How I learned to love working out
and how you can too!
Ironically, I loved exercise as a child. In fact I were often described as overactive- I had a constant burst of energy which I believe was partly due to my excitable personality and the fact that I exercised so much. The thing was, I didn’t see it as ‘exercise’. Riding my bike to the park with my friends was fun and not a necessity for my health. Likewise being the captain of my schools netball time and my weekly gymnastics class. I did it because I enjoyed it and I liked the socialising and how it was something to learn about. Then I hit that dreaded puberty years we all know and love and I quit gymnastics, left netball and grew apart from my bike riding friends. I dreaded P.E classes with a passion and even managed to get out of them in my whole final year at school. Naturally the weight piled on, I grew to hate myself, I had no confidence and I deeply missed the thriving, excitable girl that radiated
self-assurance, I was once. If you’ve read my recent post on how I lost fifty pounds then you’ll already be familiar with my journey and how I learnt to irrevocably love myself. However, what I haven’t mentioned is how I fell in love with working out and my tips on how you can too.
I can still recall how much I hated the thought of working out and how much of a mental struggle it was to actually start. In fact it took me a whole year of doing one five minute workout here and there before I decided to actually give it a proper go. Now, here I am two and a half years later and still working out six days a week (sometimes 4-5) and utterly in love with exercising and working out. I’m telling you this because it won’t just happen overnight but if you find the determination to persevere, I can guarantee that you will be victorious. Here are my top tips and best advice on how to enjoy working out.
Shop my favourite Activewear
There’s a common myth that to be active you have to do hours of strenuous exercise everyday and sweat buckets. This is simply not true and unless your a professional athlete, highly unnecessary and quite dangerous. Your body actually only needs thirty to forty minutes of exercise a day to be healthy. Baring in mind if the workout is high intensity you won’t even need to hit the thirty minute mark. It’s actually a scientific fact that you can see the same results, or even better, on a thirty minute workout over a sixty minute workout. Now you know the truth, thirty minutes isn’t sounding so bad, is it?
When you first start working out, however, you don’t want be going hard straight away. You can’t jump into the deep end of the swimming pool if you can barely swim in the shallow end. Doing too much in the beginning leads to burnout, which leads to you feeling negative about exercise and quitting. The reason why I recommend Blogilates so highly is that Cassie has a beginners calendar (completely free) which eases you into the moves and daily workout. I can vividly recall how sore I was after the first day which consisted of one video and I struggled through some of the moves. After a few months I went back to the same video and did it with ease. Now I can’t even do it because it’s extremely easy for me. Having something like a calendar is a wonderful way to start as you can make it your mission to finish just that one calendar and see how you feel at the end of the month. It’s highly likely you won’t want to quit and because it’s such a small amount of time you are dedicating to this new goal of working out, it won’t be as difficult to start and keep going.
The key: only do 20 minutes in the beginning, and do it nice and easy. Nothing hard. Even 10-15 minutes is fine at first, if you’re just starting out. At the start it is just to get out there, get your body slowly used to daily exercise, and form a new habit.
Make it a habit
Once you infuse your workout into your daily routine, you’re laughing. The moment I made exercise a habit was the moment it became easy to get off my butt everyday and just do it. Find a time that works best for you, whether it’s after work, before you get ready for bed or even during your lunch hour but make sure that it is realistic and can fit well in your current daily routine. You may have to make some alterations.
I found that doing my workout right after I woke up worked best for me so I made sure to wake up an hour early to fit it in. I found that because I made myself wake up with setting an alarm, I didn’t want that small effort to be for nothing so I’d just do my daily exercise. Overtime I learnt that no matter how tired I felt, my workout would always wake me up. Moreover, it was a great way to start the day as I was beginning it on a very positive note and already felt like I’d been productive which made me feel really great about myself and consequently more motivated to get other things done. It’s no surprise that I grew to love working out just from this small yet very significant feeling every day. I would then have my breakfast after my workout and get on with my usual daily routine.
To make your workout a habit start by setting a time, make sure you aren’t doing too much to begin with (as we’ve already established above) and lay out your gear beforehand so that when you come to working out, everything is already there ready for you. Most importantly, don’t skip a day! (excluding your rest day) This will only make your habit formation more difficult.
