I started doing yoga with my mom when I was fifteen. We went to an incredible studio with amazing instructors and wonderful people, and the experience helped me establish what has become a life-long love of yoga.
However, when I was a freshman, I attended a yoga class on campus, and it was so horrible I actually cried. Yeah, that’s right, I cried during class. If this had been my first experience with yoga, I probably never would’ve tried it again.
Getting into shape and working on your fitness doesn’t have to be torture. In fact, it shouldn’t be torture. I love going to the gym (most of the time) and I never understood why when I’ve invited friends to go with me, they’d react with a grunt and a groan and either a reluctant “ugh fine” or an excuse like “I really don’t want to today”.
There are so many different workouts to choose from! It’s impossible to hate all of them. Going to the gym doesn’t have to mean thirty boring minutes on the elliptical followed up with struggling on a mat through the same ab workouts week after week.
Switching up your workout routine prevents you from getting bored. If you ate the same exact foods everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, even if they were super healthy, you’d get sick of them pretty fast. The same goes for your workouts. Additionally, if you didn’t like a certain type of food, you wouldn’t continue eating it. If you don’t like whatever form of cardio you’ve been pushing through each week, try doing a different form. Try the AMTS machine, or the bike, or the stair master, or get outside and hike instead. Try dancing, even!
Also, if your cardio feels too difficult to motivate yourself into, try to incorporate strength training and calisthenics into your routine. It’ll make cardio easier. When your muscles are in better shape, they perform better during cardio… Who would’ve thought?
No access to weights? Try the Nike Training Club app, or even just look up some no-equipment/bodyweight workouts here at Fit U or on Pinterest. There are a million to choose from, so you never have to get bored.
Barre classes are my new obsession, and I’ll schedule a few into my week if I can. Grab a friend and try a few out, either at your school’s gym or elsewhere. If group fitness classes aren’t for you but you still feel like you’d benefit from some instruction, look into hiring a personal trainer. Having someone guide you through a workout and help you create a personalized routine is extremely helpful, even if you only meet with them a few times.
Here’s the thing: all bodies were made to move. However, not everyone likes moving in the same way. Just because you don’t like one form of exercise doesn’t mean your body won’t enjoy another. In fact, you’re biologically MADE to enjoy exercise!
Too many people give up on working out altogether, just based on one or two failed experiences. When you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to do it: it’s that simple! So figure out what works for you, mix it up, and go get that endorphin rush. Your body will thank you.