Let’s face it, no matter how big of a gym rat or gym averse you might be we all have a powerful love/hate relationship with physical fitness. While most of us may leave the gym, pool, tennis court or even golf course on an endorphin high, the truth is none of start out there. No matter how physically fit you may be, there are some days when you would rather cut off your left arm than endure one more workout. Whether you love the gym, pool, volleyball court or yoga studio, here are 5 things that make you love and hate fitness all at the same time.
1. Sweating Like A Stuck Pig
Sometimes the feeling of sweat gushing off you like a geyser can make you feel like an Olympian, but other times it just makes you feel wet, sticky and uncomfortable. Even worse is when you suddenly run into a very attractive person you would far rather meet when you are more well put-together – and possibly even smelling better.
The good news is, however, that when you sweat your body actually releases its most powerful pheromones so they may not notice your flat hair and sweaty face quite so much. Science is still trying to figure out what exactly pheromones do and they may not be the magical silver bullet for sexual attraction that they first appeared to be, but at the same time, it cannot be discounted that sometimes sweaty people smell downright hot.
2. Gasping For Breath
Gasping for breath is also something that can make you either feel like an Olympian or like you haven’t worked out in a year. No matter how physically fit you might be, cardio workouts can cause you to breathe harder, which can make you feel as if you are out of shape. In some cases, you might actually be out of shape but not always. Much like sweating, gasping for breath during an intense spin session or Zumba class may not make you feel all that attractive or great about yourself, but just think of how great you’re gonna feel when the class is over. Just remember, there is a difference between breathing hard and having trouble breathing. If you are actually having trouble breathing, it could be a sign of something more serious.
3. Healthy Food
Eating a healthy diet is a vital part of fitness and can even boost your moods and increase your overall health and well-being. At the same time, when the waiter sets your salad down at the same time as they do the big, juicy burger your coworker, best friend or significant other just ordered, salad can make you really hate health and fitness. Smoothies can also be delicious – when you drink them once a week. But about the `10th or 12th or 50th smoothie, you can really start to hate them.
4. The Morning After
The day after you’ve had a really intense workout is both the best of times and the worst of times. Any time you exercise or workout, you generally damage muscle fibres. Your body repairs them by fusing new strands of muscle protein called myofibrils to the old damaged strands. This creates new, thicker cords of muscle but it can also be a painful process. When you wake up the next day stiff and sore from a really good workout, it generally brings mixed feelings. No one likes the pain that building new muscle brings, but we also love the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing that discomfort means we are getting stronger and healthier.
When it comes to working out, a habit can be your best friend. If you get in the habit of going to the gym every day after work, it gets easier and easier to go because it’s a habit. You don’t have to spend time every day trying to figure out if you “feel” like going to the gym. Also, if you don’t stop to even take the time to decide whether you feel like going or not, there is less chance your feelings (or lack thereof) will derail your workout. Over time, we can also go on auto-pilot at the gym or pool or wherever we work out. Again, this can be good and bad.
You probably have your favourite class, your favourite equipment or your favourite workout routine that you do every day. It feels safe and comfortable, you don’t have to think about it, you just go do it and you’re done. It can also get boring pretty fast. Boredom may be one of your biggest enemies when it comes to staying fit. If you want to make fitness a lifetime achievement, you need to break out of your routines regularly and try something new. While this may be uncomfortable and work out a whole new set of muscles you’ve never used before, it is not only better for your body, it will help you stay fit over the long haul.
Lucy Miller is a nutrition student, marathon runner, and a passionate writer for Mind Your Zen, a brain nutrition supplement brand. She contributes to a number of blogs, sharing useful health tips from her research as a nutrition student. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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