Monday, October 20, 2014

Back to Health


When I was 16, I used to go to the gym three times a week for one and a half hours each time, right after school. As an added bonus, I went in right after the afternoon rush had died down, and before the evening rush got in, so the trainer was able to focus on me and build me a workout programme (that he then made sure I did, no matter how tired I was...). Sure, I wasn't going to be running any marathons any time soon. However, after that one year, I stopped being regular with my health. I'd get random 'work out fevers' where I'd work out a few times a week, but these would only last a few weeks at most, and even then, I probably didn't do most of them correctly.

Because of this, no one was more surprised than I was when around two months ago I started a workout regime that I've actually been dedicated to. I started off with a simple yoga routine, initially doing it every weekday. I've built up on this routine, and as of about a few weeks ago, I now do this every day. If I absolutely cannot, I still try and get in about 10-12 minutes. I added a new dimension to this as a personal 30-day challenge; separate from my yoga routine, I do various exercises such as push ups (they kill me), crunches and squats, and increase the amount I do everyday.

It hasn't even been two months yet, and I'm already noticing some differences that my new (and hopefully sustainable) routine has brought. My level of personal discipline is at an all time high. There are many days when I think that I'd rather just keep doing whatever I'm doing, and that I can always work out 'later' or 'tomorrow', or that I'm too busy too work out just then. Luckily, I'm now able to recognise my excuses for what they are, and I force myself to get up and do something. Earlier, and in previous years, when the going got tough I'd stop the work out, or tone it down significantly, but I've learnt to differentiate between good pain and bad pain, and to keep working through the former. I used to ask my friends and family to 'make sure I worked out', but now I'm able to quite successfully motivate myself. Also, there's a definite change in muscle tone (hurrah!). Sure, I'm not 16 anymore, but I'm feeling a lot healthier than I have in years. I used to have knee pain that'd actually travel up my back for a few years; not always, but it was uncomfortable when it happened and made going to bed especially quite a pain. This has definitely gone down, and while it still happens from time to time, it's nowhere near as constant or as bad as it used to be.

Yoga's also definitely helping me still my mind more than I ever could. The practices that I do require focus, and while this isn't always easy, I'm getting there. A trick I use is to bring my thoughts 'back into the room'. If I find myself thinking about something I'm supposed to do, an idea for a blog post, or anything at all that isn't related to my workout, I make a note of it and bring my focus back into the room. Both the daily workouts I do are also making me a lot more aware of my body. So even when I'm not working out, I'm trying to maintain correct posture, or if I'm lifting something I do it right. I find myself looking up correct ways to do these exercises, which is something that I'd never really done before.

Honestly, if I knew that having a regular work out regime would be so beneficial, I'd have started a long time ago and kept at it. Hindsight is 20/20, right? Cliched as it may seem, better late than never!



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