It makes us fitter, faster, healthier, happier. It improves our confidence, our immunity, our balance and our energy levels.
Yeah, exercise is amazing. But there are also some things about it that can be a bit shit.
Here are the things that no one ever tells you about exercise…
1. You really don’t have to do any running
Running is always held up as the best kind of workout you can possibly do. And yeah, it is an awesome form of building up cardio fitness… but some people just find it really boring and painful.
If you are one of these people, don’t feel guilty – there are PLENTY of other ways that you can build up fitness. Pick a form of working out that you’ll actually enjoy, as you’re far more likely to stick with it. It’s far more worthy that any other workout that society has deemed to be the pinnacle of excellence.
Nat, going for a run.
2. You need to be really careful with your choice of workout tights
Workout tights are one of the most prevalent issues facing women’s fashion today – largely because they are often completely see-through when you bend over. And this is a very common occurrence when you’re exercising (squats, anyone?).
I have now established a routine of checking tights when I try them on – I just bend over and check out my own butt in the mirror. It’s super attractive, and yes boys, I am accepting boyfriend applications.
BONUS NOTE: Every single pair of undies you choose will ride up your butt while you are doing a vigarious workout. Doesn’t matter what size, style or shape they are. You may find it better to go without undies at all. JUST BE CAREFUL WITH THOSE TIGHTS.
3. You will be hungry all the time
The more energy you burn, the more your body will want to replace it with foods. And this is helpful, because food is fuel and will help to make your body feel all good and stuff.
HOWEVER, don’t believe those people that are all like, “the more healthy food you eat, the more healthy food you’ll crave!” No. All I want to eat is Tim Tams – and somehow my brain thinks I’ve earned six packets just by doing one Zumba class.
This is all I want after a workout.
4. You have to wash EVERYTHING all the damn time
Most of us can get away with wearing a shirt or a dress a few times before it needs to go into the wash. Jackets and denim are even lower on the washing spectrum and can get away with hanging out in your wardrobe for ages without seeing the inside of the washing machine.
Workout clothes? Not so much. They generally get one wash before they get thrown into the washing pile. The sweat, the smell… it’s bad. Also, they have to be kept away from your regular dirty clothes, because the sweat and the damp and the mildew can just turn everything a bit pear-shaped. You have been warned.
5. … Even your gym bag and your yoga mat
Apparently they carry shitloads of bacteria from all those sweaty clothes and dirty gym shoes that you’ve been wearing and carrying around. Each of them need a wipe-down once per week. I know, you’re probably so happy to know this – after all, everyone wants to spend more of their time cleaning…
6. You will have to spend a small fortune on large amounts of dry shampoo, deodorant and face wipes
This is especially true if you’re one of those people who works out during your lunch hour at work.
7. You might poop yourself
Runner’s diarrhoea is a thing. And it can happen to anyone, even if you’re not running a marathon – something to do with your leg muscles working really hard and drawing blood away from your intestines.
Run in the gym (easy access to the loo) or make sure your local park has a public bathroom. You know, just in case.
This is IMPERATIVE. No toilet in your gym = you’re screwed.
8. Most of the time you won’t feel like you are achieving anything
It can take a long time to see any results from your workouts, and this can be pretty disheartening, especially for those of us with little to no patience. We expect to get fitter and faster and slimmer almost instantly once we start exercising regularly – but it’s a slow process and a shitty one at times.
When you’re tired and sore after a workout, and feeling like you haven’t really done anything good for your body, just try to have faith that things are going to be okay – and focus on the small victories rather than the big ones.
9. It takes time to find a decent personal trainer
Just like it takes time to find a GP that suits you, or a hairdresser that really understands you.
If you’re assigned to a personal trainer by a gym, don’t feel obliged to have more than one session with the same person. Do some research and mix it up until you find a trainer that has really decent qualifications, extensive knowledge and a decent personality that will help you towards any goal that you’d like to achieve.
A good PT should look extensively into your nutrition and exercise habits, as well as your likes and dislikes, and be there to tailor-make a program that will suit you. They should also be paying attention to your workout at all times, and constantly making small adjustments to your technique and your posture. If they’re constantly distracted during your session, or always moving your sessions around their schedule, gently let them know that you’d like to work with someone else.
Also? Don’t let your PT upsell you and convince you to buy various programs and things unless you really trust them. Generally, they’re working off some kind of commission, and their interest is in their profit rather than your health.
10. It’s REALLY IMPORTANT to rest
Even Olympic athletes have rest days incorporated into their schedules. Too much exercise can result in both physical and mental harm, and really increase your chances of injuries and exhaustion. If you’re doing hard workouts throughout the week, take a few days to mix it up with a gentle walk, a swim or some yoga.
Yoga = good. Nap time = even better.
11. It’s so damn expensive
But more often than not, fitness can be a pricey journey. Gym memberships, classes, workout DVDs, workout equipment, home gym machines, fitness clothes, bootcamp, personal training sessions, big running events… it all adds up and it adds up fast.
The problem is that the expensive workout gear is often just so nice. And the best, fanciest-looking gyms are often the priciest. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself making excuses as to why you need to buy those tights that cost $112. Or why you need a personal training session every week. Or why it was necessary to invest in a $35 glass water bottle (well, it’s Lululemon and all the other girls at yoga have one).
Good luck to your wallet – it’s going to need it.
What are the things that no one told you about exercise?