Quit Working Out

5 Reasons To STOP Working Out

If not working out stresses you out in an unhealthy way, then doing just that may be what you need to do.

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I can rattle off a never-ending list of benefits that exercising can have on one's mental health, well-being, and physical health. I love working out. It is a hobby that I wish I could do more seriously, rather than going on the treadmill and doing push-ups when I can. (One reason I can't wait to graduate so I can actually put in the time and serious effort in the gym, rather than doing bull-shit workouts when I have the energy.)

However, having an unhealthy obsession and expectations for yourself in terms of working out is not good. I know because in the past that has been me. I have been paranoid, terrified, depressed, anxious, and irritable, because of the expectations I had of myself on working out. I failed to accept and acknowledge just how busy I am as a working, full-time college student.

I made the list for the people that's world begins and ends with exercising. I understand that exercising is some people's passion. Their free time is dedicated to the gym and they are more than happy with that. That's okay.

This is for the people that don't necessarily enjoy working out but prioritize it anyways because they fear the consequences of not doing so.

There are several variables to being a healthy individual, and working out is just one of them, not the only one.

This is geared more towards people who have exercise-addiction tendencies. Even though exercising is healthy–the addictive behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of the exercise addiction are not healthy. And just like any addiction, a withdrawal, evaluation, and acceptance need to take place to be truly healthy.


1. If you completely fear NOT working out.

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Warnings:

If you have the mindset that your world will end if you don't workout–that's unhealthy.

I know end of the world is pretty dramatic, but I'm being serious.

If you believe that if you miss a few workouts that all of your progress, stamina, muscle tone or growth, or that you will gain a significant amount of weight if you don't get a workout in, that is unhealthy.

Reasons why a hiatus could do you good:

If you are consistent in the gym, muscle growth and progress has been done. Yes, consistency is key. But if you miss a workout or two– or even weeks– all of that progress will not suddenly disappear.

The 80/20 rule is real. (Progress is made and maintained 80% diet and 20% exercise– hence the expression, "abs are made in the kitchen.")

If you take a small break from the gym, but still maintain a smart and healthy diet based off your activity levels and goals, your progress will not disappear.

Why I think this helps?

I think this helps because if you are too busy, mentally exhausted, don't have access, or simply just don't want to workout, your body will not change the drastic ways your mind may trick you to believe.

Your resting metabolism is your friend as long as you are aware of its abilities and limitations.

I workout maybe 3-4 times a week. In the past, that would have terrified me. I was once a girl that had a weights class 3x/week in school, was always participating in a sport everyday after school, and still would go to workout at a gym before bed. I was obsessed. Now that I am in college, I've had to learn how to adjust my workouts and diet to the lifestyle I am now living. There were mishaps and bad decisions, but I have finally figured it out.

I follow a Vegan diet (and consume alcohol and caffeine) but my body has not significantly changed the way I used to believe it would.

2. You skip class, work, or other professional engagements to work out.

Warning:

If you find yourself so insistent on working out that you consistently fail to follow through on your responsibilities and obligations–chances are you have an unhealthy obsession.

There is a difference between skipping a boring lecture once and awhile to play a pick-up game of basketball with your friends (something my dad did in college), and consistently skipping classes so you can have time to get a workout in.

Reasons a hiatus would do you good:

Skipping class, falling behind in work, professional repercussions of not meeting your expectations and completing your responsibilities are STRESSFUL.

If you already feel the stress of needing to working out so desperately that you neglect your responsibilities, the stress will only get worse if those consequences are added in.

Do yourself a favor and take a step back. Evaluate your goals. Rearrange your schedule so you can make time for all of things you want to accomplish–personally and professionally.

3. You find yourself becoming antisocial and pulling away from your friends or family.

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I get it. Not everyone's scene is going out, partying, or being social. Some people truly do prefer the bars at the gym rather than bars downtown. That's fine.

Though, it is unhealthy when you are so focused on working out that you completely isolate yourself from your loved ones.

Have goals, work towards your goals, crush them. But don't compromise special time with your loved ones just so you can workout.

Warnings:

You begin to turn down opportunities to be with your loved ones because you fear missing a workout. You become irritated and short-tempered when they ask you to skip a workout.