Be open minded
The thing is that if you aren’t open minded and believe that there is a slight chance you could love working out, it’s never going to happen. Your mind is just going to fight it every step of the way and probably see working out as a punishment. There needs to be an understanding that it won’t happen overnight and just like falling in love with someone, it takes time. If you do a workout for the first time, chances are you won’t like it but if you stick to it, you’ll realise how incredible it makes you feel and fall in love with what you are doing.
The first time I did Blogilates I really did not enjoy it but I kept at it because I was determined to make a positive change in my life and I knew it was the start to learning how to love myself and finally become the confident woman I wanted to be. After two weeks of following each workout to a T, I found that I was really enjoying exercising. Following another six weeks I loved my workouts and looked forward to them every night before going to sleep!
As someone who responds positively to constant challenges, it was important for me to constantly set myself goals at the beginning of my workout journey. I’m not talking about weight-loss or muscle gain goals, but fitness goals. See if you can do one extra pushup than last time or set a goal to lift a heavier weight or swim farther. When you create fitness goals, your workouts become a game where you strive to beat your previous high-score. Once you reach that milestone, the feeling of success will be euphoric and will become your biggest motivation to keep going and see how much farther you can push yourself tomorrow.
Reward yourself right
Often, an idea is infused in us that when we work out, we should reward ourselves for losing weight or gaining muscle but I think this can create a negative impact. Of course, it’s great to set ourselves goals that will create positive improvements, however, if that’s all you focus on then as soon as the desired results are not showing, negativity strikes. You want to give up, you kick yourself over ‘failing’. Instead, you should reward yourself by actually getting up and exercising! There are many ways you can lose or gain weight in unhealthy methods. Rewarding exercise is rewarding your commitment to health.
Every time you workout, even if it’s just for a few minutes, pat yourself on the back. Remind yourself that the hardest part of exercise is just to start. It’s easy to give up on yourself and decide that the road is too hard. However, once you start, there is no turning back. Just 15 minutes of cardio is enough to get your endorphins firing and you’ve done just that. Be proud of yourself and don’t be critical of yourself if you didn’t do the workout right or couldn’t do certain moves. Every day is an opportunity to become better.
Practice healthy mantras
There are going to be days where you won’t feel motivated to workout, particularly at the beginning when it is a mental struggle. Sticking motivational posters and watching inspiring fitness stories on youtube is a great way to get going but sometimes you might need that extra push. I can’t think of a better method than repeating some motivational mantras to get you going. My most motivating one was ‘no one has ever regretted a workout’. It’s the most effective phrase for eliminating that negative stream of excuses swirling in your mind. Make sure you say it with affirmation and believe in it’s truth for you won’t regret the workout if you just go and do it right now, but you will regret the excuses you make. Once I thought about how I’ll still feel the same as I did in that moment, two years down the line, if I keep making excuses, I stopped. Guess what? I did the blooming workout.
Change your perception
If you look at exercise as something that must be done to be healthy or a quick fad to loose weight, you’re never going to like it, not to mention the other L word. The reason why I loved Blogilates was because Cassie would talk so much positivity during each workout. Even if you’re screaming while doing those videos, you’re subconsciously taking in every word she’s saying and over time it starts to greatly impact your thoughts and perceptions about working out. Cassie made me completely stop looking at my workouts for vanity reasons and guided me to a more meaningful thought process. It was only when I started focusing on how much stronger I was getting and how happy I’d feel from the endorphins after each workout, did I truly love exercising. I stopped beating myself up in front of the mirror after I’d do a song challenge and instead tell myself how amazing my body was when it would successfully complete a video, I couldn’t do a few weeks ago.
Though, it is very important to find the type of exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise, if you tackle it with a healthy view-point, you will most likely fall in love with whatever sport you are doing. However, if after a month of regular workouts, you still dislike exercising, change to something else. There are endless ways to exercise, it just means that you haven’t found the sport for you or you aren’t carrying out the above steps.
Do you love working out?