How do you work out? Do you swim laps most mornings? Do you jog with your dog most nights? Do you skip out at lunch and pump iron? Or do you just skip working out all together and see how many frozen burritos you can eat during an episode of “Community” instead?
The dreaded workout is not an easy thing to convince yourself to do. Hell, sometimes it’s near impossible. We can chew through the time it would take us to work out just debating working out. Perhaps the struggle is mostly getting starting. “Once begun is half done,” anyone? But that’s not the whole picture either.
The reason getting exercise is an endless battle is because it is defined by what you know about working out, AKA your past experience. If working out conjures awkward junior high attempts to stretch in front of girls, perhaps it’s merely time to update your definition of working out.
The simple trick is this: find a way to work out that’s actually fun. So fun in fact, you’ve forgotten you were working out. This means that the perfect workout is not the same for everyone and that should be embraced, not something to be daunted by. Do you find gyms sad and depressing? A park is an outstanding place to stretch, run and do some crunches. Hate running? Have you ever heard of tennis? Just focus on that yellow ball, you won’t realize just how much running you’re doing. Personally, I think running is all about the view. Find a good playlist and run around a lake, down a beach, up a hill, through a garden (a large one, preferably). Distracting yourself is not adequate, it has to become fun somehow, otherwise it’s destined to fail, and so are you.
With summer approaching fast and hard, now is the perfect opportunity to start over and get back out there. That doesn’t necessarily mean going out to your nearest Equinox gym and signing up for a five-year membership. It could be a simple as finding a buddy who could turn into a running partner. After all, if you want to live a healthier, longer life, exercise is key. We all know this. And the grat thing about starting to live a more active lifestyle is that, nowadays, gyms are just the starting place. There are tons of non-traditional alternatives for those of you with gymaphobia like SoulCycle, CrossFit, MovNat and Tough Mudder. And let’s not forget the thousands of inter-mural leagues for every sport in every season.
Why is it that we often order the same things at restaurants? We already know what the dish tastes like and there are loads of other delicious options to pick from. The reason is that we want to relive that amazing experience, however menial it was. The same logic applies to a satisfying workout. Find something that isn’t mindless and unrewarding, find something you can’t wait to do again and again. The pain and agony of a workout comes with pride and accomplishment, but it has to be your way. No one else’s.