Contrary to popular belief, exercise is not punishment. Exercise is not something that you endure to earn or deserve food. Exercise is not something you do to punish your body for its appearance. Exercise is something you do to keep your heart healthy and your mind happy. Exercise provides so many health benefits for your body, your mind, and your overall wellness.
Did you know that chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, affect over 70% of the US population? An astonishing 80% of these diagnoses could have been prevented by living a healthy lifestyle. The recommended physical activity for adults is only 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week, yet 75% of the population does not meet this recommendation. This is absolutely mind-blowing to me. How can something that is a very large, uplifting part of my life be a strenuous inconvenience for others? My thoughts are that (1) people are just too lazy and (2) they’ve convinced themselves that they don’t like exercise.
Can you imagine working out, in whatever form it may be for you, being your favorite part of the day? A lot of people view exercise as a chore, especially those who are just beginning their fitness journey. When we do things strictly because we feel like we have to and not because we want to, we create unnecessary negative energy and limiting self-beliefs that don’t benefit us physically or mentally. It’s true that we aren’t going to be motivated 100% of the time, but that’s why finding ways to move our bodies that make us feel good is so important.
I wholeheartedly believe that each and every one of us is capable of finding a form of physical activity that lights a fire inside of us—something so uplifting and empowering that it completely changes our lives. You just have to find that thing you enjoy doing. Luckily, there are infinite forms of exercise; it doesn’t have to be something traditional like running. It doesn’t even need to involve stepping foot into a gym. Anything that gets your heart rate up for an extended period of time is considered exercise.
For me, it’s weight lifting and recently I’ve fallen in love with sprinting. For you, maybe it’s simply taking a walk around your neighborhood. If you haven’t yet found the thing that fuels your fire and still dread working out, don’t let it get you down! It’s never too late to get in shape. It’s never too late to provide your body with the physical activity it needs in order to function optimally and become a healthier you. Pushing yourself and, as a result, strengthening your body and mind, is the most empowering thing I’ve ever experienced and I hope that everyone can find their happiness in exercise.
This week I challenge you to switch up your routine (or begin a routine) and discover a new way to move your body!
Here are some of the infinite ways to get active:
Walking, Running, Sprinting (Treadmill/Outside)
Cycling (Indoor Classes/Outside)
Rowing (Indoor Machine/Outside)
Recreational Weight Lifting
Bodyweight Circuit Training
Sports: Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Gymnastics, Tennis, Football, Racquetball, Badminton, Baseball, Hockey, Figure Skating, Lacrosse
Group Classes: Many gyms offer a wide variety of classes that are worth checking out. Sometimes you just need to be surrounded by a supportive group of people who are all working hard together. Other than typical classes a gym may offer, there are places such as Orangetheory Fitness and Barre that specialize in group classes.
Purchase an at-home or in-gym workout guide from a trust fitness professional
At-home workout videos (Instagram and Youtube are good resources)