There are a lot of great reasons for staying active; you’ll improve your overall physical and mental health, sleep better, have more energy, and see benefits in the bedroom. It has been our experience that there is another reason to hit the gym: you will learn a great deal about yourself, and these lessons will help you build confidence that carries through in every aspect of your life.
You are stronger than you think
I first started hitting the gym when I was in my third year of university. I had had some weight loss success running one summer and so I thought it was time to include some strength training. For the next three years, I had the same routine: Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays I did cardio and Tuesday and Thursday I lifted weights. I did cardio for the same amount of time, on the same machine, at the same level, and I lifted the same weight doing the same weight circuit every time. Whenever anyone would suggest that I was able to lift more weights, I would protest. Imagine my surprise when I finally started lifting more weight and running further and faster and I didn’t pass out! When you are new to fitness, it’s easy to think of discomfort as a sign to stop, but you nonetheless want to challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone to derive results.
You can be an athlete
Not yet acquainted with your athletic side? Often, all you need to unleash your inner athlete is discovering where your interest and talent lies. It might be a specific team-based sport, a more individual pursuit where you compete against yourself to reach and exceed your personal best, or even a specific move, like squats, pushups, or burpees (seriously). Be open to new activities, whether they are group, team, or individual-focused, until you find your passion!
Your mind is a powerful motivator (or demotivator)
We all have routines that help us get to the gym and get through our training sessions. But what if your routine is interrupted? For example, your favourite spot in the gym might be occupied, or the weather might be more humid than you are used to. If you think you need the perfect conditions to work out, you run the risk of psyching yourself out. Your mind can also derail you once you get going. During one particularly challenging drill (crawling across the gym floor on my forearms while dragging my legs behind me on gliding discs), I lost focus and let my mind wander to how difficult the move was, how the floor had some pebbles and would they lodge into my arms, what I would eat for dinner when I finally made it through class, to dear god, when is this going to end. Needless to say, I lost my focus and truly understood the phrase “mind over matter.”
You can have fun being active
We’ve all heard it: fitness can be fun, but it wasn’t until I signed up for an aerial class that blended pilates, yoga, and dance and had me hanging upside down and flipping and pulling myself through a giant suspended silk hammock that I truly believed it. Challenge yourself to look beyond structured classes and the gym and seek out activities that you loved as a kid or always wanted to try and you will be hooked!