGLE NO MORE! Today I’m going to teach you 4 things that you can do to make your fitness journey way more enjoyable, but first…

I’m excited to share that this week, on Thursday/Friday - October 6th and 7th, I’m actually teaming up with an exclusive group of experts to bring you a fitness event that I don’t want you to miss. We want to help you get off this fitness struggle bus once-and-for-all and have the tools you need to establish a fitness routine that’s DOABLE and FEELS GOOD. Fitness Simplified is a 2-day online event that’s completely FREE!

You’re going to learn from the very best personal trainers, experts and coaches to help you:

- Stop feeling overwhelmed and get motivated to exercise consistently,

- You’ll discover what styles of workouts work best for your personality,

- You’ll know how to fuel your body for more energy and better results,

- How to sync up your workouts with your hormonal cycle and so much more.

We want to help you overcome each of the unique barriers you have to being consistent with fitness and feeling amazing in your body.

Join us for FREE this Thursday/Friday October 6th/7th for this online event. Even if you can’t make it live, still go register because I have some great options for you to be able to grab the recordings. All you need to do is follow the link in the show notes or head to vigeofit.com/events/fitness to grab your spot now.

Let's dig deeper

Over the past couple of years, I've been periodically hired by a local business to come and teach group workout sessions.

You'd be a lucky duck to work for this company. They treat their employees really well and prioritize health and wellness more than any other corporate business I know. They have a full, extensive gym with hired trainers, daily smoothies for breakfast, and even a sauna!

But even with all this, one of the employees there, Carrie still struggled. She couldn't get motivated to workout on a regular basis - exercise was a hit or miss.

One week, I was there on a Tuesday morning training Macey, another employee, and Carrie walked through the gym.

She watched us for a second and said, "There's no way! You girls are crazy. I'd love to be in better shape, but I can't do that."

Maybe, just like Carrie, you've thought this too.

You want to be strong, fit and healthy, but working out is hard, exhausting, you don’t like it and it feels like it's going to take soooo much work to make a difference!

Plus, your idea of what a workout is supposed to be is something like what Carrie witnessed - an hour long session with lots of heavy equipment and sweat.

And right now, you’re in a place where you think working out is always going to feel miserable and I don’t think I’ll ever be consistent enough to see results!

And I know you know the facts: for you to feel healthy, strong and fit in your body, you MUST do physical activity on a regular basis.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes (that's 2 ½ hours!!) of moderate physical activity each week. Averaged out, this is five 30-minute workouts per week.

You know this. And you know you'd feel really great if you did this. That's not the problem.

The problem is that you don't want to do it, especially when you know it's going to be hard and uncomfortable.


Well, friend…I’m excited to say there’s hope. Today I’m going to teach you four things that will instantly make exercising more enjoyable - and it’s not just turning up the music or having a workout partner.

This is so important for you because when you enjoy the process (not just the results) you will be far more consistent.

Mindset FIRST:

First of all, working out is probably a miserable experience because you approach it like you need to just burn the max amount of calories possible and create the greatest amount of results.

  • (Story about reading through the comments on YouTube workouts: “That was awesome, but so hard.” “I’m not going to be able to walk for days.” “What a burner.”) This attitude is how we’ve all been approaching our workouts

Instead, think longevity and slow build. You want gradually build up to being able to do those kinds of workouts well…maybe 3-6 months from now. I’ve been filming full-length workout videos for GSX, and these workouts are hard. 40 minutes. But we don’t start there, I have you start at JS30.

1 - Choose exercises that feel good and don’t leave you feeling sore for days afterward

Doing lots of reps, high impact work, and heavy weights when it’s been a while is a sure-fire way to make yourself sore and miserable for days. And when you’re sore and can’t walk normal, the idea of doing another workout the next day or a couple days later is the most awful thing ever. You will NEVER create consistency if this is how you go about it.

I recommend doing a routine that begins with bodyweight-only exercises (no outside resistance) - like squats, planks, bridges - and scattering in a bunch of feel-good stretches in between these movements or at the end of each set of exercises.

Here is a sample circuit that I love that feels amazing: Bodyweight squats > Bent-over thoracic rotation > Bridges > Hooklying thoracic rotation stretch

2 - Choose exercises that you feel confident doing

Feeling intimidated by a routine is going to make the whole process miserable. My personal story about Zumba: I don’t dance, I can’t dance, I don’t have any rhythm. I’ve done Zumba twice in my life because a friend invited me. The entire time I felt completely out of my element, I felt like a fool, I couldn’t keep up. She was having fun because she was familiar, but I had no idea what I was doing. I hated it.

Be sure to choose simple exercises that are not technically challenging. What makes an exercise technically challenging? Coordination and balance.

