Everybody wants to be fit and healthy. I think that is something that we can all agree on. I also know something else that we can all agree on: being fit and healthy is not easy. I’ve made a personal commitment to try to maintain an active life, since I know that my habits (sitting in front of a computer for hours a day) lend to a sedentary one. Unfortunately, it has been very difficult to keep to it. There are just so many excuses that I can use to push off exercising.
That’s what I did for this entire past week. Rather than exercise, I decided that I would enjoy playing games, writing, and watching videos more. However, today I made the push, got my lazy body out of my chair and worked out for an hour straight. And after doing that, I came to a number of practical realizations that I’d like to share with you guys.
1. Exercise Sucks, but the Glow Afterwards is Amazing
Now, I don’t know if you guys reading this are fitness fanatics, or if you are more on my end of the spectrum. Regardless, if you do not know this already, it is something that can make exercising quite addicting. When you work out, and I mean really work out (you can tell you’ve worked out if no one will approach within ten feet of you afterwards), it stinks. It’s hard, your muscles complain, and you think of all the other more enjoyable things you could be doing.
But when you’re done, you actually feel really good. In a strange sense, you feel stronger and better than before, even though you’ve just made every single muscle in your body cry for mercy. Now, I’m sure there is some scientific explanation for this, such as the releasing of harmful substances through sweating, and endorphin rushes and such, but I won’t bore you guys with the biology, because what really matters is this: exercise is energizing.
This means doing it as early in the day as possible is best. It’ll have you feeling pumped for the rest of the day, not only physically, but psychologically, because you’ll know that you’ve met your goal for physical activity, and that is very satisfying. I’m sure it’s actually quite fair to say that more exercise = more productivity.
2. Partners Help
Some people like to exercise with other people, and that’s fine. Other’s prefer to gun it alone, and that’s also fine. But having a support group, or at least another person, who you can share progress with is unbelievably helpful. Not only do you receive encouragement when you reach new goals, but you also get the benefit of encouraging others.
Of course, it’s easy to see how someone could fall into the trap of comparisons, but really that is not the goal. The idea is progression, as a group, and self-improvement. That is what makes exercise so great. I’ve been partnering up with my Dad in these endeavors, and the results have been excellent. In fact, on days that I don’t feel like exercising, just know that he’s already done his exercise adds a little more incentive for me to go do it myself.
So, my recommendation is if you’re also looking to shift from a sedentary to an active lifestyle, find someone (or someones) you can do it with. You won’t regret it.
3. Be Reasonable, Have Confidence
Now, the reason I’ve juxtaposed these two is because they are so equally crucial, and too much of one will mean failure. With every goal and every achievement, your target should always be reasonable. If you’ve never lifted weights in your life, trying for the fifty pound dumbbells from the get go probably isn’t smart. Or if you haven’t ran since middle school, expecting to survive a ten mile jog is insanity.
However, you need to ensure that reason does not hamper you. Just because you have not done something before, doesn’t mean you cannot do it. Don’t let doubt and uncertainty hold you back. Very often, our bodies can achieve more than we thought was possible. So tackle each new challenge with relish. Up the bar, and know mentally that you will be able to reach that goal.
And if you don’t reach your goals, ignore it. And I mean ignore it. Don’t even dwell on it. Just set the same goal next time, and when you finally achieve it, you will have built up a firmer foundation to achieve greater heights.
That brings me to the conclusion of this piece. I believe that among its many benefits, exercise also lends to self-confidence. Knowing that you have the self-discipline, mental strength, and physical fortitude to accomplish whatever it is that you have accomplished will add to your confidence and push you to better things, regardless of what aspect of life is in question.
So, what are you waiting for? Go exercise.