Exercise is one of those things that’s supposed to be “good for us” but seems like a real pain in the ass. Almost all forms of exercise involve some form of movement which is like, strictly against my life philosophy of trying to delicately straddle that razor thin line between remaining sedentary forever and somehow not degenerating entirely.
Exercise is supposed to lift mood, make you feel better, and increase your energy. These were the selling points that got me when I was younger and led me to sign up for multiple gyms that I would go to once and pay for indefinitely. I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out the entire first world economy was being held up completely by money that is flowing into gyms. Now, I’m sure there’s gonna be some Crossfit Kathy that’s thinking “Well I go to the gym and I LOVE it”, and to her I would give a solemn little golf clap before patting her on her deliciously toned bottom and sending her the fuck outta here. This guide ain’t for you, sis.
When I started trying to get my shit together health-wise after my second baby was born, I began walking and actually started to enjoy exercise. I know it sounds crazy but the more exercise I did, the more I enjoyed it. Although I’m still not the kinda bitch that’s gonna be whipping around kettlebells or doing yoga in the park for shits and giggles, I realized that exercise made me feel pretty rad. My energy was better, my head was clearer, and I must say that getting not getting winded while washing my hair in the shower was a huge bonus. #fitfam amirite?
What that experience taught me was that not all exercise is created equal.
Mainly, a huge barrier to my enjoyment of exercise was thinking that I had to do that shit at a gym, sadly pedaling a stationary bike while reading a Cosmo from 2012 and watching silent episodes of House Hunters.
What I’ve learned since is that there are a variety of other things you can do that can end up being far more enjoyable, relaxing, and sustainable for your everyday life.
Check out the following ideas of exercise you can do that wont make you a sad miserable bastard begging for the sweet release of death
Walking is top on the list because it really is the easiest shit you can do. You can walk to the store. You can walk to the park. You can walk over there and bitchslap Karen. Walking is a legit form of exercise that can be combined with other tasks (see: running errands, and bitchslapping folks) and you don’t need any fancy overpriced equipment to do it.
Walking is also great because it is low impact and can be modified depending on ability. I was very much not an active person and had some issues with pain in my joints from fibromyalgia which affected my mobility. I started walking in a very casual manner, and eventually worked my way up to jogging. Overall my joints felt better because I was strengthening the muscles, and the first time I jogged I actually wanted to cry because I never thought I would see the day. Walking is largely underrated, but she truly is that bitch when it comes to simple, fit your lifestyle exercise.
Swimming is probably the most incredible form of exercise you’re not doing. Swimming is a good way to exercise if you have issues with your joints, as it is low impact and doesn’t stress your body out. Plus you can pretend you’re a mermaid. It might seem like a pain to do the whole bathing suit, getting your hair wet thing, but it’s actually really simple, effective, and fun.
Now, if you’re anything like me you might be thinking “But Mandi! I have the coordination of a potato rolling off the counter”. Girl I feel you! But dancing doesn’t judge (however, your neighbors will so close dem drapes).
Dancing is fun, it boosts mood and if you have kids, they don’t give one solitary fuck about how dumb you look. The dumber the better! They will be happy and occupied if you dance with them, which is a certified win-win.
So put on some music, take a deep breath and dance your fucking heart out. Or take a class! The important thing with this is that you do have to be a little careful. You can overdo it, so make sure to stretch and pace yourself. You’re no spring chicken, but I think you’re great anyways.
You always said you wanted to run away for that forest bitch life, so why don’t you put your money where your mouth is. Strap on some sensible shoes or hiking boots and get the fuck out there into the great beyond. You can hike with your family, or even better- by yourself! There are different levels of difficulty, so make sure that you keep things realistic as a beginner, and keep yourself safe. Hiking is an incredible way to be active and reconnect with nature, but that shit can be no joke. Some resources for safety while hiking can be found here.
Newsflash! Exercise doesn’t have to be lame and soul-crushing
The key is to find your thing, and do that thing. Maybe it’s yoga. Maybe it’s sex! Maybe it’s weight lifting. Maybe it’s running like you’re being chased by a pack of zombies. Whatever it is, finding it is the hard part. Because if it works for you and is fun, doing it will be easy.