The opportunities to do a set of push-ups, sprint up a steep hill, climb several flights of stairs rather than use the elevator, or bang out some dips or pull-ups at a park are all rewards, not punishments.
Maybe exercising still seems like a chore to you. I get it. I was once there.
But if that’s the case, it’s most likely because you’re used to being inactive or lazy. You can break that cycle. I did. I was fat, overweight, and out of shape. There was a time in college when I practically never left my apartment for days at a time, and the only movement I did while inside was from the bed to the couch.
At first, moving around regularly won’t come easy. Depending on where you are, you may not go ‘from zero to sixty’, meaning, from couch potato to decathlete overnight. That’s totally fine.
But the more you move around, the more you work your body back into the shape it was meant to be in, the more you’ll eventually want to keep getting stronger, faster, more flexible and mobile.
And you will see that exercise works, and eventually, you’ll come to see it differently … as a reward, which is what it actually is. It’s not the other way around; if you’re avoiding it now, then you are punishing yourself.