We all know the benefits of exercise…..I won’t bore you with the details. What I personally love about exercising is that not only does it keep us in shape, but it gives us a sense of internal locus of control. Studies have shown that exercise prevents depression by releasing those feel-good endorphins that lessen those intense disregulating emotions that we have.
So why is it so hard to START exercising sometimes? Been there, done that, sister.
If being active feels like a chore for you, chances are that you haven’t found something that you especially enjoy.
Perhaps you are comparing yourself to someone else or to an idea of what you “should” be doing. I used to be intimidated by folks who could run marathons. Although I’m strong, I run like a turtle. Heck, even running a 5K is a challenge for me. I’ve learned throughout the years that I don’t have to be a marathon runner to be in great shape, nor to reap the physical and mental benefits of exercising. In fact, I don’t have to even be a runner. Personally, I’ve found my happy place to be a mix of strength training and walking. I aim to get in 10K steps each day. When I’m feeling energetic, I’ll run. But if I don’t feel up to it, I won’t. Why punish myself by engaging in an exercise that I don’t enjoy?
Whether it’s yoga, walking, lifting, competitive sports, fitness classes, running, dance, i.e – find something that you love doing for YOU. Find something that empowers you; something that you don’t dread doing.
Figure out what you enjoy…. and what you could live without. Do you prefer to work out in a gym with equipment? Or would you rather work out in the comfort of your own home with Youtube videos? Do you need a workout buddy, or would you rather workout alone? Are mornings your thing, or are you into late night sweat sessions? Get in tune with yourself and figure out what will make you want to keep coming back for more.
I joke around that I’m an antisocial workout person. I wake up each morning at 4:30 and cannot wait for my morning lift in a nearly empty gym because it’s the only “me” time I get all day. But afternoon workouts? Forget about it. Can’t stand them. By then, I’m tired and I want to go home after a long day of work, rather than heading to the gym. And the second my workout becomes a chore for me is when I ultimately lose motivation.
Lifting isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay. Just like Zumba isn’t for me….like, at allll😅 It ain’t a pretty sight. I’m not kidding you when I vouch that I have two left feet!! So find what works for you, and keep doing that.
Working out certainly isn’t the “magic pill” that can cure all problems, but making small commitments to yourself is the first step to regaining a greater sense of control in your life. And sometimes that small commitment is just taking the first step to make a change.
So if you are struggling to start, I would advise to start small with your fitness goals.
Those small commitments will eventually lead to habit-building.
Habit building leads to consistency…..which is how you create CHANGE. That is where you will find success, my friends. 💪🏻