I’m going to come right out and say it: I don’t like to exercise.
I’m not exactly the fittest person in the world. I don’t enjoy running and I loathe going to the gym (I can’t think of anything more absurd than driving to the gym to walk on the treadmill).
But that doesn’t mean that I hate moving my body. I’ve found ways to do so that I enjoy.
It took me a while to get to this place, though. Because I used to be so focused on losing weight, I exercising solely for this purpose. It was all about burning the most calories, regardless of how much I might have hated every second of it. Exercise was simply a chore that needed to be ticked off the list to remove a little more guilt for being bigger.
Funnily enough, I’ve never really managed to maintain a regular exercise routine. I guess that’s because I kept forcing myself to do things I didn’t enjoy.
At around the same time I quit dieting, I also quit forcing myself to do exercise I didn’t enjoy. Now, I move my body only in ways that bring me joy.
Does that mean I’m not burning the most possible calories? Yep.
Does that mean I’m not the slimmest, fittest person ever? Uh, yeah.
But does that mean I enjoy the exercise I do? You bet!
So instead of pushing myself to go to the gym and run on the treadmill, I now go walking outside, in nature – with my pup. I do yoga using an app on my phone/computer. And when I have the time, I go cycling – outdoors. (Note – I have nothing against the gym. If you love the gym then that’s awesome. I just have something against forcing yourself to do exercise you don’t enjoy, which, for me, is the gym.)
How nice to finally give myself permission to enjoy exercise.
What ways do you choose to move your body?
How do you exercise for pleasure, and how for other reasons?
Is exercise an enjoyable thing for you, or is it associated with negative feelings such as guilt or punishment?
What are some forms of exercise that you actually enjoy? What ways can you move your body that bring pleasure rather than pain? What would you like to do more of?
Note: this post was originally part of a series of 30 life lessons and journal prompts for my 30th birthday. You can access the rest of the lessons and prompts here.