14 Amazing Ways To Make Exercise Easier

A woman in work out clothes is exercising in her living room. Doing lunges on a yoga mat.

Exercise didn’t seem to feel difficult for me until I was an adult. When I was a child or even a teenager, I feel like school and extracurricular activities did a great job of ensuring we all got enough physical activity and that we understood how important exercise was.

However, I personally don’t think that adult lives in North America are really set up to keep us in peak physical shape.

Many of our jobs have us sitting all day, or can be so mentally and emotionally exhausting that they leave us with very little physical energy at the end of the day.

Pair that with long commute times, and a long average work week, and it can feel like we have next to no time left for exercise.

Hustle culture and inflation have also made it more difficult to find the time. Many of us are working several jobs at once.

Trying to balance our physical self-care with all of our other obligations can make it feel next to impossible.

Not to mention if you don’t stay on top of it, it can feel intimidating to try to get back into physical shape if you have “let yourself go”.

Luckily there are several tips to make exercising easier for us.

But before I begin I just want you to understand that these tips aren’t coming from a personal trainer or some expert bodybuilder. They are coming from a stepmom with three rescue dogs who, was at one time, over one hundred pounds overweight and burned out.

I am someone who used these exact tips to make exercise easier on myself.

So in this post, I’m going to review the reasons why exercise can feel hard and the excuses we tell ourselves, plus 14 tips to make exercising easier.

Reasons why exercise can feel hard

1) Lack of time to exercise

Is it just me or does it feel like our lives just continue to get increasingly busier over the years?

From our jobs piling more responsibilities on us, to becoming busier with our families, and other commitments, it can feel sometimes like we barely have time to breathe, let alone have time to exercise.

2) Sedentary jobs

For years I worked a full-time job that had me sitting for most of the day. While my husband worked a physically demanding job and got the majority of his exercise on the job, I felt like I was falling behind because I had to basically start from zero when work was finally over for the day.

3) Lack of energy for exercise

Not getting any exercise throughout our week can actually be counterintuitive. Physical activity actually helps to decrease fatigue and increases our energy levels which over time helps us to feel more refreshed and energetic.

4) We hate working out

Exercise doesn’t have to be torture or something miserable that we don’t like and just endure because we know it is good for us.

Self-care is supposed to leave us feeling better and happier in the long run, not miserable. And this includes physical self-care. The key is to choose the right routine and type of exercise for us.

5) We are out of shape

I think many of us can get this idea in our heads that we need to already be in great shape to enjoy exercising. It can be intimidating to go to the gym and be around lots of other people that look their best when we are feeling self-conscious about ourselves and our fitness level.

14 tips to make exercise easier

1) Listen to fun music or a podcast

When one of the biggest things preventing me from getting regular exercise is my time management, I find that stacking self-care activities can be helpful.

Listening to music or a podcast while I’m working out not only saves me time, and also takes care of another type of self-care like intellectual self-care or emotional self-care.

2) Get enough sleep

If we aren’t getting the correct amount of sleep at night, we are already setting ourselves up for failure. Lack of sleep negatively affects our whole day, including our workout plans.

Ensuring that we get quality sleep will ensure that we have enough energy to work out.

3) Drink enough water

Just like sleep, making sure we drink enough water throughout the day will prevent us from getting dehydrated. Not only will this help us feel better throughout our workout, but it will help our recovery as well.

4) Get some extra energy, from caffeine or pre-workout

When you work out first thing in the morning, it can be challenging to find the energy if you aren’t a morning person. Trying something like drinking your coffee first, or trying a pre-workout supplement can give you the extra boost of energy that you need to make the most out of your workout.

5) Have a snack or small meal first

Another good idea to help boost our energy before a strenuous workout can be to have a snack, like an energy bar, or a small meal so that we have enough nutrients to sustain a workout.

6) Work out with someone else

Having a personal trainer can be great, but for some of us that just isn’t our thing, or we can’t afford it. But having someone else, like a friend, or a partner, join us on our workouts can help to keep us accountable and motivate us on the days we don’t particularly feel like exercising.

7) Switch up your exercises

Doing the same old exercises or exercise routine can be boring after a while. Switching up your exercise routine, or even the type of exercise helps to keep things fun and exciting and makes physical activity more sustainable in the long run.

8) Switch up your environment

Just like changing our exercises can keep things exciting, changing the environment we do those exercises in can have the same effect.

Working out at a gym, if you usually work out at home, or vice versa can give you that extra push to keep things from getting boring.

Also if you do something like running or walking outside, you could change the path, or neighborhood you usually take.

9) Include exercising in your routine

I found that once I started scheduling my workout into my daily planner, it made sure that by blocking off that time out of my day it was more difficult to make excuses as to why I couldn’t accomplish it.

10) Try shorter workouts

Sometimes we can become overwhelmed at the thought of a huge workout during our day.

By breaking up our workout routines into smaller chunks, we get the same amount of time spent exercising, but without making it seem like such an enormous task.

11) Work on your mindset

When we have positive thoughts, it gives us more energy and motivation to reach our goals and endure something hard, like a particularly challenging workout.

Studies show that positive self-talk actually increases athletic endurance.

12) Be kind to yourself

This is one thing I think we could all continue to work on, exercise or no exercise. But self-compassion increases our chance of success.

It isn’t useful to beat ourselves up over our fitness level, what our body looks like, or our past choices.

Instead, it is more helpful to look at those things as a chance to improve and grow.

13) Start small

We can’t go from nothing to everything all at once. Signing yourself up for a marathon when you haven’t run in years is only going to leave you throwing up on the sidelines while everyone runs past you.

But by starting small and increasing our goals as we go, we set ourselves up for success.

14) Check your expectations at the door

We didn’t get out of shape in one night, so our bodies aren’t going to be miraculously different after one day.

When our expectations are unreasonable, it only leads to disappointment and frustration. It can be useful to focus on being consistent, instead of focusing on results.

Exercise is one of the most important parts of our physical self-care. It doesn’t have to be this big complicated thing that we make it out to be.

Hopefully, these ideas help!

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