“No pain, no gain" is one of the biggest clichés in the world, but unfortunately it’s completely true. This also happens to mean that a lot of us hate to exercise, although there are particular grievances that are more common than others.
When we first stated to put this post together, the general consensus was that just getting out of bed and getting round to putting our running shoes on would be one of the biggest annoyances. However, after questioning seventeen different fitness bloggers, there have been a whole host of reasons.
Finding the time is a common one, but so is the extra laundry and even things like washing your hair. As such, there are a whole host of factors that could potentially stop us from keeping fit and we’ll now delve into all of our responses in more detail.
Joel Snape from Live Hard says...
Does *anyone* actually enjoy stretching? I certainly don't. It's boring, time-consuming, painful and much less awesome than almost anything else you can do in the gym - but, worst of all, there's always the sense that you might be doing it wrong. Should you be doing dynamic? Static? PNF? How much should it hurt? How long should you hold it? At the start or the end? How warm should you be? How often do you need to do it? I don't know the answer to many of these questions, but my solution is simple: I have a dynamic stretching warm-up that only takes five minutes and seems to prep me for workouts, and I save the static stretches for when I'm watching TV. Oh, and my favourite stretch? Sitting in the bottom of a goblet squat with a heavy kettlebell. Weights make everything else slightly more awesome.
Paul Stainthorpe from Father Fitness says...
As a Father of two young kids I won't allow my training to interfere with family time. This is the hardest part of my training because I must work around everything we do. A typical week for me is to train Monday, Wednesday and Friday night with a run early on a Saturday morning. My training is always before or after my kids are in bed.
My advice to anyone is routine. Set a weekly routine and try your best to stick at it. If you need to swap over a couple of days that's fine but then try and stick to it the following week. Good luck!
Charlotte Watson from The Runner Beans says...
The ridiculous but realistic thing that I hate the most about keeping fit is the washing that goes with it. I work out most days, sometimes twice, which means that I effectively wear two or three outfits a day, (including a change of underwear and socks). My laundry basket is always overflowing, our drying racks are in constant use and our washing machine goes like the clappers day and night. And I still sometimes end up in a full bright pink outfit when nothing else is clean!
Carly Peart from Carly Rowena says...
What I hate most about keeping fit: How others react to me and washing my hair! I love meeting new people but one of the hardest parts for me is when I tell them that I’m a personal trainer, immediately the response is ‘I used to workout’ or ‘I’m in the process of joining a gym’ - just because I work out, it doesn't mean you have to and I don’t only become friends with people just because they work out, I’m also not only going to eat just a salad and yes I love chocolate. The stereotype that just because you’re healthy means you eat like a rabbit is so frustrating. Ways to combat the stereotype, show others that you work out because you love to feel good and eat the foods you love, not because you want to resemble the size of a lamppost.
Next, washing my hair, I’m a lazy girl at heart but I drip like a tap during a workout and that can be up to 5 times a week, my hair is long, there is no way I’m washing it every day! Tip: Dry shampoo and towel, drape it round your neck while doing cardio (tuck it into your sports bra) and get spraying the white stuff, no-one will ever know!
Heather Hesington from Housewife Glamour says...
I used to feel guilty not having my workout for the day done by 9 a.m., but I eventually got over it. I change when I like to workout depending on what is going on in my life, and the most important thing to remember is to get into a habit of working out when it makes the most sense for you and your schedule. Nobody else’s. If you need an extra push to get to the gym in the mornings, try laying out your workout gear the night before or, better yet, sleeping in it. Going after work? Bring your clothes with you to avoid the temptation of staying home. Getting dressed is half the battle!
Heather also wrote a longer post, in conjunction with our article.
David Taylor from Fell Running Guide says...
The thing I hate most is heading out for a training run in wet & windy weather, especially on dark winter nights! As my chosen sport is trail & fell running it takes a lot of motivation to head into the hills on nights like that.
What helps me is to be flexible with my training and do shorter, harder sessions in bad weather and save the longer efforts for when the weather is better. Also I think the psychological boost you get after completing a run in horrible weather helps you become mentally as well as physically stronger.
Louise Pittam from Fit Radiance says...
