This summer marks 3 years since I started to really pay attention to fitness and now I can't imagine my life without it. Which is a far cry from how I used to be, I used to absolutely despise exercise and would avoid it all costs. There are many reasons for why I thought this way and I think the biggest thing was that I thought you only needed to exercise if you were unhappy with your body but now I know that's something we're made to believe by society. Whilst I know that some people will just never enjoy fitness and that's fine because it's not for everyone I do think there is pure joy to be found in some sort of physical activity and here is how I made fitness fit for me and my life as well as a few things that really motivate me.
FIND WHAT FEELS GOOD
We don't all enjoy the same things in life so it's pretty obvious that we're not going to enjoy the same thing when it comes to exercise. Following people online is awesome for inspiration but it's so easy to get caught up in their routine and just following what they do when that might not be what serves you best and really makes you feel good. I think the easiest way to discover what truly feels good when it comes to exercise is to just try things, try and be open minded to different forms of training and take pride in it. For me, I've always really enjoyed cardio and getting a good sweat that way and lifting weights is never something I've loved that much. Whilst for other people, it could be completely different as I know so many people despise cardio. There is no right or wrong way to do fitness and as long as it makes you feel awesome that's really all that matters.
WEAR SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL AWESOME
When I first started exercising I made it a priority to buy a few things that I really liked and felt great in because shoving on some baggy bottoms and a stained old t-shirt doesn't motivate anyone I'm sure. You don't need to spend a tonne of money either there are lots of awesome sports brands on the high street and places like T K Maxx and outlets are awesome for finding higher end brands at a discount. When you first begin there isn't much point of buying loads of things as you never know if you might stick to it so what I found to work well was having a little reward system where the longer I stuck to my routine then the more I could buy as I would need more.
IT'S WAY MORE THAN JUST PHYSICAL
For the most part, we're conditioned to believe that you should just exercise to look good physically. And it's great to feel good in your skin, of course, there is absolutely no denying that but exercise goes so much further than how you look. We can probably all list off some well-known benefits of exercise that aren't related to how we look but paying attention to them is a whole different matter. For me, the main reason I have a solid fitness routine is for my mental health, I would never have believed it would make such a large difference with the state of my mind but it has. I can notice a difference immediately when I'm not being as active as I usually am because the anxiety and the ridiculous worries creep back up on me and are tough to battle back down. For some, they find that exercise makes their MH worse and that's why it's so important to understand how personal it is.
DON'T TRY AND KEEP UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE
I'm sure we've all watched those fitness videos on Instagram where everyone always looks amazing, never bloated or sweaty and just effortlessly cool. And we all know that's never going to the be the reality of it all but it can get in your head. We know it's not ideal to try and keep up with others when it comes to anything in life, and it's so important when it comes to fitness because there is so much to take into consideration. We're never going start out in our routines and be able to do everything straight away it takes a lot of time to build up strength and stamina. Fitness really is a journey and it can take years but that's something to relish in and seeing progress no matter how slow is a huge motivator.
DON'T GIVE YOURSELF AN UNOBTAINABLE SCHEDULE
We've probably all done this at some point in our lives where we want to start something new and throw ourselves in full force and then come fatigued within a few days or weeks and give up. And that is what happens with exercise a lot as people get the bug, get all the right gear and then push themselves too hard and give up. Setting yourself a goal that you know you can actually achieve is a lot more beneficial in the long run than setting yourself something that you know is probably a little too out there. You will more than likely stick to the relatable one and then if you go over your goal then that is awesome.
EXERCISE SHOULDN'T BE A CHORE
It's hardly a surprise why so many of us have such a 'ughhhh' mentality when it comes to fitness because it's drilled into us from the get go. If we see someone who really loves fitness then we act like they're wrong or an addict which is just bizarre that we have such a negative attitude to people who are just trying to do something that they enjoy. Exercise should never be something that you're forcing yourself to do and going into it with an already negative mindset will make you absolutely hate it from the get-go. For me, fitness is something that's part of my self-care routine [jeez, that sounds pretentious doesn't it?] and it's something that I look forward to and make a priority.
TRY TO DO IT WHEN YOU WANT TO
I realise that having the time to exercise when you want to is a huge privilege but if you're also able to do it then maybe give it a go? Some people work well with a plan and a schedule and sometimes I do too but for the most part, I exercise when I want to and if I don't feel like it that day then I won't. Doing things intuitively sounds a little silly sometimes because we all have schedules to meet and maintain but if you're able to do it then give it a try.
Do you have any tips for falling in love with fitness?