I hardly ever sweat. No matter what. You and I could do the same exact workout at the same exact intensity and you may be covered in sweat while I am not sweating at all. I’m always cold, and I know that about myself. No matter what, I’m cold. That’s another nasty side effect of eating disorders – a chill through your bones that seems to never go away.
Anyways, this week, I’ve been forcing myself to workout out when I really did not want to. I’m such an advocate for listening to your body and resting when you need to or want to, but I haven’t been taking my own advice.
Yesterday in my workout class, I wasn’t sweating a single drop. I looked around me and saw that everyone else was dripping. I was wearing a long sleeve and leggings. I began to question if I was working hard enough. I began to tell myself that since I wasn’t sweating, the workout didn’t even count. I began to stress that I wasn’t burning enough calories. Like I said before, I’m ALWAYS cold, so breaking a sweat is difficult for me, and when I do.. it’s a very little one. My legs were shaking during the workout and my arms were burning, yet I “wasn’t working hard enough” ? Makes sense right….
First of all, what does that even mean? To “work hard enough” during your workout. A workout is a workout no matter the intensity.
Since when did exercise become so complicated?
Since when did not having abs mean we weren’t fit?
Since when did our workouts “not count” if they were “too short”?
Why do we think we have to push our bodies to their limits with intense workouts and be drenched in sweat by the end?
Since when did we feel we needed a label for ourselves based on what types of exercises that we do? (Runner, Weight lifter…)
Since when did working out become less focused on overall health and feeling good, and more focused on burning calories and looking good?
Why do we HAVE to workout 6 days a week?
Over time, we have taken something so simple – exercise – and complicated it SO much. Exercise is a privilege. Some people can’t exercise because of health risks. Exercise is not meant to be a punishment after eating “too much”. It is not just something we do to burn calories and “be skinny”. We don’t have to feel bad if we miss a day, if we didn’t sweat enough during our workout, or if it we didn’t push our bodies “hard enough”. A workout doesn’t have to be an hour long. It doesn’t even have to be 40 minutes long. A 20 minute workout is STILL a workout, and its better than nothing. You don’t have to go the the gym, run 3 miles on the treadmill as fast as you can, go lift weights for 40 minutes, and end with a cardio circuit. For some people, that’s the type of workout they like, but for others.. that’s too intense and that’s OKAY. If you don’t lift as heavy as the person next to you, can’t run as many miles as them, need more breaks during a workout than them.. IT’S OKAY!
We get so caught up in working out to burn off what we ate, or to look a certain way, that we forget the actual reasons for working out. Working out has FAR more benefits than just making us look good.
- 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week can decrease your risk of heart disease.. Whether that form of exercise is walking, biking, weight lifting.. ANYTHING!
- Exercise releases endorphins in your body. Endorphins are hormones that play an important part in regulating your mood. Making you feel happier! So by exercising.. you will mentally feel better!
- Walking can decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
- 30 minutes 5 times a week has also been shown to increase your life span by 3.4 years!
- Exercise can help you sleep better, improve memory, and give you energy!
Exercise is nothing to stress over.
You don’t have to run an extra 2 miles to make up for the day you missed. It’s okay to skip the gym.
It’s okay to only workout 3 days a week..or even less if you want.
Listen to your body. Is it tired? Sore? Stressed? Give it rest when it needs it.
For some reason the fitness world makes it seem as if you HAVE to workout 6-7 days a week with little rest. Well, you don’t. And if you aren’t the type to go spend an hour at the gym, go for a walk. Walking counts. Take a hike, or a bike ride. ANYTHING. You don’t have to move your body in the same way as everyone else is, and that’s something I’m trying to teach myself. Stop comparing your journey with fitness to other peoples journeys.
Find what YOU like and do it.
As always, thanks for reading! 🙂