How to Get Fit If You Hate Working Out

I don’t know if you’re lucky enough to be one of those people like Khloé Kardashian or Kelly Ripa whose “happy place” is the gym, but I certainly am not. I have to bribe myself with promises of pasta and chocolate cake for dinner to get to the gym in the morning (also known as reversing the effects of a workout), and you can forget about any workout classes after work (I will dread it all day to the point where I’ll talk myself into believing it’s worth the $10 skipping fee).

But no matter if a repetition of lunges and weighted squats brings confidence and happiness or soul-crushing boredom and anger (yes, that is how much I detest the gym…), we all want to look toned, and, most importantly, be healthy and fit. Luckily, there are ways to achieve all your fitness goals while avoiding the dreaded workout.

Source: @lululemon


Incorporate your “workout” into your daily routine.

If you hate going to the gym, don’t go! Instead, add brief exercises into your daily routine. Twenty push-ups when you wake up and 20 more when you’re making dinner, 10 squats every time you take a bathroom break, a few lunges while you brush your teeth: these are all easy exercises that take seconds out of your day, but when done consistently, can actually make a big difference in your body.


Take the stairs and WALK!

When given the choice between an escalator and stairs, always take the stairs. This could even be enough to burn as many calories as a workout at the gym would (if you take stairs enough). Taking a quick Uber from Point A to Point B may be tempting, but walking when able will burn calories and save money or gas. Schedule walking into your daily plans so that you’re not caught at the last minute with somewhere to be (and therefore forced to drive to make it on time). Schedule the extra time to walk to work, restaurants, or errands, and you may never need to step foot in the pesky gym again.


Consider a standing desk, or learn how to sit.

This may look strange to your coworkers, but the benefits of a Standing Desk might be worth it. Standing for even just three hours a day can help you lose weight. If you can’t buy a standing desk (or it feels a little too silly), transfer your laptop/work over to a filing cabinet top, higher table, or your kitchen island, and stand for a few increments every day. If this doesn’t work for you, there are multiple tricks you can use to tone up while you’re sitting down (no, it’s not too good to be true).


Source: HBFit


Find a class that feels more like fun than exercise.

Thankfully, there are limitless options to the kind of workout class you can take that are not crazy-intense Crossfit or exhausting Orange Theory (While both are amazing workouts, I am in no mindset to love running or weight lifting…). If you enjoy peaceful, mindful activities, do some sun salutations in a yoga class (motivation: ending in Shavasana). If you love getting your groove on at the club, a barre or dance class might feel more like a night out than a work out. If sports are more your thing, sign up for local sports teams (we particularly love beach volleyball), or play to your competitive side with competition-driven classes like Cyclebar. If none of these seem appealing, there is a wide range of studios that offer trampoline workouts or surfing lessons that feel more like having fun when you were a kid than it does exercise. One of them will be right for you.


Perfect your posture.

Besides making you look confident, sophisticated, and friendly, having good posture tones your muscles too (including the abdomen for that six pack). Good posture stimulates your muscles, resulting in toning them while also giving your metabolism a boost — and you look great while doing it! Check out a guide to perfect your posture here.



Get fit through food.

Focusing on adding vegetables and eating healthy are both crucial to your overall BMI and well-being. But there are certain foods to eat that will make you look more toned and help you to build muscle or lose fat. Stubborn belly bloat hides ab muscles. Get a flat stomach by incorporating foods that aid with digestion and reduce bloat like peppermint tea, bananas, cilantro, kefir, ginger, and kiwi. Certain foods like kale, millet, quinoa, cottage cheese, and avocado boost blood flow to your muscles, making them work more efficiently, and therefore, look more fit overtime.


For more inspiration, or if you’re especially tech-driven, check out these Online Workout Classes (some are completely free!) — one of them just might be the motivation you need.


Are you a fellow gym-hater? How do you motivate yourself to work out? Share your secrets in the comments!

  • I have a corner in my apartment for my yoga mat, and I like to do some stretching and simple poses after work to get the office kinks out. I also walk to and from the bus stop each day, which is about 15 minutes one way so it’s great for getting the blood flowing before my shift and great for de-stressing afterwards.

  • Walking and finding a class I liked (Bar Method FTW) have made such a difference to my routine.

  • I personally don’t mind working out as long as it is not repetitive and not in a gym. I love the (free) workout videos on PopSugar Fitness (youtube channel). They have fun celebrity inspire routines and they always have something inspired by the latest fitness trends.

    However, my favorite way to stay in shape is to have hobbies that are active that I do on a daily or weekly basis. My everyday activities are walking my dogs (we walk at least once a day), horseback riding (I have been riding since I was young), and hiking (which I do most weekends). I also love kayaking and cross country biking when I get the chance to do them.


  • Play with kids or take your/your friends´dog out for a walk. Great for your body and soul and you don´t even notice the work your body is doing. Also, the gym I used to go to had a steam bath that was kind of my reward after a work out 🙂
    And for everyone thinking about doing yoga regularly: Weight loss yoga with Erica on youtube is only 20-30 min per session and super for stiff backs and shoulders!

    • elaine sauer

      Thank you I’ll check out Erica on you tube!

  • I’ll keep the lists above in my mind! Thank you for this. xo

  • I totally agree with all of these! I’ve found what works best for me and that is doing workouts at home (mainly as it saves time and I don’t have to get up ridiculously early) and its just become part of my schedule now that I am so used to it!
    Elizabeth || Liz Living

  • I think the best way to be physical is just to live an active lifestyle! You nailed it by saying we should take the stairs, stand up etc.

    This was exactly what I did a few years ago – one small change i.e. walking the last leg of my commute instead of taking the bus triggered a whole new lifestyle for me. Now even if I miss a gym day or a run, I don’t have to feel as guilty. It really helps to have a step counter too!

    You can read all about my story on the blog!


  • Katie

    I HATE to work out; it’s beyond boring. But I do the little things you mention – squats while brushing teeth, pushups off my bed frame (I’m 66 and the floor is increasingly far away), yoga and stretching at my desk while files download. No one would accuse me of being in fabulous shape but I feel pretty good and that’s all I ask.

  • I’ve started using housework as exercise! I set the timer for 20-30 minutes and scour a room top to bottom–walls, baseboards, and everything. The best part is, I get 2 rewards for my efforts…a bit of cardio and a cleaner house!

  • Janice Merritt

    Although I don’t do it nearly often enough, I like to turn on the stereo in our game room and dance around the pool table. Still exhausting, but so much more fun than actually working out.

  • Tanya

    I loved reading this article – so inspirational!! For me, l love going to salsa classes as a workout!!

  • I so need some motivation. My workout routine really suck. I think I should consider a standing desk.

  • discosiren

    If you make working out about more than just looking good or losing weight, it’s easier to do. i.e cross training for a sport, training for a marathon etc
    Or if you set yourself a goal – being able to deadlift 100kg, running 5kg in under 30m etc
    Exercise shouldn’t *just* be about looking good and should never be considered punishment for eating.

  • Natalie Redman

    Great post! Definitely taking these on board.

  • Hanny

    For the summer, i started taking long walks with my dog since I wanted to take a break from the gym. I also do 10-15 minutes of yoga or body specific exercise in the morning before work.