So I've been reading a lot of articles lately about how terrible sitting is for you and since I spend 8-10 hours, 5 days a week doing just that, I am getting concerned about my health.
I'm petite and skinny and I am generally happy with my body. This isn't the result of any particular exercise regimen, just a combination of genes and moderate eating. I don't seem to have any health issues but I am getting concerned about my sedentary lifestyle.
What I'm struggling with is how to motivate myself. I just don't enjoy exercising and I think I've given it the old college try. I've tried the gym, yoga, Pilates, boot camps and most recently Orange theory. And you know how people say, "you never regret a workout", I totally do! I went to an Orange theory class and thought wow I just spent an hour running in place on a treadmill and lifting things and putting them back down. It just felt so pointless and lame.
I think I might enjoy an activity like a sport or something more but I've NEVER done a team sport and don't have too many friends in my current town to join with so I'd be joining with a bunch of people I don't know and am really nervous about being terrible. I have some real basis for this fear, because any time I've done any sports type thing, it's been a bit of an uncoordinated disaster. So any recommendations on sports which require minimal athleticism?
Any recommendations for motivating myself to get active when I'm happy with my body?
Anyways, I really want to make sure I take care of my body but am really struggling at finding my exercise groove so look forward to hearing from you!
You know there are things in life that you just have to do, like taxes, going to the dentist, or getting your annual exam at the gyno. I can’t think of anyone who runs with excitement to get a filling, but we all do it, because it is a part of life.
Exercise is a part of life too, and Health Canada recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate to vigorous activity, which when broken down it equates to nothing, really. Force yourself to go to one HIIT class or spin workout a week and you are only left with 90 more minutes to fill. Add in a brisk, hour long walk on the weekend and that leaves just 30 minutes remaining, which can be broken into two, 15 minute circuit style workouts. A few lunges, some push ups, planks and a burpee or two, at home in your basement, and you’re done. But I am guessing this still sounds terrible.
Here is my suggestion for you. Each month pick a new activity to try and give it your best shot. If you enjoy yourself, go back and do it again, but if you hate it, at least you tried and you can try something else the following month. If you really like it, however, then keep going. For uncoordinated sports I would suggest starting with a sport that you can do solo. Tennis is a good place to start as all you need is a racquet and a wall to hit a ball onto. You could join a beginner’s tennis league, take some lessons and slowly learn how to play. In a sport like that, it really doesn’t matter how good you are at it because the worse you are the more you are going to have to run after the balls. Getting into a group, coached sport, where you are committed to practices is probably your best option. It will also give you a chance to meet other people to workout with in the future.
You could also look into some form of martial arts. There are a lot of martial arts studios that cater to women and offer beginner programs. Not only will you become stronger, you will also feel empowered, which could lead you to pushing yourself in other areas in fitness, as well as life. Maybe start with a women’s self defense course and if you like that you could look into something more structured like judo or karate. Joining a martial arts program is on my to-do list. Another option is trying an adult dance class, like ballet. The movements will be slower and less coordinated but I promise that you will feel muscles you didn’t even know you had.
Exercising is like eating vegetables. You should do it, whether you like it or not. But when you think about it, is it really that awful to spend an hour sweating while hating every minute of it? Like everything in life, that hour will eventually come to an end. A brisk walk, solo or with a friend, is a great way to start off a weekend. And those last 30 minutes, broken into 2 short workouts? Come on! You can do anything for 15 minutes! Until you find your true love of exercise you are just going to have to suffer through it.
(Lainey: that’s my attitude – I suffer through it. There is never, ever a time before a workout when I’m looking forward to it. I hate every f-cking minute. All 150 minutes. Sometimes you just have to suck it up.)