Death by UREC
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Student Life

Death by UREC

Encouragement on how to get over the fear of physical exercise.

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Death by UREC
Science Daily

Every time September rolls around, I make a plan for my weekly routine. I know when I am working, what my class schedule looks like, when I have time to fit in my volunteering shifts, and when I attend church throughout the week. As someone who is not, and has never been, active in sports, it is difficult for me to find time throughout the week for physical exercise. Thankfully, I was given plenty of time during the summer to hike and run and just generally allow myself to be active. Exercising once classes began was difficult. And I thought that the minimal amount that I was doing was enough.

After going to the UREC on Tuesday, however, I am very aware that I was not doing nearly enough of the exercising thing.

It isn’t even that going through multiple reps on multiple machines was anything different from what I have been known to do in the past. It’s just that it’s been so long. And every stair that I have seen today has reminded me of the decisions I have made in a way that I am not proud of.

One of the most unexpected aspects of college life in the beginning of freshman year was the variety of physical activities that students took part in. We all know the overachievers, the terrifyingly committed superstars who go on runs every single day and claim that they enjoy it (I’m sure they do.) We are all aware of, or have been, those that would rather spend their time chatting with friends than benching weights on a Saturday afternoon. My favorite people are the dancers, who don’t bat an eye after attending and teaching multiple dance classes, spend hours upon hours at rehearsals, and then laugh at the suggestion of going on a run. Physical strength and flexibility vary depending on each person and it is important to note that the comments that the people around you make about their ability affects how you feel about yours.

How would you feel if I told you that there was a word to describe what you are thinking while talking to an exercise junkie? That draining feeling that you might not ever get into shape? It’s called self-efficacy. It’s the confidence in yourself to be able to complete your workout regardless of obstacles. According to news.osu.edu, “A key to boosting exercise self-efficacy is providing opportunities for exercise in attractive, non-threatening settings, according to the researchers.” Wherever it is that you feel most comfortable, that is where you should work out. If you need to be around nature, go out and work in nature. If you need to be in your room with candles lit and your yoga mat out, you should do that too. The point is, putting yourself in non-threatening environments as you’re attempting to get into shape and boost your confidence will prove to be beneficial to your health.

For every obstacle you remove, the more likely you are to enjoy your experience as you’re exercising. “As Dr. John Ratey states, “If you can get to the point where you’re consistently saying to yourself exercise is something that you want to do, then you’re charting a course to a different future – one that is less about surviving and more about thriving.”

Wherever you’re at, I just wanted to take the time to encourage you today. As I am surrounded by a beautiful group of housemates who are hikers, dancers, tennis players, and golf enthusiasts, I am acutely aware of our differing abilities. We can try to out-compete each other in anything we do, but what does it matter? You should only be trying to be the healthiest that you should be. And I have to remind myself of that as I am contemplating descending the stairs again to go to my room, figuring out once again how to force my legs into submission. It may not be worth it. But remembering that this will all be worth it is a thought that we will all have to cling to on our journeys of physical improvement.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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