• Inês de Wit

THE IMPORTANCE OF ENJOYING YOUR EXPERIENCE WHEN EXERCISING: LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR NEXT SWEAT SESSION

If your only motivation when exercising is the unattainable ideal of what you think your body should look like, you are most likely missing out on the real deal. Exercise should not be something you dread in your schedule and, even less so, an obligation; it is all a question of mindset, choice, and most importantly, exercising for the right reasons. Is it that radical to enjoy yourself when working out? No matter the motive behind staying active, the priority is to have a good time!


When exercising for weight loss, first, it’s essential to check whether you should be concerned with your weight at all; perhaps, focusing more on overall fitness is the better-suited option. In a world where photoshopped bodies are constantly fed to us by social media platforms, it is easy to develop a distorted perception of oneself and lose sight of what matters.


Nevertheless, exercising for a firmer body is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as you follow healthy strategies. Frequently, people undergo unnecessary suffering when working out due to the myth that only specific exercises will achieve their weight goal in a time-efficient manner. It is not rare for those who are thinking of losing weight to resort to long hours of intense cardio. But for many, the last thing one wants to do after a long day of work is step onto a treadmill.


It will come as a relief to know that cardio is not necessarily the key to losing weight, although it can be part of the formula if it appeals to you. However, the real secret to losing weight is rooted in how many calories you consume and burn during the day. Scientifically speaking, as long as you consume fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.


And so, sticking to a realistic exercise plan along with a balanced diet usually does the trick. Start by picking something that genuinely sparks an interest in you, whether it’s a dance class or weightlifting at a gym. Downloading free workout apps is also always a cheaper and more private option for those who prefer to work out at home. My personal suggestion is the Down Dog yoga app, in which you can request a free premium subscription. The app allows you to personalize the type of yoga, the duration of the session, the area of the body you want to focus on, as well as the instructor’s voice and the background music. The best part is that no session is ever the same as the last. Down Dog has been a personal favorite of mine for over a year now, and there has never been an instance where I found it a dull experience.


When you begin to look forward to your next sweat session, you know you chose the right activity for you. If that’s not your experience right away, don’t be discouraged, as usually, the will to exercise will solidify once it becomes a regular habit. Furthermore, it’s never a bad idea to create a motivational playlist to listen to while you work out. Music has been proved to enhance athletic performance by increasing endurance and elevating mood. When creating your playlist, look for upbeat songs with fast tempos, as they are the most effective for improving performance. If you commit to making your experience pleasurable, it will be easier to be consistent and notice the results of your hard work in the mirror sooner.


Not only is exercising a powerful tool for physical transformation but also overall health and well-being. The list of benefits is never-ending, but some of the most prominent ones range from coping with depression to regulating blood sugar levels. Therefore, it becomes evident that being active should be a part of everybody’s lifestyle, regardless of a weight loss goal; this doesn’t mean that you have to exercise, but that you should move around as much as possible. Actions as simple as occasionally taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a world of difference.


The next time you decide to work out, instead of fretting, make sure you are just as worried about your fitness goals as making exercise a fun time. Sooner or later, you will realize that perhaps enjoying yourself is what was missing to get the results you wanted.


Bibliography

De Walle, Gavin Van. “How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?” healthline, HEALTHLINE MEDIA, 7 May 2020, www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-long-does-it-take-to-lose-weight.

Jabr, Ferris. “Let's Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 20 Mar. 2013, www.scientificamerican.com/article/psychology-workout-music/.

Editors, MedlinePlus. “Benefits of Exercise.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Mar. 2021, www.medlineplus.gov/benefitsofexercise.html.