I learned the value of fitness when I was 23 years old. 23 was when I tried circuit training for the first time ever. I did it for an hour a day, 30 days straight. After 30 days, I stopped. Mostly because the program I downloaded was a 30-day program and I didn’t know what to do next. So much for forming habits after 21 days of continuously doing something.
I signed up for an annual gym membership when I turned 24, something I regret to this day. Not because I think gyms are unhealthy, but mostly because I didn’t really do any research before handing over my credit card. I would go to the gym with no idea what to do. That was $50 wasted each month on something I had no idea how to use. And I was too proud to ask for help. So I simply stopped working out, even though I was locked in a contract for a year.
At 26, my boyfriend urged me to join him at his gym. I would say no, because I didn’t want to look like a fool.
At 27, I finally gave in and joined him for one session. I felt ridiculous. But as time passed by, I could feel myself getting stronger. I was getting firmer in places that weren’t firm before. I was getting results. We transferred to our current gym, specializing in functional movements and calisthenics in a class based program. My boyfriend also helped me make better food choices, and also taught me how to use supplements. By the time I hit my 28th birthday, I was addicted to the results.
Before I started going to the gym, I weighed 85-90 lbs. I was consistently underweight, despite my constant snacking. The thought of going to the gym at that weight level didn’t make sense to me at all. However, a few months into working out, I finally achieved what used to be difficult for me. My bodyweight finally reached an all time high at 102 lbs. That was an achievement for me.
Fitness has different results for different people. You just have to do what’s right for you, and you have to do what’s comfortable for you. I still feel uncomfortable in traditional gym settings. I do not like machines at all. I’ve learned that what works for me is calisthenics, functional movements, free weights, and circuit training. Machines intimidate and confuse me. I have no desire to tinker with them. I do a mix of cardio and strength work.
I can say that I’m currently at my healthiest self. Working out regularly has actually helped curb my asthma attacks (though cats and chocolate are still consistent triggers), my endurance has improved, I can lift heavy objects at home with no assistance. My posture has also improved, all thanks to the farmers walks my previous coach used to always make me do (still hate ’em).
I guess what I’m saying is that fitness can benefit anyone. If it intimidates you, or if you have no idea what to do, it’s okay. Ask a friend who consistently works out to bring you along next time. It’s always okay to ask for help. It’s usually easier to get acclimated to a gym environment when you’re tagging along to someone you know, and someone who’s willing to do a form check or make up a basic routine for you.
Just give it a try.