You lose interest in seeing your loved ones. The only place you want to be is the gym or doing some type of workout.

Why a hiatus could be good for you:

Some peoples' passion is working out and physical fitness. That's great. For those people that is their priority, maybe their friends' priorities are that too.

But for the people that like to be social and would regularly want to be with their loved ones, if you find yourself suddenly changing and puling away from them because of your desire to workout–that can become an unhealthy obsession.

Taking a small break can allow you to spend time with your loved ones. It can help you realize that your life does not have to revolve around working out–and neither does your worth.

4. If you notice yourself beginning to obsess over your body.

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Warnings:

There is a difference between taking progress pictures to use as a reference and completely fascinating on them, zooming in on every flaw.

There is also a difference between checking yourself out in the mirror, and standing in front of it for long periods of time, again, fixating on every detail of your body.

Why a hiatus could be good for you:

This is an extension on point number one.

I just want to emphasize that your body's progress will not disappear after a few missed workouts.

Everyone's body is different and maintains progress differently, but if you need to give your mind and body a break, take it. Your body will not deflate and become a noodle.

I think this is important if you are exercise-obsessed because it can allow you to realize that listening to your body is important. If you need a break, but you fear of what your body will turn into if you do, you need to take that break.

5. If working out creates more anxiety, rather than reducing it.

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Working out can be viewed as a stress reliever. Need to blow off some steam? Go for a run or hit the racks.

However, I know from personal experience, working out can create or worsen anxiety.

For me, sometimes the thought of working out can create such a pit in my stomach and make me feel like my throat is being swollen shut. (I haven't unpacked why this is.)

What I do know is that when I feel this sudden rush thinking about working out, I don't go and workout. I do something that I know will calm me down. Often it is binge-watching a show or reading. Sometimes being lazy is what helps me.

I think this is because I have the mindset that I am never doing enough. This feeling can come up in school, work, extracurriculars, and working out...

"I'm dead after 30 minutes of running? 30 minutes isn't enough–I should be doing at least 40 minutes, I ran cross country for goodness sake."

Sometimes skipping a workout allows me to work on my mental clarity and realizing that just surviving is enough.

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ASU Students Push For A Healthier Dining Hall To Counter 'Freshman 15' Fears

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap.

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Arizona State University students are pushing for change within the downtown Phoenix dining hall as they strive to avoid the infamous freshman 15.

The downtown Phoenix campus offers fewer dining options than the Tempe campus and has a less appetizing dining hall. The freshman 15 is a common scare among students living in the dorms, who are often freshman.

The freshman 15 is defined as a student who gains 15 pounds or more in their first year of college. Studies prove the average freshman does not exercise the right amount, is sleep deprived, has a poor diet, increases their stress level, alcohol consumption, and fatty food intake, which is most likely causing their weight gain.

Lauren Hernandez

Daniella Rudoy, a journalism major and fitness instructor at the SDFC, relived her freshman year as she provided tips for incoming freshman.

"There are a lot of workouts you can do in your dorm room as long as you have access to YouTube or a floor. You can go on a run, a walk, or do exercises that do not require equipment," Rudoy said in support of college fitness.

Rudoy said that mental health, fitness, and nutrition all correlate with one another.

"I follow the saying abs are made in the kitchen. So if you are working out day and night, but eating a giant pizza and chicken wings with a pack of beer when you come home you aren't doing yourself much good," Rudoy said.

Lauren Hernandez

The main cause for weight gain is increased alcohol consumption. 80 percent of college students drink and this includes binge drinking, which is unhealthy for many reasons.

Students who do not drink are most likely gaining weight because of their exposure to an all-you-can-eat dining hall. The downtown Phoenix campus offers a salad bar as their only consistent healthy option for students, therefore students are left eating hamburgers, fries, and pizza.

"I haven't been to the dining hall this semester. Last semester, I went because I had no other options. I am a vegetarian and the dining hall is not accommodating to those with allergies or food restrictions. I find it very difficult to find vegetarian options," Lexi Varrato, a journalism major said.

