How to make your weekly dose of exercise fun

I hate exercising. I am naturally thin – thanks mom and dad – and can shamelessly say that I take full advantage of my small waist and super fast metabolism by stuffing my face with chocolate every night and not doing as much exercise as I should – sorry body.

It’s safe to say that I treat my body nothing like a temple but, in my defence, I am 150x better than I was a year ago. I know, shocking. At (almost) 28, I should be treating my body much better in order to stay in shape and keep my overall health in check, but it’s kak hard guys. 

But honestly, I’ve done it all and hated every moment of it. I’ve been obsessed with going to the gym every single day. I’ve been obsessed with running every single day. And I’ve been obsessed with numerous other things, too, and all they ended up doing was making me was tired, miserable and even thinner than I already was.


However, due to my gorgeous wife’s epilepsy diagnosis, and a few other things (feeling like shit), Jean and I have forced ourselves to be better, live a healthier life, and treat our bodies with a little more respect.

You’re welcome, body. 

No, that doesn’t mean I gave up chocolate, it just means we are eating more veggies than I have ever eaten (in my friggin’ life) and we have cut down on carbs (hectically) – cos’ they’re bad for the brain (if you didn’t already know).

Also, it means that both Jean and I have been exercising more. Jean has her horse riding, and I have roller derby AND a brand new hobby – BURLESQUE!

Yes, you read that correctly. 

As you can see, Jean and I have completely veered away from ‘normal exercise classes’, meaning:

  1. They are the furthest thing from boring,
  2. they do not include wanting to kill yourself 30 mins in, and
  3. they have fuck all to do with the gym.

Can I get a hell yeah? 

Okay so here’s the lowdown on how I get my weekly dose of exercise:

Roller Derby

I have spoken about roller derby a lot on The Boldest Type already, but it plays a huge role in my weekly dose of exercise, so I like to get the word out there that Cape Town has their own league.

Usually, I would attend two classes, one on a Tuesday and one od a Wednesday. Each class is two hours long and includes a number of drills and skills – all of which require a hectic amount of energy, strength and stamina.

As a rookie, I am learning a lot of drills that include contact, meaning I am not only using my legs but my whole body, too.

I have come home, showered, gone to bed and woken up the next day so sore I have had to work from home. Honestly, it’s a work out and a half!


I get my second dose of exercise from a burlesque class I take once a week (on a Wednesday, which is why I now only attend roller derby once a week). Sometimes taking up a new hobby can be all consuming, and I have not regretted my decision to take a step back from derby (it can be really full on) to focus on something new and completely different.

It’s been an amazing opportunity for me to not only work new muscles and build strength in other areas of my body, but build a different kind of confidence I don’t have very much of: that sexy, self-loving confidence.

Unlike derby, burlesque is less about exerting what physical strength I have and blowing off steam, and more about getting in touch with my more feminine side – which I didn’t think I had.

It’s all about soft hands, swinging your hips and, sometimes, dropping it down low – making me use muscles I didn’t know I had and, so far, it’s been a fun and exciting experience.

What really helps is the fact that Emma, our teacher, is all about woman empowerment and – no matter who you are and how you feel about yourself – she will make you feel nothing but beautiful, powerful and confident. Which is what we all need more of!


Unfortunately, due to work and other commitments, I cannot do yoga at a studio, but every now and again I get out my yoga mat and practice some poses in my lounge.

However, it’s another form of exercise I love dearly and, when I do have the opportunity to fit a class in here and there, my body is ever-so-grateful. One studio I love for their classes and their super healthy café, is Utopia.

I am not sure that many people would agree with my opinion of yoga being ‘fun’, but considering how many people can’t stand going to the gym, yoga is 100x more fun and works your body and your muscles in ways you never thought were possible!

Take up a class!

If you’re really getting gatvol of going to the gym and want to spice up your exercise life, I really suggest you check out what classes are at your gym or in your area.

Most classes are way more affordable than you think they are, plus you get to socialise and meet people, and your body gets the dose of exercise it needs.

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  • Reply Odette

    Burlesque and roller derby sounds like so much fun. I wish I could find places in PE that offers it.

    June 24, 2018 at 8:48 am
  • Reply Melissa Javan

    You’re funny; I laughed at the “eating a lot more veggies than I did in my life”. Well done on trying all of these things. Keep swimming, as they say in Finding Nemo.

    June 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm
    • Reply Claire Henderson

      Thank you! Eating those veggies, for me, is really hard. Thank you so much 😉

      June 19, 2018 at 8:24 am
  • Reply Tammi

    YES! I too hate exercising lol. I too was blessed with being super thin until I got engaged, stopped using my legs as my everyday mode of transport and started my love affair with pizza (working in a pizzeria). I get bored so fast so I mix it up but so far I’ve done – pole dancing! Zumba; fun runs (you exercise and then they give you goodies!) and am in love with yoga.

    June 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm
    • Reply Claire Henderson

      It’s hard to be motivated, even when it comes to your health! Wow, that’s incredible. I have yet to try a few of those things, but I am always open to try something new. Well done, you!

      June 19, 2018 at 8:26 am

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