There are many people who try to establish a workout routine in their lives but fail after a week or so. It’s because they are centered on seeing results in their physical bodies in the fastest possible amount of time. It’s because they find it hard to get up and start exercising. It’s because exercise is too strenuous for them and they’d rather binge-watch a show on a streaming platform than sweat and go through something energy-consuming. We can think of hundreds of excuses not to do it, of course, because exercise is not like water or food that we need in order to live. It helps for people to have good health but it’s not a necessary pill for survival.
But nevertheless, I’d like to share how I got a solid exercise routine in. I was like many others who did not want to exercise or did not see the need for it because I thought it was just for people who want to become thinner. I don’t really have to lose weight so I didn’t see the point then why I should exercise. I don’t get sick quickly too so I thought overall that I’m healthy even without working out. I’m not athletic so why bother lifting weights or doing a sport when I don’t need it?
Everything changed when my friend invited me over to a spinning class. I went there without any clue as to what indoor spinning would be like. I didn’t even do any research. I thought the clips on the shoes that were given to us towards the start of the class were for them to be sturdy and didn’t know that I had to clip them onto my bike. The instructor, during the class, had to go to my bike and clip the shoes for me. But then after the class, I had this rush of euphoria that was so addicting, I wanted to sign-up for another class again.
So I kept on going to spinning classes and I made friends who also enjoyed it. One of my friends there invited me to get a membership card for different gyms so that we could try different exercises—be it yoga, pilates, circuit training, CrossFit, boxing, normal gym, etc. I was sold. We did that for three months before I signed up for my gym class. I was noticing the changes in my physical look but more than that, I was really enjoying it. It was giving me a boost of confidence and for the longest time, I felt that I had a goal in my life that needed to be ticked.
It started with “I want to have 4-pack abs” but after a year and it still wasn’t there, I was still very much into fitness. It has become my stress reliever and has helped me be more confident and calm. Nowadays, to be honest, I don’t get to exercise as much as I used to. It’s also hard to get up and roll my yoga mat to do some exercises but I still make sure I exercise at least twice a week. It has been my energy boost and I can’t see myself putting an end to this way of life ever in my life. My exercise goal at present is to not have the sexiest body according to societal terms but just to really get that euphoric feeling and also that sense of direction in my life, that even if things are falling apart, I’m still trying my best to be in good mental shape through exercise.
I have made friends along the way and here are some of the reasons why they choose the active lifestyle:
“It clears my mind. Every time I’m stressed at work or at home, I just need to exercise and I’m given clarity on what my next step will be. It gives me the feeling that I can conquer anything, no matter how difficult the problem that comes my way,” Eric, 25, civil engineer
“I have a very busy schedule but I still make time for exercise. Without it, I feel like I’m going to be insane. With all the clients shouting at me and deadlines waiting to be tackled, I’m thankful I have the gym to run to so I could set aside those problems for a while and just focus on myself,” - Anna, 27, account manager at an advertising firm
“I was diagnosed with clinical depression during the pandemic. I did not have the energy to do anything even go to my psychiatrist whom I was just scheduled with my sister to do. So when she suggested that I should inject physical activity into my daily routine, I just laughed at her. But look at me now, I’ve been doing so many tricks with my jump rope and it’s been such a joy, ticking off goals one at a time,” Steve, 22, illustrator
“My marriage was falling apart but we were dedicated to making it work so we signed up for counseling. The relationship coach told us that we have to look for something to do together that can ignite the fire in the relationship. For some reason, we both wanted to go into calisthenics so we signed up for that and have been going to the gym at least twice every week. It has brought us closer and during our sessions, we would cheer for each other just like in the old times,” Jane, 34, accountant
“I’m not gonna lie to you. The first time I hit the gym was because I was going to join a beauty pageant. I needed to be in my best form so the gym helped tone my body and make it ready for the pageant. Now that my pageant days have long been over, I still go back to the gym regularly. Why? It has become part of my routine and my weeks are not complete without it. If you want to get into fitness, you just have to keep showing up,” Kelsey, 28.
If you don’t really want to hit the gym or a fitness studio or go out for a run in your neighborhood, you can always set up a home gym. The garage is a great space to start building your home gym because it’s spacious and you can even roll out the door for some Vitamin D to enter. Just make sure to install smart storage solutions such as overhead storage racks and wall shelves so that there is ample space in the garage for you to work out.