Lauren Hernandez

Varrato explained that she believes the freshman 15 is "100 percent real" and that incoming freshman should research their meal plans and ask their school how their dietary restrictions will be accommodated before purchasing a non-refundable meal plan.

Megan Tretter, a nursing major at Seattle University emphasized that not every dining hall is like ASU's and that the freshman 15 is "definitely not a problem" at her school.

"I always eat healthy at my dining hall. There are a lot of good and healthy options at Seattle University. I usually go to the smoothie line in the morning, have a salad for lunch, and make myself an acai bowl after work with avocado toast in our floor's kitchen," Tretter said in support of her school's strive for healthy options.

College students across the United States have healthier dining options than ASU, but many colleges still face the same problems that students here are facing.

Tara Shultz, a journalism major at ASU believes she has avoided the "very real" freshman 15 by living at home.

"I believe the freshman 15 targets dorm residence and first-year students who do not live at home as they do not have their parents as a guide and are forced to eat at a dining hall that only serves fatty foods," Shultz emphasized.

Lauren Hernandez

The downtown Phoenix campus offers students access to the SDFC, YMCA, and Taylor Place gym, where students can take group fitness classes, run on a track, play basketball, or swim. Alternative options for students are purchasing a membership at Orangetheory or EOS Fitness.

Most students agreed with journalism major Vanessa Gonzalez that they have little time to work out due to their workload, but many students like Varrato, Tretter, and Rudoy explained that they try to work out every day as it is a stress reliever and it enriches their mental health.

Steve Fiorentino, the owner of Powered Up Nutrition encourages college students to learn what they are putting in their bodies.

"I think it starts with nutrition. Students believe they can outwork a bad diet and I believe that is their number one mistake. My advice is to stop eating fast foods and start eating whole and healthy foods along with supplements," Fiorentino stated.

The freshman 15 is an avoidable curse, but many students will continue to follow into its trap. The campus dining hall is not always the reason to blame as students have the option to decrease their meal plans, become active, and make healthy choices!

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Don't Let The Gym Bros Scare You, Here Are 9 Tips For Feeling More Confident In The Gym

Sometimes the gym can be pretty intimidating, especially when you see a bunch of huge, muscular guys huffing and puffing as they lift twice their body weight.

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It's getting to that time of year where if you haven't already stopped working towards your New Year goals, you're likely thinking about it. For a lot of people, that means they stop going to the gym. Sometimes the gym can be pretty intimidating, especially when you see a bunch of huge, muscular guys huffing and puffing as they lift twice their body weight. However, you need to be mentally strong as well, and hopefully, these tips can keep you motivated and confident!

1. First and foremost, you need to realize and believe most people aren't going to be paying attention to you

The number one concern most people at the gym have is that they feel like they're being watched. More often than not, people are more focused on themselves than others. It can be easy, especially as a girl, to feel like you're being watched. Just keep reminding yourself that they don't care what you're doing, and even if they do, that doesn't matter or change your workout.

2. Act like you know what you're doing, even if you don't!

If you come off as confident and look like you know your stuff, people who are watching will likely be impressed.

3. Listen to loud music that pumps you up

This will help keep you focused on yourself and motivate you even more.

4. Get involved in classes

This is a great way to switch up your routine and try new things to keep yourself interested in going to the gym.

5. Find a workout buddy

Even if you don't specifically do your workouts together, having a gym buddy will hold you more accountable for making it to the gym.

6. Create a routine

Putting the gym in your schedule and trying to go around the same time helps keep things consistent and it will just feel like part of your day rather than a task you have to do.

7. If you really feel uncomfortable at you gym, try other gyms

Most gyms have a few days for a free trial, so this is the best way to make sure you will feel good at the gym. Being comfortable in the gym is going to make a huge difference when it comes to your motivation for working out. If you feel awkward and like you don't belong there, you may not work out as long or do as much as you're capable of doing.

8. Keep track of your progress

While seeing physical results may take a while, writing down differences in times and weights will give you a visual of your progress. Seeing this will help keep you motivated so you are aware of what is changing and you will want to keep going.

9. Have fun!

Working out should not be a chore. You should find ways to make it fun and rewarding. Always try new things and stay confident!

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