Going to the gym is like visiting the dentist

Exercise combined with routine is on par with the dentist for me. The idea of sweating and straining in a gym 3 times a week doesn’t hold any joy. Although walking is accessible and cost effective, I don’t find it interesting as a routine activity.

Finding my “why”

Consistent exercise supports me physically, mentally and socially to move through life being happy, healthy and positively impactful.

I love the benefits from regular exercise – improved mood, more energy, less stress, better sleep, liking what I see in the mirror, and longevity.

My challenges

  • My personality strengths and weaknesses

  • Specific physical limitations

  • Varying work schedules

  • Limited time and funds available for equipment, membership, services, or travel.

My creative solutions

  • Reframe exercise to focus on healthy holistic movement for living well.

  • Multiple short 10–15-minute routines dovetail with my varying schedule.

Finding inspiration

I found great inspiration reflecting on my childhood and the things I loved playing: sliding on the carpet, handball, climbing trees, tennis, horse riding, frisbee fetch with my dog, bike trail riding, swimming, walking, trampolining, bush photography.

I Google searched for local community activities, from tai chi and indoor rock-climbing to dancing and frisbee golf.

I asked friends and family what they do for exercise, to see if we could do a shared activity.

I considered leading my own local mindful-gratitude walk.

My personal fitness routine

My own personal fitness routine is emerging out of learning-by-doing, as I find out what works for me.


  • Earthing: mindfully walk or sit with bare feet on the earth/grass for 20 minutes in the morning and at the end of my workday, to relieve aches, energise my body, clear my mind, and lift my mood.

  • Humming: 5 minutes for muscle relaxation, 5 minutes for feeling body awareness, and 5 minutes for healing.

  • 3 Primal Moves routine.

  • The WOOP Exercise


Stress reduction

When I notice rising stress levels, or am trauma triggered, I use:

  • Heartmath using a mobile phone app and sensor to activate the parasympathetic system for rest-and-digest and recovery.

  • Humming for 5 minutes for muscle relaxation or to cope with mental monkey mind.

  • Earthing/grounding when my body is in physical pain.

  • Wim Hof Breathing Exercise when my mood is low.

  • Gabrille Roth’s 5Rhythms when stuck or emotionally down.

  • I use a Whoop to monitor my heart rate during exercise, and monitor my sleep to assess recovery.

  • Noting that sleep is when muscles are built and learning integrated, I use the mobile phone app Relax Melody to enhance sleep.

  • Hand drumming.

  • Zen Tangling drawing meditation.


  • Go on an adventure.

  • Try something new, especially with other people.

Future proofing

I have an EXERCISE EXPLORING master list, where I keep adding activities that I would like to explore or know whether they improve my energy level and body-mind coherence. I am also exploring hydration and nutrition to support the benefits of exercise.

My motto: love learning to tap into and improve your movement potential to enjoy a full life.

This Blog is a part of the Broken to Brilliant Blogging GEMS program, read other blogs from survivors about Exercise:

Dare to find your fit

The challenge

My love-hate relationship with exercise

The task

How exercise heals

I'm movin - I'm goov'n

Exercise for selfcare on the healing journey after abuse

Read more about the Blogging GEMS Program