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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Alberta chapter.

Exercise is extremely important not only for your physical health but for your mental health too. After exercising six days a week for almost five months, I have recognized how important physical activity is for me. However I have not always held those sentiments- in fact, I used to absolutely hate working out. I grew up playing basketball competitively all the way until Grade 11 and naturally, during that time I was getting constant exercise. Once I quit playing I no longer received that constant form of exercise and my body relished in the break it hadn’t received in years. I began to become used to a sedentary life and because I had worked out so much when I was younger, I found no joy in participating in classic forms of exercise. 

For me, I used to find doing workouts like running on the treadmill or using the elliptical super boring and it made the time drag by which in turn made me less likely to find the motivation to go to the gym. It wasn’t until quarantine hit that I found myself getting creative when it came to different forms of exercise and I began to develop a passion for fitness. I knew it was important for me during this time to find some ways to move my body and get my heart rate up so I wouldn’t find myself lying on the couch day after day. That’s when I came across different free workout programs on YouTube which really helped provide me with the motivation to workout daily. I loved following those videos because they helped keep me accountable; I knew how many routines I had to follow each day and everything was mapped out for me so I didn’t have to worry about spending all my time looking for videos. 

When I first started working out at the beginning of April I will admit that my only reasons for doing so were purely vain. However, as I continued working out each day my reasons slowly began to shift. Yes, vanity is still a component of why I work out but now I am more focused on living a healthier lifestyle and becoming stronger. There is nothing more empowering than being able to lift more or squat for longer and just to feel good in your own body. Even though now I have moved away from those daily workout videos and have created my own fitness plan that I follow I accredit my renewed passion for fitness to those videos. They helped me create my own routine and helped me find a form of fitness that I actually enjoyed and that made the time go by quickly. 

If I could give one piece of advice to anybody who is looking to start working out, it is to find the form of activity that you enjoy. If running isn’t your thing then don’t force it, find something that you actually like to do and something you look forward to each day and I guarantee it will make working out just a little bit easier.


Rieley Tomkinson

U Alberta '22

Rieley is a third year Elementary Education student at the University of Alberta. When she's not busy studying you can find her binging a new Netflix show, singing along to musicals, playing with her dog or curled up with a new book.
Simi is a senior at the University of Alberta studying Sociology and Religious Studies. She grew up in Houston Texas and lives by the saying “go big or go home”. She is currently Her Campus Ualberta's Editor in Chief and Campus Correspondent. School, volunteering, clubs, and work occupy most of her time. You can find her on Instagram at @simi.bhangoo.