'The secret to how I've exercised every day for 20 years.'

I’m one of those annoying people who exercise regularly. Every day, in fact. And I’ve done this for more than 20 years. When I’m asked what my secret is and how I’m able to be so consistent, I have a very simple answer: I make it as easy as possible for myself.

Did you ever do aerobics in the '90s? Step classes? How about Zumba? Yoga? Pilates? Boot camp? I tried all those things except for bootcamp which sounds horrific. I did try boxing though, for a few weeks. I didn’t hate it but I couldn’t keep it up. It wasn’t the types of exercise themselves but anything involving being at a certain place at a certain time was just too hard. 

Watch: Introducing MOVE By Mamamia. Post continues below.

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I had to find a class or join a gym, then carve out the time in my day to get there after finding something appropriate to wear, park, swipe my membership thingy or pay money, do the actual exercise and then repeat the whole process in reverse.

The exercise itself was only about 40 per cent of the time and mental load required to complete it. And so I could never be consistent.


I always dreaded it. I wasted money on lessons I had to cancel or memberships that seemed sensible on paper but didn’t pass the stress test of my regular life.

And then, when I had my first baby at 25, I could no longer go anywhere because I had a newborn and then a baby and then a toddler. I mean, I could have gone somewhere but that would have required even more organisation and all the hours in my day seemed to belong to him and my job. My time was more precious because I had so much less of it.

The exercise math just didn’t work, and neither did the money or the mental load of it.

So I bought a cheap treadmill and put it in the baby’s room. It wasn’t a vibe visually but practically it was awesome. I had total flexibility to exercise whenever it was convenient. I didn’t have to leave the house and I could start (and stop) at any time no matter whether it was hot, freezing, raining or dark.

And even though the Internet had barely been invented back then, a tiny seed was planted in my head: the most effective type of exercise is the one you’ll do. It’s that simple.

The secret to doing regular exercise with minimal angst is to make it as frictionless as possible.

It needs to fit into your life, no matter how fit you are, how much money or time you have. 

When covid came along, my treadmill unhelpfully decided to break and so I began doing online workouts.


Oh my lord.

I tried various apps and programs and almost, without exception, I felt pretty terrible about myself after each workout. 

The instructors and the imagery on all the apps I tried were impossible to relate to. They were impossibly young or totally ripped or incredibly thin. The language was all about ‘burning fat’ and ‘blasting kilojoules’ and ‘getting a summer body’ and it all made me feel insecure and demoralised.

For me, it was the opposite of motivating.

Exercise was always something I did to support my physical and mental health and to feel good. Insidiously, while using those apps, I noticed myself becoming more critical of my body and feeling like I wasn’t good enough. Not fit enough. Not young enough. Not ripped enough. Not skinny enough. Not… enough.

Where were the women who looked like me? Where was the inclusivity? Where was the fun and support instead of subtle shaming and exclusion?

A lot of those apps are very successful so they clearly cater to a particular market of women who feel motivated by all that. But why isn’t there an alterative?

The thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I am a basic bitch. I’m common. If I have a particular reaction, I know a lot of other women feel the same way and that’s when I realised Mamamia could be part of the solution.


Women want to exercise. We do. For all sorts of reasons.

Helping women to do that is why we began working on our own exercise app and finally, after years of planning and researching and shooting and editing… we’re ready to launch MOVE.

MOVE is the fitness app that meets you where you are wherever that is. You get to choose the type of exercise you do, the length of time you do it and you can filter all the workouts in the way you need, like 'pre-natal' and (my favourite) 'no jumping'.

It’s not just for beginners - we’ve populated it with apps for all levels because some days, you need to take it easy and other days, you have more petrol in the tank.

Most importantly, it’s frictionless. Which means you’re probably more likely to do a MOVE workout than almost any other form of exercise.

Unlimited access to MOVE is included with a Mamamia subscription, along with access to absolutely everything we make. If you just want to dip your toe in first, you can get a one week free trial right here.

Feature image: Supplied.

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