I have never been one for exercise. But lately, I just can’t get enough.
The thought of exercise has always repulsed me. I used to force myself to do it because I was encouraged to do so by my parents, and I knew that it was good for me due to the health benefits, but I was never completely willing. I didn’t see the appeal in it. My brother used to tell me how great it was and how better he’d feel in his mood after having been to the gym, but it didn’t seem to hit me as much. I used to leave the gym just feeling sweaty, looking red, and feeling drained with exhaustion.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that I was unhealthy. Well, I don’t see myself as unhealthy – I eat correctly and I suppose I could eat a little better, but that’s like anyone. The thing is, I just didn’t get why exercise was such a trend. As I grew older and went to university, everyone seemed to be attracted to exercise. I started seeing more Facebook posts about ‘gainz’ (yes, gains with a ‘z’), and I started reading more articles on exercise because they kept appearing on my Twitter feed. But I still didn’t get the appeal. The attraction. I didn’t understand what was fascinating about getting fit to all these people.
In the past month, I don’t know what happened. My mood started to decrease, feeling more upset, easily annoyed and angry, and so I downloaded a few apps on my phone. They were apps that focused on meditation, calorie counting, and exercise. I wasn’t so big on the calorie counting, but the meditation app and exercise app were strangely addicting to me. I started getting more into it, until one day, I suggested to my Father, who is an avid runner, that we go jogging together. Naturally, he agreed.
Running has been great. There’s no expectation to go fast or slow – just at your own pace. I’m not expected to be exercising for long either. To begin with, I ran for ten minutes and came home because my stamina wasn’t great. Over the past month, it’s been increasing to 14 minutes, which isn’t much of an increase, but it’s paying off physically and mentally for me.
I guess it’s finding the right exercise for each person and not forcing yourself to do so. It might just be spontaneous, and as much as I think exercise is necessary for health benefits both mental and physically, I don’t think people should be forced. They live their own lives, healthy or unhealthy. But running has been fantastic, and for anyone who does suffer with mental health issues or simply wants to feel a bit fitter, they should definitely try it. Or even try any other exercise. Even weight lifting. It’s ten minutes out your day, and I think everyone has ten minutes to spare.