Ease into exercise

This Is What Your Gym Needs To Tell You

Approaching exercise with a laid-back attitude instead of a strict one may be more encouraging for some people wanting to incorporate exercise into their routine for their first time.

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Are you one of those who found every excuse to skip P.E.?

Does walking into a gym make you feel like if you did those fancy things on that complicated equipment you would fall flat to your face within the first five minutes? Or if you wanted to look like that strong, fit person, it would probably take ten years.

Well, I felt all of those until I had to start exercise as a part of recovery after my illness. There were two kinds of gyms I joined— both with similar amenities but different environments.

There was a poster in my first gym that read "Winners Don't Make Excuses" and we have all heard this one, "No Pain No Gain."

Those first words: "Winners Don't Make Excuses." Are we not winners if we do not exercise? We all have to fight with whatever life throws at us on a daily basis. After all that, we walk into a gym because we have heard exercise helps you feel better. A quote like that can be misleading for beginners and it can make people feel like they lost at everything if they skipped their workout.

"No pain, no gain" for beginners is like taking a test on the first day of class. Those just getting into exercise are being told it is going to hurt, and I am pretty sure the initial reaction would be to turn away.

A fitness trainer at my first gym also asked me to track calories and cut my big breakfast down to avocado and toast. My favorite meal of the day was altered, leaving me quite unhappy. Continually tracking calories became an obsession I just wanted a break from.

Not until I joined another gym did I started loving exercise. It was because of the attitude those trainers had.

Working out did not feel like a task.

The first thing they suggested was to get rid of that calorie counter. No need for added mental stress! Too much holding back only makes those cravings come back with uncontrollable force. When they talked about the flexibility in their own diets, I did not feel like an outsider. I did not feel as if I had to go through so much pain to fit into the world of fitness.

They laid out a beginners exercise plan that worked for me. No pain. Anytime I didn't feel too good, I was merely given a foam roller. Which, by the way, feels amazing. Every time I walked out of that gym, I felt happier and de-stressed, which is what exercise is supposed to be! It should not be a burden.

So, for those wanting to start exercise, start small. Take it easy at first and keep the routines short (I started mine with 15 minutes). If you feel like you are failing to keep up with a strict routine, don't keep track. Give yourself time and leeway. Just as Lao Tzu said, "Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."

Now that's a quote to live by.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Part 1: Necessary Changes

One of my favorite movies is "Fried Green Tomatoes" with Kathy Bates. In the movie Bates' character Evelyn Couch says, "Someone helped put a mirror up in front of my face, and I didn't like what I saw one bit. And you know what I did? I changed." I know the feeling.

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I looked in the mirror over the weekend and didn't like what I saw.

The person I saw looking back at me is petty, selfish, manipulative, and unattractive. It wasn't that I hated what I saw, but I definitely didn't like what I saw either. It's a surreal feeling, looking at yourself through a critical lens, and it doesn't make you feel good in any way shape or form.

The image that I see of myself is not how I want others to perceive me. I want to be someone that people look at and see kindness, compassion, strength, and confidence.

I have enough general life experience to know that these types of changes aren't going to happen overnight, and not all of them will be physical; most of these will have to happen from the inside, from within myself.

When you find out you are all broken and damaged, it's hard to know where to start putting the pieces back together. I figured the best place to start would be the most literal: my actual insides; so, I decided to embark on a deep-cleansing journey to get all of the toxins out of my body, from the inside out.

I found this book on 10-day green smoothie detox stashed away in the dark corner of my bookshelf. The science behind it seems accurate and legitimate. By eliminating certain foods, your body is able to detox itself off of chemicals and foods that are slowing down your metabolism; the smoothies are specifically designed with combinations of foods that help restart your metabolism. Part of the detox process is getting rid of all dependencies on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

Every day you are given the recipe for a specific smoothie; you make the smoothie (about 40 ounces) and sip on it throughout the day whenever you get hungry. Every smoothie is a combination of leafy greens, water, fruit, and flax seeds. If you do happen to get hungry throughout the day, you are encouraged to eat raw nuts, hard boiled eggs, and a wide variety of crunchy green vegetables. There is also a detox tea that you have first thing in the morning, but other than that no other beverages are allowed except water.

I know that this is only the beginning of a very long, emotional, and draining journey. But I think I'm at the point in my life where I have to make these changes. I have to put my pieces together, I have to become a normal functioning adult, I have to find out who I am. I think that this is the perfect way to start.

For the next 10 days I am going to be documenting my experiences, how I'm feeling, what my emotions are doing, and any results that I see.

Stay tuned!

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