Should I work out? Let’s work it out!
Should I work out? Let’s work it out!
There are so many mixed emotions around the notion of exercise, people seem to fear the very thought of it. I must admit, as someone who has had issues with her own body image, that there have been times when exercise scared me too. We build up this fear to such an extent that we talk ourselves out of even trying and if we do try, when we don’t see an instant result we give up. Choosing to exercise can make a positive impact on our lives if we give it the chance. Exercise isn’t about losing weight, it’s about being healthy. It’s about being happy and healthy and I can assure you that being happy and healthy is a choice and not up to luck. Exercise is anything that gets your body moving and your heart beating faster. Anything from walking, to hitting the gym, joining a Yoga class or even having sex! It is a wonderful de-stresser, it can help you sleep better, combat anxiety and make you feel better both mentally and physically. Exercise encourages the release of endorphin’s, neurotransmitters, which generate feelings of pleasure.
Doesn’t sound half bad does it? Exercise can even increase the production of antibodies which boost your immune system and help to keep you from getting ill. Something that deters lots of people is that it is easy to get overwhelmed by the idea of exercising. It’s important to start small and build from there. Changes won’t occur overnight and you have to remember that that’s normal, no one walks out of a gym with a six pack on the first day. Exercising is a commitment to yourself, to your physical and mental well-being. Even if it just starts with walking instead of taking the bus. I find that the more you do, the more you feel like doing.
I’ve been committed to several forms of exercise for over a year nowand I feel the best I have, since I was a child. The harder I work, the farther I get, the better I feel. That isn’t to say that you should push yourself to extreme lengths, starting small is safer, healthier and more feasible. What I mean is that you should never stop challenging yourself to do better. For the first time last week I did a headstand in Yoga, completely on my own, without the aid of the teacher or the wall. It lasted approximately 30 seconds… I got so caught up in the thrill that I was actually doing it that I lost my focus. It was fantastic though, because I moved the bar again and that gives me something to work towards. It’s important to find the right type of exercise for you, not everything will be the right fit. It has taken me trying a few different things to find the classes that work for me. I love going to my Zumba classes because I enjoy dancing and having a laugh! I legitimately love my Zumba teacher, and would ask her to marry me if she hadn’t just gotten married and if I were inclined to women. She is energetic, joyous and hilarious and the class feels so much like a dance party that you don’t realize you’re working out, that is until the next day of course!
There is a kind of community with my classmates that adds to the experience, I like that we notice if someone is missing and we check in with one another. My Yoga class is similarly brilliant. The teacher is caring, insightful and funny and the class consists of a group of terrific women all over the age of 50, except for me; the baby of the group. This makes for a class that isn’t self serious (no talk of knitting auras) and incredibly supportive. My third regular exercise source is the gym. I have a gym buddy, which I think is incredibly helpful because we encourage each other to go. I love the gym because it is a focused regimen that I can take at my own speed. It provides access to a full body workout but also allows for focus on particular areas. I like to go to the gym several times a week, even if just briefly, to get myself moving and my muscles working. Nothing is more gratifying and empowering than leaving the gym feeling the strength in your limbs. It’s great to mix it up sometimes and I enjoy going rock climbing when I have the chance, because it’s something fun and different to do.
On the flip side, when I don’t have much time on my hands I make sure I walk as much as I can, for example opting for the stairs versus the lift. Even little things can make an impact over time. Sometimes those little achievements can help boost our confidence for the day. Follow your exercise bliss! Working out shouldn’t be misery, it should be about taking time to take care of yourself, it should be fun and it should be sweaty! I never feel stronger, more powerful or more at one with myself than when I finish exercising. It can lift me out of bad moods, distract me from unhelpful thoughts and boost my confidence like nothing else can. Exercising is investing in yourself and it’s never too late or too early to start. So get out there and work it out!