Exercise was a complete drag to me, up until the past six months or so.
I made some huge change to my health in the past six-eight months that I didn’t even know where possible for me, and since then, I’ve been enjoying working out so much more.
I used to begrudge lacing up the running shoes and heading out for a jog, but now I can’t stretch out my workouts purposely, to avoid seeing it end. I’ll suggest hiking the longer, harder trails instead of the novice trails, because nothing feels better than feeling tired and happy from a date with nature.
My change in attitude toward working out has had some amazing benefits in my life. I have lost a few pounds, leaving my clothes loose and my confidence stronger, my endurance has increased considerably, and I’ve been sleeping better than ever before. Plus, my muscles, while sore from the workouts, haven’t been getting that achy sitting-in-a-desk-all-day feeling.
Why the change, though? Why have I all of a sudden decided that I love exercising, instead of hate and dread it like I used to?
There are a few things I’ve been doing differently, which contribute to my change in attitude:
Knowing My Workout Personality
If you are an introvert, you would know how difficult it is to be outgoing and immerse yourself in a crowd for an evening. It’s draining and it emotionally difficult.
As somebody who isn’t, and who has never been a runner, I’ve finally had an “a-ha” moment. I don’t like running, so every time I would force myself to run, I would resent the entire workout. Because I’d force myself to run at least a small amount every time I worked out, I would resent every workout, and then, I began thinking that I just hated exercise.
This isn’t true! There are a lot of active things that I love to do; walking, hiking, swimming, cycling, and more. I just don’t like running or jogging.
I was spoiling all exercise for myself. After I got to know my workout personality, I began embracing those things that I do enjoy doing, which changed my attitude.
Making My Workout Time My Unwind/Relax Time
I’ve started leaving my phone at home when I go work out because often, on the treadmill or on a walk, I’ll be doing work on my phone, or checking it far too often for the time.
Since I implemented the practice of leaving my phone at home, I’ve been able to make my workouts a relaxing time when I can unwind. I used to treat exercise as a chore, and one that I needed some R&R after; now, the act of going for a hike, walk, or bike ride is my R&R.
Not Making Working Out a Chore
It’s human nature in our day and age to complain about exercise as if it’s a chore. As somebody who sits at a desk all day, I shouldn’t be seeing exercise as a chore, but rather a blessing!
I avoid making it feel like a chore by not forcing myself to go for a hike when it’s raining, and knowing my limits. They say “no pain, no gain”, which I believe, however pushing yourself too hard can quickly associate exercise with unpleasantness, which is counterproductive.
Instead of pushing yourself to go when it’s rainy and muddy out and run when you’d prefer to walk, give yourself a pass to work out at home that day and take advantage of the sunshine next time. You’ll quickly notice how your attitude about exercise changes.
I now know what it’s like to genuinely like getting in my activewear, and while I used to think those types of people were crazy and/or lying, I’m so glad that I made these few changes.