Even if you’ve been fit in the past, working your way into shape from being inactive for a long time is incredibly difficult. Physically, it’s simple enough–all you really have to do is start moving more than you do on average and then steadily improve on that. The real difficulty comes from how we mentally approach exercise. Let me tell you what I mean by that.
Real Body Positivity
I’m going to open with a couple points in one, here, starting with a phrase that’s thrown around too often these days: body positivity. In concept, it’s not a bad thing: love your body, be yourself. What it has been morphed into is an excuse to be unhealthy. Accepting flaws does not mean loving your body. Loving your body means doing what you need in order to live a long, happy life. What you need to do is eat better. What you need to do is exercise.
Which brings me to my second point–don’t look at being healthy as something you need to do. While it is, people don’t generally like doing what they need to do. But if you love your body, you’ll want to do what’s right for it. This is something I had to come to terms with, recently, as I realized just how out-of-shape and unhealthy I was becoming. Each day since, I’ve focused on eating better and being more physically active. And each day since, I feel a little younger, a little happier, and a little more body-positive.
There’s No Such Thing as “Too Tired”
I work out at the end of the day, which, if you’ve read other fitness articles, is not what is advised. Most people after a day at work will feel groggy or sluggish, and thus say they’re “too tired” to work out. I know because I used that excuse for a long time – I’m too tired right now, but it’s fine because I’ll work out in the morning.
Of course, I never actually rolled out of bed in time to do that.
So my advice here is going to sound a little dumb, but bear with me. When it’s the end of the day and you start thinking you’re “too tired” to work out, go work out. Even if it’s just for a walk. As soon as you get up and moving, you’ll feel energized and ready to put your all into your fitness.
Yes, You Do Like Exercise
A common excuse I see and hear being used is that someone doesn’t like exercise, so they don’t do it. Even when I was coaching football, some of my players who didn’t lift weights would say they didn’t like exercise, and I would have to point out that they were literally doing exercise by being on the football team, and then smack them upside the helmet.
It’s not that you don’t like exercise, it’s that you don’t like every kind of exercise. And that’s totally fine! You don’t need to, the important thing is that you do something. Frisbee golf, tennis, even just exploring or taking a walk – all these activities are user-friendly and absolutely count as exercise. So if you say you don’t like exercise, focus on what you do like and then expand on it from there!
For more health and fitness tips, check out some of our other blog posts, including this one about the benefits of improved core strength!