The E word, the F word and the G word. Exercise, Fitness and Gym. Ugh, ew and no thanks. This will not be some overly enthusiastic post about the “fun” of exercise, because I’m a realistic person. Sometimes it feels like you have to either be super into going to the gym and be obsessed about going every day or absolutely hopeless and do pretty much nothing, you can’t just be somewhere in the middle.
The picture below is what I look like on Monday-Friday mornings, but to be honest, my active wear collection was once non-existent. I definitely stopped doing high intensity exercise after high school and had a few years of literally doing nothing, just everyday activities and playing netball once a week. To me that was fine, I was so busy with university, friends/family and some guy I was dating. I wanted to focus on those things, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I wanted to write this post because stopping exercise at this stage of life is so common amongst females. It’s so common that there is an entire program dedicated to trying to get females motivated and involved in sport/exercise. It’s called Girls, Make Your Move, and you’ve probably seen it on YouTube, at Fashion Week or at the movies, if not, then follow the link. I really support this movement because 3 years ago I wasn’t moving at all so, I would have been their target audience and I know so many people from high school who were exactly like me.
I tried going to a gym, but I sucked at it and hated pretty much every minute. I had zero clue what I was doing, people looked at me weird and it was expensive. Then came the dreaded questions of “how’s the gym going? We should go together one time!”, such a cringe worthy question but of course, I had to provide an enthusiastic response to stop the constant questioning. In my own personal life, I avoid using the words exercise, fitness and gym, instead I just promise myself that I’ll choose to move for 30mins per weekday, however normal daily activities do not count towards my 30mins. I don’t care if I jog to the oval and back, if I do jump rope/skipping, if I hit the tennis ball against the wall to myself or if I go for a swim. It doesn’t matter, as long as I move, get my heart rate up and am not sitting on my ass. Anything is better than sitting on your ass. It’s taken about 3 years of ups, downs, injuries and tantrums for me to get moving every weekday and playing in 3 different team sports. I will never ever be someone who goes to the gym every single day, so I stopped aiming for that because it was doing more harm than good. It is 100% ok to not want to go to the gym. I wish someone said that to me 3 years ago.
I am not trying to convince of anything. These are just simple steps I used to encourage myself to move, without any crazy expectations. If you feel like you are where I was 3 years ago then they might help, if not, then just be nice, keep reading, add a comment and subscribe to my blog because I finally figured out how to add a subscribe button!
Tips that helped me move more
1. Stop using the words exercise, gym and fitness.
For me, they made me cringe every time I heard them. They made me feel like I was failing at something I know I should be doing. Then I would just feel shit about myself and eat instead. I just had so many negative experiences and thoughts towards these words so I associated positive thoughts and memories with the word “move”.
2. Something is better than nothing
Yes, you can focus on strength training or cardiovascular fitness etc. but who cares what you’re doing, just do something.
3. Figure out why you don’t do exercise.
For me, it was people, travelling and anxiety. I look like shit when I exercise, there is nothing pretty about it so I was self conscious about people judging me. I exercise in the morning and if I have to get up earlier to drive to a gym, I just won’t do it. I have a negative association with the gym, I’m not sure why. I am getting a bit better and maybe I’ll go to a class one time this month, just to see if I can control my anxiety in a gym setting. I think anxiety is really common the first time you go to the gym, maybe I should write a post about that... haha. I completely understand the purpose of a gym and it’s amazing, such a great idea, but the gym is not suited to everybody.
4. Think about things in the long term
I always used to use the excuse that I looked skinny therefore, I didn’t need to go to the gym. Skinny does not mean fit and healthy. Being skinny, unhealthy and unfit is really dangerous, so instead of focusing on short term benefits think long term.
5. It could take time to find something that you actually like doing
You could try running one day and absolutely hate it, you could try boxing and absolutely love it, but it might take you 3 months to try boxing. Basically, you might not love the first thing you try, so be patient and persistent.
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