Hate is quite a strong word to describe how I feel about the gym, but you'll understand why in just a moment.
We've all been there at some point. It's the new year and because of some outdated notion that you have to set a goal for the new year one of the top options is always getting fit, improving strength, losing weight, going on a diet etc.
We set out with great intentions to commit, you buy that gym membership and go for a few weeks. It feels like such a slog each day or week going to the gym after work.
Now I enjoyed going to the gym myself, it was a way to keep on top of my weight amongst other things, and for me knowing that I was paying for it each month was motivation enough. But there was one thing I hated about going to the gym, and it's the reason I stopped going in the end.
It was that subconscious pressure that I was not good enough, that I MUST be fitter, I MUST be thinner and leaner. I'm just an average Joe, I've got a great pair of legs which im proud of, but I have plenty of podge, and under that cultural pressure that I wasn't good enough, well I collapsed under it. The pressure to be something that was going to take a long time to achieve just killed the experience for me.
And that's why I hate the gym, not because of the exercise, but because of the pressure to be perfect. For someone with a lifetime of depression and anxiety, it really was too much.
The story doesn't end there though. Running a charity where I had started to introduce exercise classes, at the time Qigong and Tai Chi, I had an opportunity to think about how I can relieve some of that pressure for people. Now some people thrive on that pressure and use it as motivation, which is great, and we would never reject anyone because of that. But I wanted to focus just a little more on people like myself.
I love exercise, I love moving, I even recently rediscovered my love of cycling.
So how could I as an individual, and Go Get You as a charity take away some of that pressure?
In my research to find out how I could do this I happened upon the World Health Organisation's recommendation for how long people should spend exercising each week, and the same information was also on the NHS website, and this got me thinking. We all need a goal to work towards, it's just part of the human psyche, but what if instead of focusing on trying to be "perfect" we just focused on simply moving as much as we can! I even wondered if this was also something which could encourage more time spent being Mindful! I'll tell you more about this in my next post.
I tried it myself, set my goals that I would spend X number of minutes a day doing some form of exercise and movement, and it worked, it kept me motivated without the pressure that I had to lose weight quickly, that I must increase my weights for more muscle, and you know what...? I have never felt more free and enjoyed the simple beauty of moving my body, whether I'm practicing the exercises I teach, on my home cross-trainer or cycling.
And here we are... Whenever you join Go Get You as a member you'll be enrolled in Move Points and Calm Count, so that each time to attend one of our classes you can focus on the simple beauty of moving and earn points just for turning up and taking part. You can also earn points for other activities too. You'll need to take a look at our memberships for that. But it is a great way to help you keep moving, getting the exercise we all need to meet the basic amount of time we need to spend exercising to maintain good physical health and fitness.