I Worked Out For 45 Days Straight And This Is What Happened

I Worked Out For 45 Days Straight And This Is What Happened

You have to set reasonable limits and not be too hard on yourself--that'll hurt you in the long run.
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On a whim, I decided to participate in Lent this year by giving up not working out. Yes, you heard that right, I would be working out for the next 40 days straight (and even Sundays). From March 1st to April 13th I would work out once a day, however I saw fit.

Although I am by no means stopping this new daily routine anytime soon, I wanted to document my experience at least for the Lent period. Now, before you yell at me about how I was hurting my body more than helping, just hear me out. I had time to recover, I had carefully listened to everything my body was telling me, and I wasn't running 6 miles a day (only 6 miles once a week haha). This is the simple plan I followed:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday--Cardio (at least 30 minutes, usually running)

Tuesday, Thursday--Strength training (abs, back, legs, arms, by lifting and machines)

Saturday--Easy cardio (hiking, inclined walk, elliptical, stair stepper, etc)

Sunday--Hard cardio (Mainly long runs)

The reason this program worked for me was that I wasn't planning on becoming a marathoner in two months or having rock-hard abs by the end of it all. I was doing something more than I would've done before and that was the whole point. By putting my physical health as a top priority, I became a priority.

Even going to the gym for only 15-20 minutes, that was still something. That was 20 minutes more than I would've done normally. I was making a goal for myself, sticking to it, and not letting it burn me out. By following my routine, I was able to stay consistent, happy, and determined. I wasn't getting bored because I could change up my plan as much as I wanted to, there was no one there to tell me that I was doing something wrong, or that I needed to be doing something else. I was just doing me, in the easiest way possible.

As a runner, I liked to plan out my weeks mileage and how far I wanted to go each day, especially in the summertime. But if I didn't reach that goal, I was disappointed in myself and turned away from running the next day because I didn't want another bad run. This plan made it easy for me to be versatile, to not set goals, and to honestly just watch myself change my perspective of working out. This plan didn't make me feel disappointed or awful, it just showed that I got off my butt that day and that was reason enough to be proud of myself.

Of course there were bad days and days I definitely had to drag myself to the gym, but there were so many good days too. I always was charged for my day after my morning workout and it kept me productive for classes, homework, and other responsibilities I had to get to. I liked knowing I had already ran a few miles that morning or that my arms (though little) were fierce. Haha!

The first time I felt like the plan was a bad idea was when my back started to hurt about a month in. At first, it was just sore, which I assumed was from the strength workout earlier that day. But as the hours went on, it got to the point where I couldn't even sit in a chair without cringing in pain. I had to leave a review session for one of my tests early, because I was shifting in my seat so much I felt like a distraction to everyone else. I went home to deal with some of the worst lower back pain I had ever experienced. Nothing helped--standing up, sitting down, lying on my stomach. I iced and heated and iced and heated. It kept me up into hours of the night, until I caved and took Ibuprofen. I hate taking painkillers, so that means something is really wrong with me, and I even took two (I never take more than one at a time). I waited for the pain to subside and fell asleep in the process, only to wake up like nothing had even happened. I continued working out, without any other serious problems. On occasion my back still hurts, but I watch it carefully and try not to stress out my body too much on those days.

Otherwise, it was the usual shinsplints from running more and more each week, or just the occasional soreness in my arms after arm day. I made sure to leave over 24 hours between strength workouts in order for my muscles to recover. As for cardio, 5 days a week isn't a problem.

I learned that it takes a long time for something to become a habit, or a long time to break one. I heard its 21 days (3 weeks) for it to truly make its mark on you, but for me it felt closer to a month. I had to keep reminding myself at first that I had to go to the gym, I had to go for a run. Now, its just something I do as part of my daily routine like brushing my teeth or going to class. I don't really need to think about it anymore, it just is.

