I've stopped thinking of exercise as a begrudging, hellish activity. Instead, I've made a point to be mindful of what I'm doing for an activity to work the stress out of my body and improve my mobility and strength. I do not think about it as a means of weight loss. I think that is where people become frustrated with exercise. They are not seeing the gains they expect or want fast enough.

If you hate "working out," like I do, try a few different activities and narrow down something you think you can stick with. For example, I hate to run, so I don't run. Instead, I found an alternative I don't totally hate and lean on the gains I've made as to the reason I keep doing it. Not the weight loss. I have to think of weight loss as a nice side effect, not the goal. The goal is to feel better, sleep better, be stronger, better cardio, etc.

I do circuit training in the corner of my bedroom most evenings. I have a mat and an assortment of weights. I found a program online I liked and paid for a one-year membership. It was far cheaper than any gym and I can do it whenever I want. I like that they focus on positivity and personal well-being, and aim to provide fitness options for newbies, those who have had injuries, seniors, through to those who are very fit. I hate doing most activities, but the workouts I do are fun and they have hundreds to choose from. I don't have to plan my workouts. I can always follow their plan and put in the time without having to think about it.

I fell into this mindset too, focusing too much on weight loss. People need to rethink exercise as necessary, to stave off stress and the effects of aging on the body instead. Otherwise, you'll be extremely discouraged. I didn't start losing weight until I changed my diet, and even then, it took a long time to see noteworthy loss (~1.5lbs per week). The working out gave me tone and strength (as I traded muscle for fat, losing 10% of my bodyfat and gaining 10lbs of muscle), better cardio output, improved bone density, and increased my range of motion significantly.

I will note the gains I've made that keep me motivated to block out 30 minutes 5 nights a week:

1. My range of mobility has improved.

2. Stress management. The tension normally trapped in my shoulder blades is no longer there. This right here is a big deal as many of us carry stress in our bodies and have a hard time getting it out.

3. I sleep better than I have in a long time.

4. The endorphins you feel after. I don't get it often, but enough to enjoy it.

5. I can now do more physically challenging movements and have better endurance. There was a time I struggled to do a plank or lunges properly. And while I hate to run, I can dash a couple of blocks and not feel winded after. Makes me feel pretty awesome to know I did that; I put in the work and am feeling the improvements.

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