WORKING OUT IS A STATE OF MIND
I love myself some exercise and almost always look forward to going to the gym, but that wasn’t always the case. I used to be obsessed with fitness to the point that it made it feel like a horrible chore. I had such a bad mentality about exercise and looked at it as a punishment instead of something I should be thankful for. I am going to share some of my transformation tips with you that not only made me love exercise, but helped me make time for it when life gets busy.
- You don’t need to exercise every day: I used to be under the assumption that if you didn’t exercise every day, you would gain weight right away. Crazy, I know. I was also under the assumption that a true fitness fanatic or healthy person exercised every day. That belief was actually so harmful and part of the reason I didn’t want to exercise. Your body needs rest days in order to thrive, recover, and perform at its best. When you exercise every day, your body doesn’t have time to rebuild itself properly and ends up breaking down. Now, when I say exercise, I don’t mean you have to sit still on your days off, but you shouldn’t be performing intense exercises every day and wearing yourself out.
- Exercise doesn’t need to take hours every day: When I was at the peak of my eating disorder, I would exercise for two hours every day like clockwork. Looking back, I have no idea how I did it, especially on a restricted diet. I would do cardio for an hour and weights for an hour, but if I’m being honest, I wasn’t growing as an athlete. I have limited my workouts to be between 40 minutes and an hour and I find that my endurance is sky rocketing, my strength is so much better, I can challenge myself more, and I don’t get burnt out mentally from the length of time I’m working out.
- Make it fun: I find I am much more willing to make time for something that I actually enjoy doing. When I was in college, I loved taking Zumba classes my university offered Wednesday nights. I was super busy, as most college students are, but found it was easy to take an hour out of my day on Wednesdays to work out because I actually wanted to be there. Maybe you love basketball, so go shoot some hoops for a half hour or so. Maybe you have a lot on your mind, go for a walk and meditate. Maybe you love to dance, take a dance class. Whatever it is, as long as you are having fun and getting your body moving, you’re doing great.
- Multitask: As a full time career woman and someone with a crammed life outside of work, making time for things can be difficult. Sometimes when I look at my to-do list, I feel like I will never have any time for myself, so I have to get creative on how I am going to fit everything into my day. Something I have started doing lately is going for a walk around my work building during my lunch break and calling my mom or dad to catch up with them. I get extra steps in and also make time for the people I love. Another thing I love to do is read while I exercise. When I say this I am not talking about when I am doing the high intensity portion of my workout, but when doing something like riding the stationary bike, I love to read a book. It makes the time fly by and it allows me to have time to strengthen my mind and check books off of my to-read list.
- Think about the future: When all is said and done, no matter how busy you are, if you really want to work out and be healthy, you will put forth the effort. I find that something that helps me to have a mentality of wanting to workout is thinking about my future self. I see so many people who are living in poor health because they didn’t treat their body right. As sad as it is, it is a reminder to me that the actions I take now will affect the life I live when I am older. If I don’t want to work out, I think of how an hour today will prevent me from being in pain when I’m older or sick when I’m older, or unable to move well when I’m older. Taking a small portion of your day to move your body seems like such a small price to pay for having a long and healthy life.