Never look at exercise or movement as a chore
August 15, 2020
Millie exercising on grass




Hands up…who finds it really tough some days to motivate yourself to fit in some exercise?

Well, I certainly do – and I’m no stranger to having to stay motivated!

I trained as a dancer, specifically in musical theatre, and the arts industry is tough enough at the best of times, going to audition after audition, getting lots of ‘nos’ before you get a ‘yes’!  And it’s especially worrying now, with so much uncertainty about when theatres, clubs and venues might be allowed to reopen.

But if I’ve learnt one thing in my training and career to date, it’s that you have to find the motivation and resilience to stick with it.

Like many performers, I work in between shows and dance jobs as a fitness coach/personal trainer, and this helps me so much with that motivation and resilience.

Whenever I feel slightly low or anxious or lacking energy, I always turn to exercise first…just 30 minutes doing something that I enjoy, a dance class, a run/walk, yoga or some exercises using just my own body weight and I always feel better afterwards for doing it.

The role that exercise plays in keeping our physical and mental health in check, should never be underestimated. Movement and mental health go hand-in-hand.

Now, it’s completely normal to be riding out the peaks and troughs during these unprecedented times.

But something that I apply, and I really believe can help ride out those difficult days or low moments, is flipping how you might be viewing exercise as a chore.

Instead, try to view it as an escape, a small chunk of time for yourself. Don’t do it to punish yourself for having some extra treats over the weekend, don’t see it purely as a weight loss or muscle gain goal.

View it as a privilege that your body can move, recognise how good it feels and just how amazing your body is, getting stronger and healthier by every workout, walk, cycle ride or swim.

I guarantee you that the moment you start to see exercise as a positive thing, rather than a chore, your motivation will soar!

At the moment, we most definitely need all the motivation we can get!

So next time you’re dreading lacing up those trainers, think about how brilliant your body is, and everything it’s been through to get you where you are today.

So keep moving, dig deep, cling onto that motivation and resilience will follow to help us get to where we need to be.


Millie Mayhew
Dancer, Personal Trainer and Keep Moving Suffolk Ambassador

Headshot of Millie

Headshot of Millie

Millie exercising on grass knee raise

Millie exercising during lockdown

Millie dressed as a monkey in Tarzan

Millie performing in Disney’s Tarzan The Musical

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