Cue Card 276 - Exercise you used to do but no longer do now

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a form of exercise you used to do but no longer do now.

You should say:

  • what sort of exercise it was
  • how long you did it
  • why you stopped doing it

and say if you would like to do it again or not.


Model Answer 1:

Ooh, it’s really fun to think about what to talk about this topic!  I can think of a great form of exercise I used to do but don’t anymore. I’m going to tell you all about what sort of activity it was, how long I did it for and why I stopped. As to whether I’d like to do it again in the future, you’ll find out later.

The exercise I did was called Body Combat, and I loved it at the time. It was a period of my life when I was working part-time and studying for a post-graduate qualification simultaneously so I was pretty busy. To help me stay fit and healthy I joined a local gym. Knowing I find it hard to motivate myself I signed up for some classes where there would be an instructor to motivate me, and it was really by chance I ended up picking this activity.  It just happened to be scheduled for days and times that fitted with my work and study timetable.

The classes were hilarious. They were hard work because they were extremely energetic, we worked through a number of routines to very loud music. The exercises were apparently inspired by the number of different disciplines and martial arts such as karate, taekwondo, tai chi and boxing.  It was a great way to get fit and lose weight too - calorie burning is easy as you kick and punch through the workout. Although our instructor took it all very seriously, yelling at the class and ferociously demonstrating moves with high kicks and punching, those of us who attended treated it all a bit more light-heartedly.  I think you need a sense of humour if you are as uncoordinated as me and trying to do a sequence of back high kicks and under-cut punches. I’m not even sure if I’m naming the moves correctly. The rest of the group felt the same as me, we often fell about with laughter as we tried to keep up with the routines, much to the annoyance and frustration of our fitness coach. I went three times a week for about a year, and it was the fittest I’ve ever been to.

I was really sorry to give it up, but eventually, I finished my masters (the postgraduate course) and had to get a full-time job, then there just was no opportunity to get to the classes anymore. I did try one with a different instructor, but that wasn’t nearly so much fun, the new teacher was a bit too polite and it didn’t work as well. Then I ended up relocating to a different area and Body Combat classes don’t seem to happen where I now live, it is such a shame.

I would love to do Body Combat again, though I’m older and stiffer now, I don’t know if I’d be able to keep up.  The problem is I think it has rather gone out of fashion as an exercise format. Funnily enough, I was looking on the internet only last week to try and find a class that ran locally to me, but there was nothing.  I think Zumba – a workout to dance music -is the new craze, but I miss my entertaining combat classes and fellow classmates, those were the days!

[ Written by - Lucy Marris |  Careers Adviser (UK), TEFL teacher (Vietnam) ]


Model Answer 2:

I have had my fair share of juggling with different kinds of exercises as a grown-up man, but none of them really appealed me that much for some obvious reasons. However, there was one particular exercise which I really liked to do and even continued for a long time, unlike the other forms of exercises, but eventually lost my touch with it. I will tell you here what happened.

The particular form of exercise, I used to do before and don’t do it any longer, is cycling. Now, I am not sure about others, but I really enjoyed cycling. In fact, I think that there are hardly any other exercises, except for probably swimming, in which, each and every muscle of a person is used in such a balanced manner. Besides, the fact that more than 70 per cent of our body weight is held by the saddle of the cycle, the pressure on our joints are very, very low, which makes a rather safe exercise. On top of that, the opportunity to learn more about the city and its streets, enjoying the gentle breeze under some old trees, and sweating under the heat when you feel that extra energy in you are something you don’t get to do in other forms of exercises.

Anyway, I continued doing this exercise for about a couple of years, but don’t do any more for some practical reasons. The first reason is, the streets and roads, I used to ride my bicycle on, don’t have any separate lane on them anymore as the city decided to get rid of in order to accommodate the movement of extra traffics. Besides, I have become busier with my profession which makes it rather difficult to squeeze some times to do cycling.

Well, I am a little sad that I can’t do cycling anymore, but if I get an opportunity or extra time to do this exercise again, I will certainly go ahead and do that. After all, I do miss that unadulterated connection with mother nature, which I got to enjoy when I was doing that exercise with my little bicycle.


Sample Answer 3:
I used to ride a bicycle almost 2 hours per day in the evening when I was in my college but for a long, I have not done it. I had a racing cycle that I got from my elder brother as a birthday gift and after that, I decided to do cycling as part of my exercise. It was 2012 and after 2013, I got busy with my study/ work and could not continue this form of exercise.

I can’t recall what was the exact reason I stopped riding the bicycle but as I remember I stop doing it either I was sick for a few days or because I had final exams. Either way, after I stopped it, I had not been able to restart this exercise. Definitely, I would like to start this exercise as this is a very effective exercise that keeps someone fit as well as refresh mentally. I am planning to start this in a few months and this time I would be in better hold not to quit.

As I recall I had been in better health when I used to do this exercise. I used to take my cycle and with friends used to ride the free roads beside the hills and tea gardens. That was a great opportunity to spend time with friends, roaming around the city and being close to nature. In my opinion, that was a great outdoor activity that kept both my body and mind fresh. I would certainly start this again in the near future.


Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card would enable you to talk about the following Cue Cards as well:

  1. Describe an outdoor activity you have.
  2. Describe what you often do in the evening.
  3. Describe a form of physical exercise you often do.
  4. Describe your favourite past time.
  5. Describe an activity you would like to start in the future.
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