Southland Fitness Guru Russell Jack Discusses Exercising for People Who Hate Exercise

If you're not really athletic and don't have a lot of motivation, exercise can seem like far too much of a chore. Maybe you hate any form of effort, or perhaps just hate the exercises themselves and find them too dull and repetitive. Whatever the reason, you never end up exercising, and if you let that become a habit, it could cause some severe health problems for you. Here, Southland-based yoga and fitness guru Russell Jack, reveals how you can still get in shape even if you hate exercising. 


If you like the idea of being in shape but hate the idea of getting in shape, the key is to find some fun and easy things you can do that are not what most people mean by "exercise." If you rethink what exercise is, you might find that it's a lot easier to actually do it.


Play Games


Remember those games you used to play as a kid? Well, they're not only still fun, but they're also a great way to get and stay in shape. Get together some friends, family, or coworkers to play tag, or capture the flag or some other high energy kid's game. You'll get a great aerobic workout, and, with all that running around, dodging, and twisting, you'll be getting a full-body workout, too. If kids' games are not your thing, then play basketball or some similar sport. The point is to get lost in having fun with what you're doing, which will make you want to do it more, a thing you do not get so much from the structured exercise.




Swimming can be a lot of fun. It's also a straightforward exercise that doesn't strain your muscles or joints too much. However, despite being low impact, it does something for nearly every muscle you have. It can even be a great aerobic workout if you swim a little quickly.


Tai Chi


Tai Chi is a slow and gentle yet effective workout. It will give your body a good stretch and help you relax while you get your exercise. It involves precise, slow-motion movements that are a lot like yoga and blends focus, meditation, and balance. While it might not seem like you are doing much in the way of an exercise, you will soon notice the results.


Bar Runs


Another great way to get in shape is to make exercise a part of a social event, and if that social event can involve rewarding yourself for all your hard work, so much the better. Get together with your friends and run… to your favorite bar. Now, keep in mind that the point of this event is not to drink so much that you undo all the good of the run; the point is to have a fun drink or two with your friends after earning it. It's a matter of changing the focus of the run from exercise to reward, making it all feel more like fun and less like a chore. Ensure you are safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.




Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt that involves using GPS coordinates to find something that a geocacher has hidden. Geocaching consists of going out on long walks in nature, so you get all the benefits of walking while enjoying the natural world and having a fun treasure hunt.




If you enjoy puttering around outside, then consider starting a garden. When you garden, you are constantly walking around, standing up and crouching down, bending over, and more. Not only are you having fun growing things and enjoying your yard, but you are also getting in decent exercise.


Exercise isn't just for athletes and other highly motivated people. Even if you don't like working out, you can still get in shape by changing the way you think about exercising. When it's fun, it doesn’t feel like work.


About Russell Jack 


Russell Jack is a yoga and mindfulness teacher from Southland, New Zealand. He specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations, helping clients achieve harmony of body, mind, and soul. Russell is passionate about animal rights protection, regularly volunteering with the World Animal Protection Organization and donating to protect endangered species in New Zealand.