My Struggle to Exercise—Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty If You Don’t Hit the Gym

For some people, exercise is as essential as air and water. Working out gives them energy and brings them happiness, and they’re always talking about that endorphin high. However, the majority of people, myself included, have challenges exercising. It is often assumed that people who don’t exercise are lazy or unmotivated or don’t care about their health. While everyone has different things keeping them from getting to the gym, it’s usually more complicated than that.

Some people are self-conscious about their body and what they look like when they’re exercising. It makes it hard to work out in any place where there are others around. Other people are simply too busy. Between traveling to another location, showering afterward, and doing the actual workout, exercise takes a lot of time that not all of us have! Money can also be an issue, as gyms or exercise equipment are expensive.

For me, the concept of exercise is quite complicated. Everyone in my family is super fit and loves working out. It was ingrained in me from a young age that exercise is an essential part of life. I don’t love it as my family does, and I felt like there was something wrong with me for not loving to work out to the same extent or having a different experience with exercise.

I participated in sports my whole life but now that I'm in college, I'm not part of a team anymore, and it’s difficult to find new types of workouts to replace my previous activities. Plus, I sometimes feel like I have to be in shape before even working out in the first place.

I used to swim and practice twice a day for hours at a time. After each workout, I was completely exhausted. When I stopped swimming, I stopped experiencing that full body exhaustion. Without this feeling, exercise doesn’t feel good for me. Sure, other workouts make me tired, but not in the same lasting, satisfying way. I’ve been struggling to find a new activity that gives me that intense level of exhaustion, without working out for hours every day. 

Finally, I’ve had some health issues that I’m in the middle of figuring out. Because of that, I’ve had very low energy. When I can barely make it to class, the thought of taking on a five-minute workout is overwhelming.

Whether you see these as legitimate reasons or excuses not to work out, exercising in college is complicated. It’s not as simple as telling yourself to just get over it and go to the gym. Exercising is healthy and should always be encouraged, but don’t feel too guilty if you’re having trouble getting into working out.

Taking your time to find what exercise routine works for you is perfectly okay.

 

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