Exercise give you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. And happy people don’t shoot their husbands. – Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
After two weeks of canceled fitness classes, eating and drinking all the things and lying around spending time with my family and friends, I went to back to dance class. It wasn’t pretty. I was sluggish, bloated and convinced I looked like one of a hundred after-holiday memes floating around on social media. Did I mention I was recovering from injuries? It was tragic (insert dramatic music here).
I wasn’t sure if I was going to get through it in one piece, but I was determined to at least show up for class. I did more than show up – I attempted every move at least twice. It was great, if not a little exhausting, to be back.
Afterward, I didn’t hurt as much as I thought I would. I rolled out my sore muscles, stretched everything and spent some quality time surrounded by ice packs. As I sat icing my body, I realized that part of my problem came from failing to do any core strengthening exercises (i.e., abs) or other moves that I was accustomed to completing as part of my 3-4 times a week class schedule. Instead of resting during the holidays, I became a slug. And that’s not healthy.
I often hear people say, I hate to exercise. Or I have to go to the gym because I ate too many tacos. I understand it; I used to think the same thing. I was wrong. Our bodies are designed to move. Exercise shouldn’t be a punishment, it should be cause for celebration. We feel better after exercise, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Movement – no matter how small – is good for us.
If this is you, you’re not alone. I thought I hated exercise because I thought exercise meant going to the gym. Then I discovered dance classes. I couldn’t believe I was in a class where an hour would go by and I barely realized it. Turns out I didn’t hate exercise – I hated the exercise I was doing.
If, like the 10 years ago me, you “hate exercise” then you definitively haven’t found an activity that makes you happy, brings you joy, inspires you to keep moving and keep at it. Try something new – get out of the gym and onto the dance floor, take a yoga class at your local Lululemon or brewery (it’s a thing), join a cycling club, hit the driving range – the possibilities are (almost) endless.
Your future self will thank you.
What’s your favorite exercise? Share in the comments!