I feel like more and more often I see people around me being active. There's more dog walkers, bike riders, and joggers around compared to probably 3-5 years ago from what I've observed. More people seem to be jumping onto the active lifestyle-- gym selfies, workout gear, lifting videos, and fitness transformations clutter my social media feeds. Fitness is a popular trend that everyone should get on board with.
As a collegiate athlete, my job is active. We lift, run, and play basketball in order to pay for our education. Aside from basketball, I genuinely enjoy being active. I come from a family where my time to catch up with my parents is on a walk with a dog. For a father-daughter day, my dad and I go rollerblading or kayaking. My mom and I go to yoga together when I'm free and I actually like going to the gym.
My dad is obsessed with being active; he wakes up in the wee hours of the morning (3 am) to go for a run. After that, he lifts weights and rows on a machine (called an erg). He then bikes to work and after the day is over, he bikes back home-- rain, shine, or blizzard.
In the past 3 years, my family has dealt with a lot of stress, particularly my mom's diagnosis of breast cancer (she's cancer-free now, yay!). During this time, my dad really had to be there for my mom in a way that was hard on him, for sure. Exercise and his morning fitness routine was his biggest way to cope throughout this time. As an extremely introverted person, his runs gave him an opportunity to clear his mind or to think, by himself and uninterrupted, through all that was going on. Basketball gave me an outlet to play and be free during a time when it was stressful and challenging at home.
I really believe all the studies that say that exercise is one of the best forms of medicine out there, because I have firsthand felt and witnessed it being used as more than just a way to have defined muscles or to look toned. Being active is a remedy to aid all mental struggles and some physical ailments. Exercise helps relieve stress, anxiety, and frustration while helping you make your body stronger at the same time. Exercise is a confidence boost; I feel like I'm on top of the world after a great workout at the gym. Also, exercise is a perfect social activity. Gathering a group of friends and trying a new Zumba class or challenging a pal to a competitive game of tennis can be both fun and rewarding to your mind and body.
If you're an active person now, stick with it. Do not be afraid to spice up your training, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Intervals and trying new workouts/ fitness classes will shock new muscles into developing and offer an interesting new challenge to overcome. If you want to take your training up a level, mix weights and cardio or conditioning. This will give you balance and variety in your fitness life.
If you're starting to transition into a more active lifestyle or working out, have confidence and do not give up. Becoming routine in doing something every day will help you out. Not every day had to be an intense kickboxing workout, some days can be a stroll through a park with friends. It's never too late to start, and your body will thank you for that bike ride on the local path in the long run.