I one hundred percent felt that way when I had a gym membership and obsessive body image issues. Bonus points for the undereating and overtraining that went along with my boring, uncomfortable workouts. Exercise wasn't fun but I was obligated, even if it hurt, even if it sucked. I remember telling a friend that I hated exercise, that if I had the option to never workout again but could still be healthy and maintain my weight, I would never exercise again as long as I live.
I do not feel that way anymore! I have so much fun and reap so many benefits from my daily playtime that I would keep doing it even if it were fattening or bad for my health. I love walking the dog. I love standing on my head. I love fitting little bursts of movement into my day. I do not love 3 sets of 10 anything, supersets, fasted HIIT, barbell squats, hill sprints, cardio machines. When I finally completely burned out I needed like a year off of any kind of workout program. I went walking. I did some yoga and Pilates. That was about it. I needed to avoid traditional workouts until I started missing them, and then only put back the elements I really missed. Hour-long workouts and Stairmasters have never come back.
I suspect getting my food issues sorted out and prioritizing sleep helped quite a bit with enthusiasm too. Exercise is never fun when you're tired and hungry, and it was really miserable when it was linked to my weight and self-worth.
I have a new respect for people like my naturally thin husband who has never had a gym membership or followed a workout program and never had weight or health issues. He moves around a lot. He eats when he gets hungry. I feel like I should have been paying more attention to what he was doing all these years versus what professional athletes, celebrity trainers, and fitness models were doing. I made it so much more difficult than it had to be.
I don’t follow plans or programs anymore, so I’m not up on what to recommend. I strength train several times a week doing whatever sounds fun that day. I also practice skills that are important to me so that I don’t lose them. Occasionally, I’ll follow along with somebody on YouTube, but mostly I have no patience for that. My advice is to find something you find fun and convenient. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate 30-minute plan. If getting out of a chair is important, practice getting out of a chair and sitting back down. If carrying something heavy is important, practice carrying something heavy. You can do a few moves for a few minutes every day and reap the benefits even if you haven’t found a class or trainer yet. Hopefully, you find something you really like. I used to do small-group personal training. It was so much more fun when there were a few of us training together, cheaper too.
I agree it's really important to do something to maintain strength and mobility as we age. The Iyengar Yoga sounds like a great option. I have weights at home but resist doing them by myself or just following a written or recorded program. I am much more apt to do strength training in a class setting. It's just more fun to me. Before the pandemic I took a strength class once or twice a week at a gym. One was focused on deadlifts. My friend who is a running coach and also taught a strength training for runners class at that same gym switched to zoom classes during the pandemic. I have the option to do them live or can do them recorded. Even though I'm by myself in my living room and on mute most of the time, I enjoy the "live" classes much more than the recorded versions. Where I live we have an indoor mask requirement so I'm not planning on going back to a gym until that's lifted. I learned how to swing kettlebells at a kettlebell specific gym. Those classes were probably the most fun, but also the most difficult. I think kettlebells are probably the best overall exercise, but if you haven't used them I'd recommend learning in person from an expert. It's really easy to go wrong (get injured and/or not get the most benefit out of them) with kettlebells if you aren't using them correctly.
Aside from the classes, I also decided last year that I needed a minimum baseline that I did every day. I decided on pushups, planks and swings. I take days off here and there but for going on a year now I do these three exercises everyday. Just 3 sets of 10 each for the pushups and swings and 1 minute each of full plank, side plank each side and elbow plank. Sometimes I do a different core exercise to mix it up.
I am just reading this now, Jan 2022. I'm now 75 and play double tennis 3-6 times a week; I'm not that good, so I don't run all that much, but I'm still active. I also play advanced beginner pickleball twice a week. I walk but not enough. I no longer do any Zumba, after 8 years I found that it was the cause of my hip and thigh aches... BUT I am stiff and at 75 I feel that i am doing nothing to support my body in its love of tennis. I think I have to start both yoga and also some weight training because I'm having trouble standing up from a seat without momentum. Especially my lower body feels weak, stiff, achy. (But not on the tennis court somehow lol)... I went to my old computer files of Bill Phillips "Body for Life"... I've probably 5 times looked at Zuka Light, that i think Renee does, but she is so young and fit that she just intimidates me to begin. I went to my community's gym and there are all treadmills and bikes for boring indoor cardio, but only one universal machine from probably 1975, with only 2 lower body stations. Then I read Renee say "I do not love 3 sets of 10 anything," ME TOO. But remember they say that we lose bone density and muscle when we age? Well I've arrived at that point of weakness and I have to do something.
I did look at the free Move with Nicole and thought that might be okay, but I don't remember loving pilates, and she looks so young and I think the poses will be too challenging.
I DID sign up for a month of Iyengar Yoga which I will start tomorrow in Studio nearby, and look forward to that. But I feel that weightlifting is like taking medicine: i don't wanna. But I think I need to, in some moderation, add it to my week, to help my legs and to be able to get up with my muscles from a chair... My goal is still mobility at 95.
I'm looking for something 3 days a week, 30 min each time. Especially for my lower legs. Maybe kettlebell, maybe bodyweight, maybe dumbbells. Definitely no HIIT. Do you think I should hire someone to guide me, perhaps meet with them once a month? I've never been too attracted to physical trainers, their young arrogance disinterest in me... But it seems I never really can self-design a program for myself, and find myself once again floundering.
Thanks for a any feedback, suggestions, programs, Etana now happily retired in Delray Beach, Florida.