A little sweat to change your day, your life

 

COURTNEY WILLIAMS

clwilliams10@ole.augie.edu

Being physically active is something I’ve prided myself on since I started dancing at the age of three. I love the feeling one gets from working to be the best. I love, love, love, to sweat.

The feeling of working so hard that I sweat, bleed, bruise, or break something is amazing. I’ve broken all 10 toes, torn ligaments, and strained tendons. And I keep pushing my body. You’d think that one of these days it’ll just give out on me. When I get injured, it just motivates me to push more and get healed so I can get right back to it. While getting injured is not ideal while being active, I don’t just sit around. I do everything I can to keep being active.

The best part about being physically active is that there are so many activities to choose from, and each one has different benefits.

For me, swimming is one of my favorite activities. For one, it works your entire body, not just a single muscle group. Secondly, there is so much you can do in a pool. From water aerobics to swimming laps to playing a game of water basketball, you are using muscles I bet you didn’t know you had, and for me, swimming two lengths of the pool wears me out. I sweat when I swim, as ridiculous as that sounds.

Cycling or spinning also tops my list. The best is finding a magazine, picking the program, and cycling ‘til you can’t feel your legs. When I finish a cycling program, get off the bike, and have to hold myself up because I can’t walk, I feel like I accomplished something worthwhile for the day. Plus, it’s good to have some “me” time to read and workout at the same time.

I have to say that few activities are better than just doing a full-body burnout with weights. It’s a struggle, and sometimes I hate my trainer for it, but dang, do I get results. It’s just satisfying to be like, hey, I lifted more than I thought I could. Cool.

But still, the number one spot on my favorite physical activities list is dancing. To have a good stretch and then turn on the music and move as the rhythm goes just gives me tingles. There’s nothing quite like being in your own head for a good hour.

Depending on what a person looks for in their workouts and activities, there are a ton of other options for people to try. Men and women each have their own needs for being physical and every sport can be modified for the gender.

Why be active at all? It takes time, a commitment to being fit and a certain mentality that I think takes a while to develop. When you start an activity or a workout regime, you have to know what you’re getting into, and how it will affect you in the long run.

Getting in shape doesn’t happen overnight. It’s like a long-term relationship: there are good and bad days, but they all push you to be better. And look at the benefits: it’s fun, it’s beneficial to your lifestyle and you are becoming healthier. I sometimes use working out as an escape. It’s time to think, it’s time to process and sometimes it’s time to forget everything going on in my world and focus on making myself stronger.

My personal trainer enlightened me with this: “Being trained isn’t just working out for an hour three days a week, it’s a lifestyle.” It takes time, it takes effort, and by gosh, it’s so worth it. Get up, go do something outside or in the gym, and be the best and strongest you that you can be. Words can’t even describe the feeling of success. Go sweat. It’ll change your life.