Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

College life can be confusing and inconsistent. Sunday through Wednesday is grind time, and then the rest of the week can fade into a blur. I’ve recognized within myself a pattern of consistent gym effort for half of the week and then a fallout for three days in a row. 

With the continuation of this pattern comes guilt. Sure I walk miles around campus every day and keep my body moving, but that just doesn’t seem to fulfill what my mind has pinned as a mandatory workout. 

I’ve noticed a trend within America and our generation in particular: working out has become increasingly correlated with time spent in the gym rather than just the physical act of moving our bodies. Tik Tok is filled with video after video of HIIT circuits or squat tutorials. Influencers are constantly talking about their workout programs and uploading how-to videos. Yet, I never see anyone boasting about the hike they went on or the long swim they enjoyed in the lake that day.

Why am I bringing this up? Who cares about the perception of working out?

This idea of the gym existing as our sole source of exercise creates a very unhealthy relationship with working out. No one can happily and consistently attend the gym every day of their life; yet, this perception has become the expectation. This outlook results in periods of extreme physical activity in the gym for weeks or months only to end in sessions of burnout with little to no physical activity at all. 

What is the moral of my story?: Let’s bring back the appreciation for physical activity that brings us joy.

If the gym brings you joy—amazing. But if lifting or being surrounded by other people is not in the cards for you—don’t feel discouraged or declare yourself “unfit.” 

If you need a rest day, accept that taking a walk or a going for a swim can be just as beneficial to your health as a gym session would be. 

There’s so many ways to be physically active; choose one that you enjoy doing.

Hi my name is Audrey! I'm majoring in Strategic Communications at KU- so excited for you to take a look at my writing:)