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How to Fall in Love With Exercise

It's Time We Stopped Treating Fitness Like a Chore

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It's Time We Stopped Treating Fitness Like a Chore
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I am not a person who enjoys exercise. There, I said it. It also doesn't help that I feel like there are limited options for me when it comes to working out. Running makes me feel like an asthmatic until it literally hurts to breathe and swallow. I fear traditional strength training will make my already tiny 5'2 frame stocky (must lengthen!) . . . There are a lot of granted, self-imposed barriers that make it easier for me to just ignore fitness altogether.

As a result, when I do need to really workout (say, before a Summer holiday), it's a long and torturous process. If I got through a burning Ballet Beautiful routine I got a scoop of ice-cream while I watched The Bachelor. If I ended up working late and was too tired for my usual exercise, I'd (unhealthily) cut the amount I ate the next day to even out the calorie burn. If I noticed myself getting a bit pudgy around the lower ab region — the area where any weight gain shows first for me, then and only then would I exercise like my life depended on it and again, avoid eating anything more than I needed to function. Once I felt "normal" again, it'd fizzle off. Repeat.

I know I am not alone in this unproductive cycle — where fitness becomes a trade-off, a punishment, a means to an end. Despite what we tell ourselves, this isn't health, nor is it how health should be. Life's too short to waste precious time and not to mention, our mental capacities wallowing about what we ate, whether we passed the amount of acceptable exercise for the week or how we can squeeze in that cocktail with friends. Instead, health and fitness is a mindset, what we do because we want to, not a daily this-or-that battle. To get to that stage, here are four principles I'm embracing.

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