Hey. Working out. It kinda sucks, huh?
I, for one, have never been the jock-y type. The only thing that kept me consistently active as a child was a weird obsession with cats that compelled me to chase them around outside. (Kind of kidding but, not really.) I didn’t think much of it as a teenager and a young adult because I could eat what I wanted, and still remain thin and full of energy. But, if you’re like me, you know that after 22, adulthood finally asks you to pay your toll. I suddenly found that my body was always tired but my mind would never stop running. I tried this and that, but eventually I had to face the hard truth…. The only lasting solution was regular exercise.
It’s not that I had never tried working out. It was just that I never liked anything enough to make it a regular thing. I hated running. Gyms bummed me out. My balance was like that of a baby foal, so no bikes here. And then something kind of stood out to me… A sport that requires just stretching and breathing. That’s not so scary, is it? Our medullas already has half of it covered! And thus, yoga! Sold, to the lady who hated to move!
The key, perhaps, is to focus on the happy affects your exercise-of-choice has on your mind…and then your body’s happiness will follow suit. Here are a few ways to workout (that don’t feel like working out) that are as beneficial for your mental health as they are your physical!
Of course, Yoga
I know, I know. Shut up with the new agey mumbo-jumbo. But hear me out. When I first started trying to pick up yoga, I was so intimidated by the hour long classes, I would literally have to drag myself there. But the full-body-buzz that lingered for hours after class? Man, it wasn’t like anything else. I kept reminding myself of that feeling as motivation to get my butt to the studio. And now, 3 years later, a day doesn’t go by that doesn’t start with yoga. And because of it, my body is bendier and stronger and my mind is calmer and more balanced than ever.
A few friends of mine swear by it. “Think of it like a game of chess,” one of them told me, “But where you might get choked out a little.” It’s a strategy game that exercises the mind while putting the body to the test and building up endurance. And because it is a form of martial arts, the focus remains as much on your healthy state of mind as it does on your healthy, strong body. Plus, the community that surrounds it is amazingly supportive! You’re sure to make some friends for life after just a few weeks in the gym.
The word might stir up some untoward feelings in the hearts of us anti-exercisers, but honestly? There’s no greater feeling than being surrounded by trees, breathing in some fresh air and getting that burn in the back of your legs. Take short, half hour hikes to start! Or maybe just walk through the woods for a while. Connecting with nature brings your body’s vibrations back to their natural state. Plus you break a little sweat too!