I Used To Hate Exercising—These Are the Workouts That Made Me Love It
I went from pretending to be sick so I didn’t have to do the fitness test in gym class to doing workouts six days a week every week and loving it—all in a matter of a few years. I always hated exercise growing up. I was active (when I moved to a big city, reaching 10,000 steps in a day was child’s play), but the thought of stepping foot into a workout class or grabbing a dumbbell at the gym terrified me. Because I didn’t grow up learning about fitness and being involved in sports, I never felt like I belonged or that I knew enough. Once out of shape, always out of shape, I thought.
Then, after spending six months at home feeling depressed, miserable, and uncomfortable in my body, I forced myself to start taking a few fitness classes here and there. After that, I started taking a few more. And then I tried more. Next thing I knew, I had a weekly schedule of all different workouts that I loved so much that it became a habit. Now, when I don’t work out, I notice I’m more stressed out, my skin breaks out more, and I don’t sleep as well—and that isn’t even what keeps me going.
Finding a workout you love is always the key to making a workout routine stick—we all know this. In my case, a fitness app made all the difference. Specifically, I turn to Obé Fitness for every kind of live and on-demand class you can think of: barre, HIIT, pilates, yoga, dance, and even trampoline.
Instead of forcing yourself to follow a bunch of workout videos that you dread, here are a few I’ve added to my routine that were practically love at first squat. And if you see an Obé Fitness class you’d love to try, you can use code TEG50 for 50 percent off your first month of Obé in addition to a seven-day free trial!
“Power” was the first Obé Fitness class I took that I immediately fell in love with. As you’ll see through this list, I’m not a cardio girl. My favorite workouts leave me feeling strong, not completely out of breath. However, I know cardio is important for my health, and power classes have just the right amount of quick movements that increase my heart rate. It combines fast movements with heavy weights, making me feel strong and powerful. I love it so much that I did it weekly without fail for six months straight—and I noticed a major difference in my body and strength thanks to it.
As I stated, I love feeling strong, and I notice the biggest change in my body (both aesthetically and in my training) when I’m consistently lifting. This class is great for when I’m at home and can’t make it to a gym because it follows a similar structure to what I’d do at the gym and is a lot more motivating than me just lifting in my apartment by myself. They’re also so easy to make your own—I started with 8 lb. weights and have worked my way up!
I had always wanted to try barre before I started working out at home, but class environments were a little worrisome to me (I get very embarrassed while exercising) and boutique studios can be expensive. Óbe made it so easy to try the class, learn new techniques, and fall in love before finding a studio that I loved. Now, I feel totally comfortable doing a plié.
When I stopped having the mindset that a workout needed to be intense and sweaty, my whole world opened up. Going on long walks once or twice a week and adding in short walks to my daily routine has had a major impact on my mental and physical health. Instead of pushing myself super hard all the time, I focus on getting in a long walk or two every single weekend to give myself some active rest time. When the weather doesn’t permit, I use one of GrowWithJo’s walking workouts on YouTube and walk in place in my living room. It’s not as fun as roaming the streets of my city, but Jo is so high-energy and enjoyable that I keep coming back.
I started doing yoga as a way to slow down and reduce anxiety (especially on Sundays), and I’ve ended up falling in love with stretching and getting more flexible. I’m perfectly in the middle when it comes to flexibility; I can touch my toes, but I can’t fold my body over itself either. Doing yoga once a week gets me to stretch out my muscles, and I work hard to focus on form and flexibility (without leaving super sweaty or extremely tired).
Doing pilates has given me a whole new appreciation for ab workouts beyond trying to get a six pack or looking good in a crop top, and it’s made me stick with it for months. Having a strong core is essential in pilates, and I’ll be honest: “Strong” is the last word I’d use to describe my core (LOL). I avoid planks and crunches like the plague, but in pilates, if you want to do all the fire hydrants and donkey kicks, you also have to get through a major core series, and it’s inspired me to work out a part of my body that I normally neglect. Doing pilates has made every other workout I do even more successful because I have better balance and stability.
There is one type of cardio I can get down with, and it’s anything that involves shakin’ my tail-feather to a beat. I always loved going dancing on the weekend with friends, and Óbe’s Dance Cardio classes are basically the same thing. They pick such fun music for the live classes, and I always leave feeling accomplished and tired at the same time.
Don’t forget: use code TEG50 for 50 percent off your first month of Obé in addition to a seven-day free trial!
This post is sponsored by Obé Fitness, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.