There is a point in life when you can’t deny it any longer: you’re going to have to focus on your fitness, once and for all. The need for exercise is overwhelming if you are concerned about all aspects of your health; not only does exercise improve your cardiovascular health, but it has been linked to helping people combat mental health concerns, too. It’s simple: exercise is essential, and that means you need to start paying attention to your personal fitness.
That’s not to say this decision is an easy one. Many of us have an up-and-down relationship with fitness; we engage for awhile, then life gets in the way, and our gym passes and at-home equipment fall into disuse. Persuading yourself to make a long-term commitment to your fitness isn’t easy, but it is achievable with a little willpower and focus.
So you make the commitment
You decide that the time is right, and you’re going to knuckle down. You manage to maintain your enthusiasm past the first few weeks. Then you notice the improvements beginning to show; the pounds lost, the muscles tightened, the improved stamina, the general improvement in your mood. These benefits are enough to keep you going.
Weeks pass. Then months. And eventually, you’ve reached the metaphorical summit: you have accepted exercise into your life, and you’re now a committed fan.
As well as all the benefits you will experience if you make the transition from fitness-avoider to fitness-lover, you might also find yourself engaging in a number of thoughts and behaviors you’d never imagined you’d experience. If you’re a latecomer to fitness who is now a dedicated fan, you might recognize the following…
1) You find yourself disappointed when you have to cancel exercise time
When you first started exercising, you probably seized on any excuse not to do it. Your friend needed you to run an errand for them? Had to catsit for your neighbor? Your plants needed watering? All of these and more would be prioritized over exercise, because you didn’t really want to exercise.
Now you’ve transformed into a fitness fanatic, life couldn’t be more different. You now actively dislike the idea of having to cancel your plans to workout; you now avoid the distractions, turning completely 180 from your previous behavior. It’s an outstanding change that can feel quite alien at first, but it’s definitely a very good sign.
2) You’re more interested in the educational side of fitness
As you become more committed to your fitness regime, you find yourself starting to become curious about the science behind working out. Rather than scanning through newspapers and blogs online, you find yourself drawn to information regarding the benefits of short, high-intensity workouts, or medical studies on the prevention of bone spurs.
This is entirely natural; you essentially have a new hobby, and even when you’re not working out, you’re going to have fitness on your mind. The great thing is that all this studying can be leveraged to help you meet your fitness goals more efficiently, as well as providing you with some mental stimulation to go along with the physical exertion.
3) You want to share your newfound love with everyone
When humans enjoy something, we tend to want to share the good news and encourage others to try it. It’s our way of trying to spread positivity, as well as find friends and family members to share our interest with. Even if you try not to, you’ll soon find yourself extolling the benefits of exercise at any given opportunity.
For some people, this need to spread the word about their new passion becomes overwhelming, and they begin to think about discussing the matter with the general populace too. You may find yourself wanting to start a blog or Instagram account to discuss fitness, or perhaps even contemplating the fact that it's never too late to become a personal trainer, and seriously contemplating a change in your career. All of these changes are completely natural, and you never know, such enthusiasm to share might lead to exciting opportunities in the future.
4) You begin to buy dedicated fitness clothes
Once, gym clothes were whatever you had available-- an old t-shirt and a pair of trainers that had seen better days. As you become more committed to your fitness lifestyle, you will find that these basics are no longer sufficient.
It’s likely that you will eventually cave and treat yourself to some dedicated fitness clothes. There’s absolutely no harm in this. For one thing, you’ll be more comfortable when working out -- dedicated fitness clothes tend to be made of more breathable, comfortable fabrics -- and it’s also a way of rewarding yourself for your hard work. While it’s inadvisable to spend a small fortune, there’s nothing wrong with investing in workout clothes that feel comfortable and easier to move in.
5) You become accustomed to aches and pains
Unless you are blessed with incredible genetics or outright good luck, it’s rarely possible to commit to an exercise regime without sustaining an injury or six. Whether it’s rashes caused by sweat or a swollen ankle due to a little too much time on the treadmill, physical discomfort is all part of the fitness package.
What may surprise you is just how easily you take these injuries in your stride. Rather than being distressed and wanting to quit your workouts forever, you just do what you need to do to feel comfortable, and then continue on with your life. The reason this happens is simple: yes, you’re seeing the occasional downside from your new exercise regime, but you’re seeing too many upsides for a small setback to change your mind about how beneficial exercise can be.
It is worth noting that if you are in severe discomfort due to exercise issues or injuries, then you should take a break to let yourself heal. It’s unwise to carry on regardless of the problems you are experiencing, and a few days break will at least help to keep you fresh for your triumphant workout return when you’re all healed.
6) You get bored quickly
This issue is one of the less enjoyable parts of becoming a dedicated fan of fitness, but it happens to a huge number of people, so it’s worth discussing. When you exercise regularly, you run the risk of becoming bored by the routine you have developed. As you are doing the same routine constantly, potentially for months on end, the potential for a drop in excitement is inevitable. Before you committed yourself to fitness, you didn’t have the chance to get bored by your routine because you simply weren’t doing it enough. Now you are, and your regime is thus running the risk of feeling dull.
This issue is why you should always change your fitness regime frequently. Try a new class or a new discipline; something totally different from what you have done before. This helps to expand your horizons in terms of fitness and, more importantly, keep you from feeling bored to the point of not wanting to workout. There are literally thousands of different exercise classes and sports you can try to keep your interest levels peaked, so don’t tolerate a boring exercise regime: change frequently whenever you feel the need for something new.
Ultimately, the switch from fitness-naysaying to fitness-aficionado is a strange, disconcerting, and overwhelmingly good one. You’ve made the leap and now you can enjoy life on the other side.