How to Exercise When You Hate Running

Updated: Aug 17, 2020

When you want to build your overall fitness, most people will recommend running. Running is really good for your body - it has evolved to run, after all - but running is also boring, sweaty and solitary. Why would you run if you don’t have to?

The good news is that running isn’t the only form of exercise that’s good for you. As long as you are active and what you are doing is building your stamina, flexibility and strength, your exercise regime is worthwhile. So, if you want to be a healthier you this year but don’t want to run, what sort of exercise might you try?

Martial Arts

There are a few different martial arts that you might like to try from the calming movements of tai chi to kung fu such as Shaolin training. All martial arts are designed to help you increase your strength and flexibility with precise movements. They are also concerned with the connection between mind and body so focused thought and paying attention to your breathing also factor in.

The sociability of martial arts is another reason that so many people go for it. Learning the movements and developing your skills as a group is really satisfying, as is challenging each other to a match. Plus, since martial arts are designed for healthy people of all ages, you aren’t going to grow out of it any time soon.


Whether you like to exercise or not, everyone loves dancing. You don’t have to be a superstar to wiggle your hips and bop along to your favorite tracks but the benefits of dancing are fantastic. Not only does dancing raise your heart rate so that you accidentally start doing a cardio workout, it also boosts your mood, improves your balance and works with your natural movements making it a relatively gentle workout.

Going on a night out with friends is one of the more fun ways of dancing and, if you avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water instead, you could definitely argue for the health benefits of clubbing! In fact, some clubs even open up early in the morning to cater for people looking for a fun pre-work workout.


Okay, so you don’t like running but most people enjoy a walk in the sunshine. The health benefits of walking are actually just as promising as running in many aspects. While the exercise is more gentle, walking can strengthen your muscles, build your stamina and increase your flexibility. It can also help you to improve your posture and help you keep the weight off.

Walking is easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of a lift, try parking a little further away from your destination and walking further and take a walk around the block at lunchtime to get some fresh air. The more you look for ways to walk more, the easier you will find it to include in your routine.

Running is a start for some but it isn’t everything. Find a way to get moving and enjoy yourself. Exercise should be fun so find the activity you love!

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it. If you want to find more articles like this, follow along with the Emma Dawn Blog by subscribing to my email newsletter. If you are looking for Business Consulting services check out the consulting page above.

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