Working out. It’s something everyone is always going on and on and on about. You have to work out to be healthy. Go on a daily run. Lift weights. You don’t have a membership at a gym?! It’s March, time to start working on that summer body! Somehow exercising has turned into something you have to do to be skinny and beautiful, instead of something you do for your health. And that’s the problem.
Problems surrounding working out
For some reason working out has stopped to be about being healthy and doing something you actually enjoy. Instead of something to look forward to, working out has turned into something everyone is forced to do. And, if you don’t work out, you should feel ashamed of yourself. However, it’s not about losing as much weight as possible, or about only becoming beautiful once you start losing that weight. You are already beautiful! So, try to change your mindset and work out because you want to, not because someone else tells you to.
So, let’s stop normalising working out as a way to get skinny or to get that summer body. As you’ve probably already read somewhere online: you have a body and it is summer, therefore, you have a summer body. Working out will only turn into a habit when you actually enjoy it and when you want to do it, not because someone else is telling you or forcing you to. Listen to your body. Always.
My journey to working out
I used to see people running all the time and I always thought: “Wow, I would love to do that, that’d be so cool!” However, I hate running, with a fucking passion. During each run I’ve tried, I literally thought I would die and I hated every single second of it. So, why was I trying to force myself to run? There’s a reason there are so many different workouts out there; it’s because everyone is different. So, after not working out at all for most of my life, I finally wanted to try something new. And there it was! Pilates.
Now, I know the whole Covid19 thing sucks, but it also made me meet my pilates instructor, who’s from England. In normal times she probably never would have started doing online workouts and I never would have met her. So, right now I have been working out consistently since February, which is a first for me. I try to go on daily walks and then do pilates whenever I feel like it, which is about 4-5 times a week.
This is what works for me. Only me. I have tried running, zumba, fitness, dancing and HIIT and I just hated it all. It took me so much energy just to actually go to the workout as well. I thought I had to just push through and that I would start to enjoy it once I was a bit skinnier or once I had a few more muscles. Turns out that was not the case. All these workouts didn’t start from a beginner’s level, and that was where I was at. And that meant that I actually felt sick after a workout instead of amazing, because I had pushed myself too hard.
Tips & tricks
If, like me, you are only just starting out to exercise more, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First of all, make sure you start at a beginner’s level, it exists for a reason. I did not have the muscles or the endurance to do difficult workouts, after a couple of months, however, the beginner’s workouts are becoming easier. That’s when you can start doing some more intermediate workouts, and yes, it’s also when you should start feeling incredibly proud of yourself. As I’ve said before, it’s all about listening to your body. If your body tells you it’s too difficult, it is too difficult.
Second of all, buy the right equipment. I had to stop going on my daily walks after only a week, because I didn’t have the right shoes. Walking shoes exist for a reason, apparently. So, I went out and got myself some decent workout shoes. I’d rather spend 60 euros on good shoes than being in pain.
Third of all, go to your doctor beforehand. Making a drastic lifestyle change should always go hand in hand with a visit to your doctor. They know you best and they will give you some more tips and tricks you didn’t think about before. For me, it was starting with a personal trainer. Not 1 on 1, because I don’t have the money for that, but group sessions. It’s truly all about knowing yourself and being honest with yourself.
Finally, come to terms with the fact that you won’t be a fitness guru in one day. A dramatic change like that is going to take time. It’s supposed to take time. You can’t just go from having no strength to all the strength. Just like you can’t just run a marathon.
x Evelien x