It’s your workout. Own it
Sometimes the mere feat of getting to and being in the physical space of the gym is enough to tick off our “workout” box. We’re seemingly okay with a lack-luster, non-sweat inducing workout. We may say to ourselves “well, at least I made it”.
However, I am sure many of you are familiar with association between exercise intensity and/or duration and health benefit. You likely know that the more intensely and/or longer you engage in physical activity for, the greater the benefit to your health. You may have also heard the expression, “you get out what you put in” (especially if you come to my Zumba class :)).
Yet, you and I seem to be okay with not pushing ourselves (on more occasions than we want to admit). We seem to be comfortable with settling for less when it comes to our health. This isn’t about weight or looking toned; exercising (in my opinion) is for improving physical health (i.e. metabolism, bone mass), mental health, and the promotion of positive aging. Weight loss and increased muscle mass are just an added bonus.
For those who read the blog regularly and know me personally, you will know I am not an intense gym-goer. I do not do regular weight training, nor do I run 10 KM a day. I do teach Zumba four times a week, run irregularly and enjoy a hot yoga class here and there. Sometimes I don’t push myself (especially in hot yoga), sometimes I give up. But more and more, I push myself to my perceived limit. And each time I reach that limit, I push myself to a new one.
I don’t mean to sound preachy or overly intense (which I probably am). My intention is to motivate you to own your workout. Your workout is yours, and yours alone. Having a light workout and/or slacking every once in a while is completely fine, but indulging on a regular basis is putting your current and future health at risk. Merely being at the gym is not enough to stave off the unfortunate health consequences of low physical activity and an unbalanced diet.
It’s important to remember that a challenging workout is relative. Specifically, you need to determine what challenging is to you and you alone. Determine your own threshold. What is challenging to you may be impossible or a complete cinch to others. Even if you have physical restrictions, the threshold rule still applies; determine what is challenging for you and perform your workout accordingly.
So if you feel yourself holding back, regularly giving in to feelings of fatigue, or talking yourself out of a workout, stop. Your health is worth it, isn’t it?