Well, if that’s the question – the answer is most definitely yes – we all must exercise!
If you had told me 5 years ago that today I would not only regularly workout, but that I would actually enjoy it, I would have found that both unbelievable and amusing! However, it’s true – I am a regular at my gym and I enjoy it (well, I’m human, some days I just do not want to go to the gym, but once I’m there I’m so happy I dragged myself in).
Having an active lifestyle doesn’t mean going to the gym 7 days a week for 5 hours a day. Being active is just that – be active. If you’ve never exercised before then you want to start slow and give yourself some choices.
Maybe you’re like me and you just don’t know it. I was dragged, kicking and screaming into the gym. I started with just 20 minutes of walking on the treadmill. Yes, this didn’t build any muscle and this didn’t raise my heart rate. However, it gave me confidence. It got me out there. It allowed me to see that everyone is too busy in their own workout to even care what I was doing. After a couple of weeks of doing this everyday I started to relax in the gym and feel good about myself. Eventually I learned how to use a couple of pieces of the other equipment. However, I was so embarrassed using them and everything just felt alien to me. I knew there was lots of information on the wonderful web, but at the same time I knew that I needed the push, support and right guidance from a professional. Four years ago I invested my future in a trainer and I’m still with him (he really does kick my butt, but that’s why I go back for more!).
My trainer insisted that I attend a weekly spinning class when I started working with him – Me? Spinning? In a group class? With other people? You got to be kidding right?! Those statements just kept going around and around in my head. I syched myself up and went for my first spinning class. I was completly out of my comfort zone. There was one bike calling my name and I have never sat anywhere else! To say I loved the class is an understatement. I immediately became a regular. I have since also taken up swimming. This is the combination that works for me. A combination that I can keep regular and constant. Mentally and physically it has not been an easy road, but it’s a road that I am so glad I took.
Give it a try, head to the gym. I love the atmosphere there and it is fantastic knowing that there is somewhere to go to just focus on myself and forget about everything else. I’ve also met some amazing people that totally inspire me to just keep going. Many gyms offer a trial period where they will give you an orientation of the equipment and let you try out all the classes too. You might be surprised by what you like!
Maybe you have tried the gym and have no interest going back – the idea seems so monotonous and you just want to workout without feeling like you’ve exercised. Grab your friends and try something like tennis, volleyball, soccer, badminton, aqua-fit or rock climbing – these are all great alternatives. You could even just start by taking a walk around the block. If you think that a group class would be fun, but you’re not quite ready to take the plunge just yet then workout in the comfort of your own home. There is a huge selection of DVDs you can choose from including dance, kick boxing and pilates. You might even consider getting a personal trainer who comes to your home and shows you that there really are no excuses!
On a final note, stay determined and focus on why you set out to exercise in the first place. Just because you don’t like an activity, it doesn’t mean you can’t find another one that works for you. I know that there is something out there for everyone. I love and treasure my endorphins and I know you will too. We hear this time and time again, but it’s so important that I’m going to re-iterate it: Exercise should be a part of your lifestyle. It should be as routine as brushing your teeth every morning. Above all other benefits that exercising brings, I guarantee that you will feel good about yourself…so take some time out and look after #1!