If I had to choose one thing I hated most about keeping fit, it would have to be cutting back on the sweet stuff! For someone with an insatiable love for chocolate and all things sweet, keeping those cravings at bay can be tough. My number one tip to stay on track would be to make your own treats and chocolate! Ditch the sugar for natural sweeteners like stevia and medjool dates for a more healthy, and satisfying alternative.
Tracy Webster from Fat Girl Slim says...
There are few things that I hate about keeping fit. I love the energy that I get from it, the camaraderie that you build with others who attend the same classes as you. I even have friends on Facebook that I’ve never really met, but who have taught me in a class or two. And of course, I have friends online whom I’m met via my blog, a lot of whom also love working out and keeping fit; eating right and blogging about it.
So what really gets my goat about keeping fit? Is it the feel of the sweat trickling down my face during a great workout? No. I actually adore that. It shows I’m working hard. Is it the way my muscles hurt, not the day after, but the second day after a really tough workout? No. That also shows that I’ve done something worth doing. It shows that I’ve worked my body hard, and that I’m doing something to try to reverse all the years of gluttony and punishment.
The thing I hate most about keeping fit is that I literally cannot get enough of it.
Being disabled, I have to pick and choose now what I can do. I used to attend four Spinfit classes a week, go to the gym afterwards; I used to do two Zumba classes a week, go to the gym afterwards. I used to lift weights at the gym. I used to walk to and from the gym, a mile either way. I used to deny that I was disabled, and I did myself a disservice, and I’ve made my problem worse.
Now I have to be careful, but the good news is that I can still work out, and trust me: I’m glad about that! I can lift weights at home, even if they’re a lot lighter than I’m used lifting at the gym. I can go for walks around the local nature walk in the good weather, and use my games console’s movement-sensor games’ dancing simulations, to dance or exercise at home. I can rejoin the gym and discuss with the staff the best way to exercise without exacerbating my condition.
I guess, if you ever looked at a photo of me, you’d think the answer to the question, “what I hate most about keeping fit", would be, “exercise," but it’s not. I actually love to exercise. I love the music, and the sweat, and the effort. I love the friends I made. I want to lose weight, and eventually train to be a fitness coach, too, so that I can help inspire others to get fit, and stay fit!
But right now, the thing I hate most about keeping fit, is that I just can’t do as much of it as I’d really like to.
Bibi from Veggie Runners says...
Socks, shorts, t-shirts, sports bras everywhere – that’s my house on laundry day. Without a doubt, the worst part of exercising regularly is the washing. Marathon training involves running six times a week, which gives me six full outfits of running gear to be washed. My run commute home is wonderful – it clears my head of the stresses of work, gets me out in nature and gives me perspective on the day. Until I get about half a mile from home and remember the sports gear strewn, drying over every surface. At least technical fabric dries super quickly, ready for the next load of laundry…
Sarah from Dreaming of Footpaths says...
My most hated thing about keeping fit? Starting. Having to ignore the snooze button in the morning on the alarm clock, having to get out of bed while it’s cold and the rest of the family are still asleep and dreaming and having to climb into my running kit and lace up my trainers while it’s dark outside and the roads are empty. However, when I return, hot and sweaty and smiling and climb into the hot shower, still high from the endorphins of the run, I know it’s all worth it.
Katrina Cliffe from Katrina Coming Clean says...
Getting in shape or keeping fit has many hurdles along the way and I’ve had to jump over many of them. Many people talk about not being able to drink alcohol, eat fast food or in some cases have to refrain from social plans purely to keep on track. I’ve experienced all of these, but today I’m going to approach it from a different angle.
As a working mother, fitting in getting to the gym, going for a run or sometimes just cooking a decent meal can be a challenge. Firstly, there’s having the time to get out of the house or even just 30 minutes without the kids wanting your attention to do something within the house, it’s difficult when you have to be up, ready and out by 7.30am do a full day’s work then not get back until around 6pm, pick the kids up, cook a meal, help with homework, undertake the bedtime routine and then straighten up. Before you know it it’s 9pm and you’re exhausted!
So how can you fit a fitness routine in?
The first thing to do is plan a routine. Certain times during the week where you make time to do some physical exercise. Having a plan in place makes you more likely to stick to it. I personally like going to the gym - that is my social life. The gym I attend has not only a great team but great members all of whom help you to achieve your goals no matter what life may throw at you.