Again, example of exercises that are fairly simple to do: squats, bridges, planks, push-ups,

3 - Be intentional about building in recovery, even if you feel like you don’t need it now

This is probably more of a mindset tip than anything. (Goes back to battling the all-or-nothing mindset)

Everyone is shocked when they start my JS30 program and on Day 3, I’ve programmed in an off day. Why? Because you have to learn the value of this concept and how important this is for your body even in the beginning. It’s going to matter the most physically when you’re doing much harder, higher impact routines. But right now, it’s a mental thing. Plus it makes the workout process far more enjoyable when you know you don’t need to be working out every single day.

What’s the best pattern for recovery days? I suggest never going more than two days back to back without taking some sort of a break.

A good pattern is Hard > Light > Rest

4 - Do a routine that’s 1 or 2 levels easier than you think you should do (this actually meets you right where you’re at)

In our mind’s eye, we overestimate where we’re at until we have that major wakeup call halfway through a workout - “Whoa, I’m in way over my head.” This is probably because you think you’re in better shape than you actually are, OR the routine you’re trying to make happen simply doesn’t fit your current season of life right now.

When you do a workout routine that’s just too hard and it’s pushing you beyond what you can physically and mentally handle right now, you’re going to absolutely hate it.

This does require some humility to say I’m going to doing something a little slower and easier to begin with than I think I should.

So, those are the four big things that you can do right now that will make working out waaaaay more enjoyable, so you’re still here and still doing it years from now!

I have to admit something to you and actually apologize for something: As a trainer with years of workout experience, I always tried to train women by bringing them up to my level. Just make it hard, give them all the skills, all the movements right out of the gate, because I genuinely wanted people to experience the strength and the confidence I did. But the problem was that I was so out of touch with where women were. They really wanted it to work, and some had incredible attitudes and a willing spirit and rose to the challenge, but I gotta be honest, I think I perpetuated the same miserable workout experience problem without realizing it. And I’m sorry for that, if you were ever one of my victims.

But, I just got an email from someone in my JS30 program and she said:

“I have been telling everyone I know about your program and I was wondering if there is a link for the next jumpstart 30 class? I have seen so much progress in myself - The exercises feel doable but still effective - I had signed up for Strong Mommas for two years, but was so intimidated by how long the workouts took I just didn’t do it. Jumpstart 30 has been perfect for me in this stage of life with four little kids and three I am homeschooling.”

I have lots of workout program options for pretty much any stage you’re at… but what’s most important to me is that you’re doing something that feels good, feels doable, and grows your confidence in your body. And that you’re doing something that you can see yourself doing years from now.

Now there are certainly other things that make working out a miserable experience:

  • Your personality doesn’t jive with what you’re trying to do - you need friends, you need a class, you need to follow along, you need to be solo
  • Your workouts throughout the month are completely backwards from where your hormones are at
  • Your body feels broken after having kids. You pull out a workout or try to go for a power walk or jog and feel like your pelvic floor is falling out of your body
  • You have no space to workout at home, or where you’ve been working out is dingy, messy, and completely uninspiring
  • Your eating habits are making your workout experience miserable - you never have energy at the right times
  • Your daily routine is such a mess that you don’t have time to workout, so it always feels rushed and inconvenient

If you’re violently nodding your head right now, wondering how on earth I’ve been spying on you, then I want you to know that all of these things that contribute to a miserable workout experience - I’m going to help you with. And not just me, but other incredible experts, too this Thursday and Friday at the Fitness Simplified online event.

This is NOT for fitness junkies and women that are already in really great shape. You’re more than welcome to join…but this is for everyone that struggles with working out consistently. And if that’s you, I need you to be there.

The link to register is in the show notes or you can go to vigeofit.com/events/fitness.


The big takeaway from today is this: If you thinking exercising and working out is miserable, then you need to

  • Choose exercises that actually feel good when you do them
  • Choose exercises that you actually feel confident when you do them
  • Be intentional about recovery
  • Do a routine that’s 1 or 2 levels easier than you think

And your action step now is to join us for Fitness Simplified. I’ll see you there!

More Resources

FREE EVENT!! Fitness Simplified - October 6th & 7th. Be there!!!

Download the FREE 5-Day Jumpstart Tips Guide

Follow Megan on Instagram

Trainer, nutrition coach, and Christian mom — in a culture that’s obsessed with “gym-selfies” and a number on the scale, I’m passionate about helping moms discover what it feels like to actually love their bodies and thrive in them.
Read More About Megan
Hi! I’m Megan.
Self-Care Simplified is for Christian moms that want to be equipped and encouraged to take simple steps towards the healthy life you want for yourself and the people you love.
Be sure to subscribe to Self-Care Simplified wherever you listen to your favorite podcast.
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Trainer, nutrition coach, and Christian mom — in a culture that’s obsessed with “gym-selfies” and a number on the scale, I’m passionate about helping moms discover what it feels like to actually love their bodies and thrive in them.
Read More About Megan
Hi! I’m Megan.
take the quiz
Self-Care Simplified is for Christian moms that want to be equipped and encouraged to take simple steps towards the healthy life you want for yourself and the people you love.
Be sure to subscribe to Self-Care Simplified wherever you listen to your favorite podcast.
RECENT posts