5 Things I Learned When I Started Exercising

Over my summer break I finally started exercising regularly. I wanted to get in shape and enjoyed the routine of getting up in the morning to go to the gym with my mom, who was my workout partner. Previously, I had tried unsuccessfully during the school year and at other points in my life to exercise regularly for more than a week or two, but it just never worked out (pun intended).

One of my goals when I started exercising was to strengthen my shoulders. During the spring, I hurt my left shoulder by seriously pulling the muscle after it temporarily popped out of the socket. Not only was my left shoulder weak from that injury, but both of my shoulders were weak from lack of exercise.This time around, I was more determined than ever to begin a workout routine and had someone to hold me accountable. I got a few things out of it other than just getting in shape. Here are five things I learned when I started exercising:

 

 

1. Your muscles will be sore, all the time.

During the first few weeks of exercising, my arms and legs hurt all the time. Yet, it’s a good thing because it meant that I exercised intensely enough to break down those muscles. When they rebuild, they become stronger. When I hit the gym and started to target my shoulders with different weight machines, they would ache for many hours after exercising. I even had to adjust how I slept so I could be more comfortable.

2. You will go through a lot of exercise clothes.

Unlike wearing the same pair of jeans a few times before washing them, I went through a lot of exercise clothes from sweating so much. But a benefit to this is that I got to wear more stylish exercise clothes! Whether it was leggings, running shorts, sports bras, or tank tops, I found myself needing to buy more clothing to make it through the week. I looked at my shopping spree as a reward for sticking with exercising regularly for a few weeks.

3. You will question it every time you get on the treadmill.

Almost every morning I woke up with my alarm, I wondered what it would be like to go back to sleep. Once at the gym, I thought about if getting on that treadmill was truly worth it. But by the time I stepped off it with my tired muscles and working lungs, I knew that it really was worth it.

 

4. You won’t see results right away.

I knew that I wouldn’t instantly be stronger after a few days of working out, but I was surprised at how many weeks went by each time I slowly increased the weights on the machine. I have learned that it takes true dedication and motivation to get the results you want.

 

5. You’ll feel so good!

There is something satisfying about the after-workout burn. Even though I feel tired, I know that I pushed myself and am working toward my larger goal. Since beginning my exercise routine, I have realized that the most important thing is having the passion and desire to get to the place where I feel good about myself, both mentally and physically. For me, taking action in the form of working out helped me gain confidence and made me appreciate my own body. I have not only gotten stronger, but am also in better shape than I ever have been.

Since getting back to DePaul, I’ve gone to the Ray a few times a week and kept up my exercise routine. There are days where I say that I can’t do it or I don’t feel like I’ve gotten stronger, but I try to remember my goals every time I go. Writing this article made me realize how far I’ve come from the days of tiring out right away on the treadmill or dreading it whenever I have to get up the morning. Exercising is something that I enjoy and is now an important part of my life.