I have found that even though I may feel guilty for taking a little time out for myself, exercising actually gives me more energy, which means the time I spend with the kids is much more productive. I feel less tired, less sluggish, less bloated and overall I just feel like a better person. Not only that the added health benefits meaning I’ll be sticking around longer for my kids makes taking that bit of time out all the more worthwhile.
Matt from Angry Jogger says...
Running whilst hungover. I do most of my running on the weekend and that also tends to be when I do most of my drinking as well.
- Combating severe gastrointestinal distress. I have to change the way I run to save myself from brown town.
- The awful paranoia that comes with recovery. I think everyone is looking at me! And they probably are if I have diarrhoea and I’m trying to keep my shorts their natural colour.
- Keeping myself from being sick. Dog excrement on footpaths doesn’t help.
- The awful dehydration. I bring water with me but it’s never enough.
- The emotional pain from remembering what I got up to when I got drunk. Makes me want to stop and lie down in a hedge and never get back up again.
Faya from Fitness on Toast says...
My issue is very much a practical one; 'inexhaustible laundry' is the single biggest bugbear I suffer in my fitness routine. I train almost every day, and aside from blogging I'm a Personal Trainer, so my office uniform is active wear. That might mean I get through 7 different gym outfits a week; 7 pairs of socks, 7 leggings, 7 t-shirts, and 7 sports bras. 28 pieces of laundry a week just from working out?! It costs a fortune in detergent, not to mention fabric softener :) There are no tips or solutions I've encountered, but it very much reminds me of 'training' itself... you just need to get on, get started, and do it!
Jon Burdon from Freedom to Run says...
What I hate most about keeping fit is negative people who look down on me or disapprove of the fact that I exercise. They seem to think either I'm mad because I run long distances, or that I can't be committed to my job because I find time for myself when I 'should' be working. How to I combat this? I read inspirational books about elite athletes achieving things I can only dream of. That soon puts my life in perspective. I also tend to avoid negative people where possible, maybe going for a walk at lunchtime instead of getting stuck in the staff room at work. I also remind myself how great it feels to be fit, and that it's precisely the way exercise makes me feel that keeps my from feeling stressed and negative - exactly what we all need to avoid being like.
Laurence Clemente from Kettlebell Nottingham says...
I have found that the biggest problem most people face with their fitness regimes is the lack of a clear direction.
Believe it or not, most of the time all the peeves people have about exercise and nutrition either disappear or at least become far more tolerable when a good, solid set of goals is in their sights.
I always recommend my clients to choose goals that inspire them, excite them and why not, scare them a bit.
These kind of pursuits are the ones that get seen through to the end, whilst the non-committal goals like "losing a bit of weight" or "get a bit fitter" don’t have enough pull to make it worth the effort.
Most people seek out the help of fitness professionals asking for relatively small changes, when in reality their true dreams are far bigger.
For example: why look to lose a just few pounds when in reality what you really want is to drop 4 stone and run that marathon you have always dreamt of? Or why say you want to tone up a bit, when truly what you want is to look like a cover model?
The bigger goals, in my experience, are the ones that get achieved, so I see it as my job to help my clients out not only with training but in dreaming BIG!
Jayne Becca from Miss Jayne Becca says...
Fitness has made my life crazy but in a good way! Practicing yoga, teaching yoga all while keeping up a blog & an office job! Finding time just to be me is sometimes hard.
Natalie Goodchild from The Blonde Ethos says...
I love keeping busy. As well as working out, my days are filled with degree work and, of course, writing my blog, The Blonde Ethos. I’m often guilty of burning the candle at both ends in order to fit everything in, especially as I’m definitely a night owl rather than an early bird! I hate going to bed early, and I hate getting up early; it’s almost always a struggle for me.
However, I know that in order to see the best results from my fitness regime and to generally keep as healthy as possible, I need to ensure that I maintain a good sleep cycle and get plenty of shuteye. Sleep is the best time for your body to rest and recover when training, so I know that I need to exert some discipline.
I’ve found that the best way to combat the early night struggle is to avoid artificial light. So not only does that mean starting to wind down as it gets dark, and trying to wake up with the sun, but trying to avoid the “blue’ melatonin-suppressing light of electronic devices. Rather than scrolling through my Instagram feed of Fitspiration before going to bed, I try to digitally switch off about an hour before bed, and instead ensure I have a stack of books and fitness magazines to relax with.