How to fall in love with exercising if you hate it.

I must confess — I’m not into sport and exercising. Every time someone asks me what my favourite kind of sport is, I shyly look down and quietly admit that, perhaps, I’m not that active and, as an introvert, I prefer more calm and solitary activity. (yes, I always throw the ‘introvert’ excuse whenever I don’t want to do something).

When I was at school, back in Ukraine, we used to have very strict lessons of physical education where every child should have partecipate. I was not an exception, however, I was a lame pupil, especially when it came to team games. My team would lose because I would just be standing there looking at the ball.

Time has passed, I’ve lost weight, gained it, lost again, and now I’m in my twenties, with a clear realization: I need sport in my life. We all do.

My interior exploration was hard enough for me to realize how I can start doing it without struggling and suffering. According to all self-help websites and magazines, sport ought to bring joy andhappiness. At the end of the day, “you just have to find what’s right for you”. So I started searching throughout many expired gym subscriprions, empty promises to start “from tomorrow” and failed diets. I’m now in not my best shape and I am struggling to find myself, sport-wise. But during my long journey towards loving something I can’t stand, I have learned some vitally important lessons.

  1. It’s all within you. The moment you start listening and “collaborating” with your body, you’ll understand better what you need to do. I know how does it feel to be thrown on gigas of information about why the kind of sport X is better than the Y one, and it’s easy to get confused. Still, even though you may need some external advise and coaching, only you know how does your body feel after certain excercises. Listen to it carefully, take your time, and do not forget: we’re here to create a lifelong habit to maintain health and make you feel amazing. Your body will thank you for it.
  2. You have wrong motivation. Usually, or, I might say, almost always people’s (especially if you are a female) motivation for sports is losing weight. I won’t start discussing modern society’s problems that make us believe we’re never skinny enough and make money on our low confidence. I just realized that, at the end of the day, losing weight isn’t a lifelong motivation. It cannot be. First of all, the moment you actually lose your extra kilograms, you’ll lose your motivation too. Second of all, you won’t see immediate results and it will encourage you to give up too soon. So, instead of thinking about your weight, think about your health. You would definitely like, as much as we all would, to be healthy and active once you hit 40. You probably want to be flexible, avoid strokes, heart attacts, Alzheimer, and many other diseases. You want to feel your body working, your muscles stretching, cause you’re freaking alive and was meant to move, not to be a coach-potato.
  3. It really makes you feel better. This is the thing I used to hear and read about lot, but I have never actually believed it. WeI used to think that, perhaps sports indeed produce some sort of hormones in my brain that make you feel better but… no. It is never gonna happen to me. I’m an exception. However, the moment I started to excercises and actualy listen to my body, I realized that it was true. I have been through a complicated period at the beginning of the year and after excercising, my thoughts would literally be as follows: “All problems can be solved. Everything will be fine. Life is great”. As if my body was curing my mind and my soul. And I love my body for that.
  4. It is all about process. This can be related to the n.2, since, as I mentioned, whenever we don’t get an immediate result, we tend to give up. We concentrate way too much on the result we ought to get (the thing we should do, according to the Law of Attraction). Althought, we should never forget what is it all for, life is what happening here and now. And here and now you should enjoy what you’re doing or, at least, make it as much pleasant as you can.
  5. Be flexible. As I said before, it’s easy to get confused. But don’t be scared: just try different things, and don’t force it when you clearly dislike something. Excercising is not a “trend”, even if it may seem so, so do not start doing something because “it’s the latest instagram trend”. Do you truly enjoy yoga or you’re more into team sports? Only by experiencing different kinds of sport and excercising you may find the one that works for you.
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