When I was 16, I absolutely hated my body. I looked at all of these influencers and models on social media with perfect bodies, and thought that I would never be good enough or comfortable in my own skin. However, this has changed completely. Now, as a 20 year old college student, I have learned to love my body for how it is, and only strive to be the best version of myself (not comparing myself to anyone else). Now, I am nowhere near a professional in regards to nutrition or fitness, but I just wanted to share some tips and tricks that have worked for me.
Personalize your exercise routine
My first tip is to find a workout which suits your needs, goals, and preferences. In high school, I used to run cross country and track. While I used to love the sport and running, I have found that I enjoy other forms of exercise much more. Running everyday burns an extremely high amount of calories, so in high school I was very thin, which I was extremely insecure about. Therefore, during the spring of my senior year, I quit track and started going to the gym instead. At the gym I began lifting more weights, and fell in love. I found that this form of exercise made me feel so much better, and I liked the results I was noticing. I felt empowered seeing the weights go up as I got stronger, and I felt more comfortable with my body as I gained more muscle. However, we all have different bodies, and you may love running and what it does to your body, so my advice is to find a routine you enjoy and stick to it.
Get your friends involved
My second tip to make your fitness routine more enjoyable is to get your friends involved. Exercising can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be, especially if you get a buddy to go with you. Weight lifting can be scary, so when I was learning I would go to the gym with my friend and we would help each other. Friends can show you new exercises, help you with form, and push you to work out harder. Sometimes gaining the intrinsic motivation to go exercise is hard, but having your friends to hold you accountable is a great way to get over the initial hump of going. If your fitness buddy is far away, you can even share your activity on your apple watch. Overall, whether you want to do an intense workout or just go on a walk, bringing a friend is always a good idea
Listen to and take care of your body
My third and final piece of advice is to listen to your body. Do not push yourself or be to hard on your body if you are not feeling it. Take a day off if you feel too sick or tired. Sometimes you might just be off emotionally, and on days like this I usually choose to do yoga to realign myself spiritually. Also, make sure to take the time to stretch, as you do not want to use your muscles before warming them up.