I've learned a lot in this experience, as it was something I thought there was no way in hell I could do. I have school, I have labs, I have service events, I have homework, the list goes on and on. But I made myself a priority in my life--and that has helped me in many other ways as well:

  • It sets my sleep schedule in that I sleep better and as often as I need to (especially naps!)
  • Lower blood pressure, strengthens bones and endurance, prevents disease, boosts immunity, weakens my asthma, and longevity
  • It relieves stress, anxiety, and makes me feel productive
  • It gives me confidence in myself and my abilities, thus making my mental health a priority as well
  • Its changed how I look, not only physically, but how I view my body now
  • It proves that I can do anything I set my mind to no matter how lazy I am
  • It has led me watching what I eat even more, and with the hope of becoming a vegan over the summer (although, I love cheeseburgers!)
  • Its trained me for my half marathon next week
  • Its kept me honest with others and myself that I am doing what I set out to do
  • It made me HAPPY

Nothing else matters except for the fact that it made me happy. It makes me feel good, it makes me proud, it makes me love life. Working out for 45 days straight seems like a big hurdle, but taking it day by day without pressuring myself over it, really made it seem like a much smaller goal. I hope to continue this streak until the end of the school year, but taking a day off every now and then is okay too. You have to set reasonable limits and not be too hard on yourself--that'll hurt you in the long run.

I worked out for 45 days straight and it made me happy.

Cover Image Credit: comfortableclub.com

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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23 Things I've Learned In My 23 Years

And there will be many more lessons along the way.

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Turning 23 isn't a milestone birthday but this year has brought up a lot a reflection after going through a period of tribulations. We tend to forget the big picture of our lives that we just need to enjoy the ride and reflect on our growth as a person. Here are some things I have learned throughout the way.

1. Be more in the moment.

With life becoming monotonous, we are so fast paced and do not take a break to just breath and look around in our surrounds and embrace the moment we are in.

2. Check up on your loved ones more often.

A quick I love you or a text message goes a long way to know that you are appreciated and being thought of.

3. Embrace what you used to love as a kid again.

The greatest thing about being a child is fearlessness and imagination to be open to anything and we tend to lose that as we get older. To have back that feeling even for a moment is a moment of pure happiness.

4. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

How are you able to do all the great things in life you want to accomplish if you don't take care of your body and mind.

5. You can say no a lot more than you think.

We tend to feel obligated to say yes and make others feel happy when at the end of the day it is our life and you can say no to situations that don't make you comfortable or if you're not fully committed to.

6. Take advice from a variety of people in your life.

People have come from different walks of life and have stories to tell that are different from you, listening is the most important trait you can have. Listen to people that have been on this earth longer, listen to children, list to the person who no listens to aswell.

7. Pet more puppies

No explanation, animals just need all the love in the world.

8. Expect your plans to change last minute.

Be flexible, as you get older holding relationships takes a lot more work so you have to be committed to seeing the people you care about.

9. Be more financially responsible with your money starting at a younger age.

Talke about money more, teach yourself about money responsibility so you are not worrying when you get older if you have retirement funds or not. You want to live a secure financial life then start young.

10. Staying at home with a glass of wine and Netflix can be more fun than the club.

It's not all hyped up to be. You save a lot more money, the drinks taste better, and you can watch your favorite shows in your pajamas.

11. You don't stop learning once you get out of school.

You're always learning every day. Also keep your brain sharp by reading, teaching others, and continuing your passion.

12. Your words have a bigger impact on people so be conscious of what you say.

Words can be remembered for a long time by a person and impact their lives, so be conscious of what you say to people that you surround yourself with. The words you say represent yourself.

13. Judgment from others comes from fear

When a person is judging you they are showing their own fears and projecting it on to you, so do not bear that fear onto yourself.

14. Pursue the life that you want

At the end of the day, it's your life so do what makes you happy.

15. It's not the end of the world if you're taking a little longer in the race called life, everyone has a different path

Everyone has a different journey to get to where they want to go. We tend to compare ourselves to what society's standards of where you should be at a certain age when there is no perfect time.

16. Take more pictures of moments

You won't regret it when you're 80 and looking back at old times

17. Open up to your spiritual side.

We all are looking for answers and a deeper connection, whether is God, meditation or Basketball. Connect with your spiritual side so you have a place to find your center in times of need and calmness.

18. You will fail a lot in your twenties and that's okay.

The twenties are a time for failures and learning from that so you can grow to be who you want to be.

19. Go outside in nature more

We are blessed to call this Earth our home and should enjoy what beaches, mountains, springs its has to offer for us.

20. Do your research and stand for what you believe in

Question everything and everyone and fight for injustices to make a change in this world.

21. Get out your comfort zone and learn something new

You will not grow if you do not fight out of your fears and into new possibilites.

22. Put yourself first

You are the most important person because you come into this world alone and leave alone so in order to tkae care of others and to have the life you want you have to put yourself first.

23. Dont compare yourself.

We do not see the full story of other people's lives, we do not see the hardships that they go through so when we compare we tend to think the grass can be greener. Instead of comparing appreciate your life and make your life what you want it to be.

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