How To Become Gym Motivated
Okay, a quick disclaimer before I dive into this. I want to make it clear that gyms and I didn't always have a great relationship. Seeing and hearing people going to the gym to “relax” or to “sweat the stress away” still didn't provide me with motivation. It was something I couldn’t understand and reached the conclusion that my way of dealing with stress was to eat the stress away.
When I first started exercising, I hated it. I would procrastinate attending. I would complain to mum the whole way there (bless that woman for putting up with it when she just as equally didn’t want to go). Things were like this for about a year, then something clicked, and I genuinely started to love it.
My mistake was that I made exercise all about my outward appearance, attending classes so I could look a certain way. I would set unrealistic goals for weight loss and the way that my physique was to look. I was never satisfied. I would look into the mirror or at the digits of the scale and be utterly disappointed. I would like to acknowledge at this point that I hadn’t changed my diet either and that impacted my weight and physique, (sugar is in everything).
Due to lack of energy with my poor diet, I decided to stop training and felt defeated.
But something strange happened after about a week. I noticed that I was down all the time and just frustrated, (NOTE: The sound of a guy slurping his coffee is enough to make me twitch a little in frustration if I haven’t exercised).
It was at this point that I thought going for a walk might help - well that walk sparked something within me. I returned home feeling relaxed, my head was clearer, and I was genuinely happy.
This happiness led me back to the gym with a new happiness. Training became about health and feeling great.
I did a little reading on the reasons why exercise makes me and so many others feel good. To break it down simply, when your body starts using the brain it gets a little stressed. To combat the stress, it releases a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is there to protect you and acts as a reset switch to your memory neurones. At the same time that this is happening your brain also releases endorphins. Endorphins are another way that your brain fights stress by easing the discomfort that comes from exercising. BDNF and endorphins working together is what makes us feel so good and gives us mental clarity.
Exercise is now a part of my daily regime. Now please don’t get the impression that I go hard at HIIT training every day - I am not that girl. For me being active is something I do in little ways. I do attend the gym five days a week, but I mix it up. I do some high-intensity classes and some more relaxed classes like Pilates or yoga. On my ‘rest’ days I still do my morning yoga for 10 minutes, and I make an effort to park my car a little further away so I can walk to the destination.
I exercise now to feel good and to be the best version of myself for those who I surround myself. I am a confident and more resilient person when I have sweated the stress away or just took some time for me.
Bottom line, do it because you love it and because you are worth it and NOT for the scales or the “perfect” body.
Written by Angelica.
Angelica is a regular writer for Cazinc Blog, writing health and food articles. Follow this amazing woman on Instagram here.
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