Tuesday, 28 February 2017

My relationship with exercise

I am currently sat in bed with a belly full of 3 huge pancakes, plus I have three more to eat in the morning for breakfast, and I'm ironically about to write a post about exercise... (If you're not interested, please just enjoy the photos of our amazing pancake stacks instead).

I find exercise hard - I always have done. It's not something that comes naturally to me, and it's not something that I particularly enjoy doing. However, whenever I actually do exercise, I feel so good afterwards and always wonder why I don't do it more.

Personally for me, exercise is a bit all or nothing. Once I get into it, I could do it almost every day and I get a spurt of productiveness. However as soon as I get out of the routine, I find it really difficult to get back into and I can go weeks without breaking even the slightest sweat.

I have been swimming the past couple of weeks, but recently I have found myself putting it off and making excuses. I was supposed to go last night, but I felt too tired. Then I was going to go today, but I scoffed 3 pancakes with my housemates instead. I washed my hair tonight, so I can't go tomorrow because it's not hair washing day... etcetera.

I actually don't feel too guilty for exercising, I feel more bad about having paid membership fees for the pool and not necessarily using it to its full advantage. I feel like I get a bit blase about it and don't think of it as a huge priority most of the time. I'm also not really doing it to change my body or get fit, but more for my mental health as I always feel so good afterwards; plus it helps me sleep better. Since feeling better in myself I have stopped worrying so much about how my body looks, and that has made me feel even better. For me, my mental health is much more important than how I look.

I think exercising is all about finding something that you enjoy doing. For me, that's swimming and dancing. I haven't particularly found any classes for dancing that I have been really interested in doing, partly because they're often too expensive but also because I don't want any competitiveness to be involved in it (I am one of the least competitive people you'll ever meet!). On the other hand, I have been swimming - and once I'm there I really, really enjoy it. It's just finding the motivation to get myself to the gym that I find the hardest - I think it's a lot easier when someone comes with me because it pushes me into going.

I'm not really sure what point I wanted to get across by this post, but I guess I just wanted to point out that it's okay to struggle with exercising. It's okay to not be a gym bunny or to enjoy lazing around a lot. And it's especially okay to stuff your face with pancakes once in a while.
It all  begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to has power over you, if you allow it.


  1. I agree with you that exercise is definitely about finding something you like, and doing it for mental health reasons is one of the best excuses for getting active. Almost all the way through university I felt guilty about not really exercising, mainly because I lived with very sporty housemates! The competitiveness was what put me off joining any clubs or classes - I'm also not that competitive. In fifth year I signed up for a half marathon which felt totally crazy, but I actually really enjoyed the running. I lost the motivation for it once the race had happened and then elective/summer holiday/starting F1 all became excuses not to exercise again. I've eventually joined a local gym and have really gotten in to it - even if my motivation is largely just not wanting to waste the fees! It's really helped me mentally though - I was starting to struggle with anxiety again so fillng up my evening and getting healthy tired (rather than just mentally exhuasted) has made me feel a lot better. Some days I feel too tired to do it, but I give it a try anyway. I don't set myself any specific targets and just listen to my body - if I'm genuinely too tired I'll stop, or maybe do a much gentler workout - and sometimes I'll re-energsise! I think your final paragraph is so true - it is 100% ok not to be a gym bunny, and the motivation to get out and exercise is not something that will come naturally to everyone, just like everything else in life! And yep, it's definitely, definitely ok to stuff your face with pancakes every once in a while :)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Wellbeing & Lifestyle

  2. This definitely describes me - I love exercise when I get into a routine, but I have so many excuses not too! For me I just find I'm too busy, and if I have a spare half an hour I would sooner use that for studying right now! I've been trying to just get off the Tube a stop or two early in the mornings to get some extra steps in which is my concession to make me feel less gulity!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog