Learning to Love Exercise

That's me, Brandi Jaeger! Author of this blog & Flex360 Fitness Instructor & Founder

Incorporating fitness into your life can be one of the most challenging changes to make. It's no secret that in the fitness industry, there is heavy emphasis on "excuses" standing in the way of your results. It's such an over-simplification of the struggle! Often what gets labeled as an excuse are actually legitimate obstacles to exercise such as a demanding work schedule, family commitments, fatigue, illness, etc. It can go either way on whether or not these obstacles are being used an excuse for the days you just aren't in the mood to workout, but in general, these students seem to demonstrate an enjoyment of exercising when they do.

But what if you just don't like exercising? It's ok to admit it! We're going to look at some of the reasons you may fall into this category (hey, I once did!), and turn the dreaded activity into something you count down your day to get to & enjoy!

"I'm doing it wrong."

Believe it or not, there was a time when I hated exercise. Yes, I used the word hated. As an asthmatic kid who sat out many P.E. sessions and was never involved in sports, I went into adulthood with virtually no knowledge of what effectively working out entailed. I definitely didn't know squat about, well, squats, or lunges or pushups or even what a plank or burpee was! I had no concept of a warm up, or of workout modifications and progressions, or of how long I needed to do any of it to be successful. Because of this, I'd start off going straight to a high cardio exercise (that would be considered a max level intensity in a HIIT class), and be completely wiped out in less than 30 seconds. Done. Defeated. Looking back as a fitness instructor today, I can tell you all the science behind why my sessions were a total fail (exercises at that level cause the body to go anaerobic and can only be done for short intervals at a time) and can tell you it was unsafe, ineffective, and all wrong! Fortunately, I have learned so much in my fitness journey and you will never have to worry about me throwing that on you in one of my classes!

Fitness classes are so helpful for this reason! We as instructors build our workouts to meet all of the safety checkpoints for you--starting with a good warmup and progressing to each level with breaks and modification options as we go. We bring a plan to the table for each muscle group focus so that by the end of your session, we've hit all of the major areas for a full body workout. We show you each movement and break down them down with tips and pointers along the way to reduce the risk of injury by ensuring you're doing the exercises properly. Yes, we achieve a workout together, but we also teach you how to conduct a workout so that you can be empowered to even do freestyle activities on your own.

"This is too much."

Another experience many have is that they go to a gym or a trainer and get thrown into a workout that is too much. Will there be struggle to start? Of course! But there's a difference in pushing yourself through an attainable workout and suffering through an unreasonable workout. A few years ago (pre-COVID), I went to a circuit class where an instructor had FIVE burpee stations back to back. This instructor thought it was funny even! I definitely didn't find the humor in it. No modifications or alternative movements either. Several of us didn't make it through the workout and never went to their class again. I had another time at a different facility where the instructor put all HIIT moves together with no breaks, pauses, or modifications, and I got sick in the bathroom after almost passing out. I always think back to if that had been my first class--would I have ever returned to fitness? That would be a firm NO (plus an expletive or two)!!

No matter how well-intentioned the coach is to push us to reach new limits, if we're not there, we're just not there. We've had people report feeling shamed or embarrassed by coaches in the past when they couldn't fulfill the demands of that workout. This should never happen! The beauty of the Flex360 Fitness platform is that you truly can take our workouts at your own pace. Some new students set small goals to be able to complete at least half of a workout and build up--that's totally ok! We encourage you to determine what is best for your body. You decide when you want to push yourself and challenge yourself. Our job is to teach you how to do anything on that spectrum safely.

"This isn't my jam."

We all like what we like! There are some formats in fitness that just won't resonate with you like others. It's not to say it won't down the road, but at that point in time it might just not be what appeals to you, and that's ok. In the beginning, I was all about Zumba and nothing else. The beauty of a fitness journey is that you can start wherever you want, and it's up to you on how that journey evolves. My personal argument has always been that if you're getting in the recommended amount of time for physical activity in each week, you've satisfied the most important goal. Doing something always wins out over doing nothing every single time!

If you haven't found what you like yet, keep experimenting! Even with Zumba, every instructor has their own style for music, fitness activities, and intensity, so all classes aren't the same. The same goes for every fitness format out there. Try new classes periodically and re-try them again down the road. For me, Zumba led to Zumba Toning, which led to Tabata, which led to Circuits, which led to Strong Nation, which led to needing more recovery so I did yoga, which led to Stretch & Recovery Classes--and my journey continues! I'll spare you my list of things I still don't like--again--you have to find what works and doesn't work for you.

Some things will never change on the fitness journey--feeling awkward and uncoordinated that first time, those rough moments where we push ourselves when we haven't been conditioned to a particular movement--but always remember we get past those points in no time. Everyone learns at their own pace and we respect that! It is always our priority to make our workouts attainable for you.

Give the fitness world another try with us. We're always here if have questions and will do everything we can to help you have a successful workout. You too can look back in disbelief of a time you too hated exercise and now absolutely love it!

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