Maybe it’s a Privilege?
P: When I asked this question for the first time of whether it is a privilege or priority, I instinctively said, “it’s what you make of it.”
K: It goes without saying that possessing both mental and physical health is a privilege that not many have. Owing to the fast-paced nature of modern life, even getting 15-30 minutes free in your day can be a rarity, and not everyone wants to spend their downtime engaged in exercise.
P: It’s true having your health, good nutrition, great sleep, and enough space to move around is all a privilege. But at the end of the day, a good workout can be easily accessible and doesn’t require equipment.
Is it counterproductive to think of it in terms of binaries?
K: It doesn’t help that opinions regarding exercise are so polarised on the internet––people seem to either love it or hate it, and very few adopt a moderate approach. However, looking at the question of priority v.s privilege in terms of binaries can be counterproductive. We all have preconceived notions regarding what exercise is supposed to look like.
P: The purpose of working for me is to get some movement throughout the day. It helps me remain centred, gives me purpose & clarity.
K: I agree, some think that exercise is pumping heavyweights in the gym, while others think it’s running till your heart beats out of your chest.
As we’ve mentioned in our previous post, it is about finding a movement pattern that works for you and working it into your day. This can be as simple as climbing several flights of stairs, cycling instead of driving or even adding yoga to your routine.K
Yes, exercising is a privilege and people’s ability to do it is mediated by various physical, mental and socio-economic factors. However, if you decide to make it a priority, there are ways to work it into your daily life in a way that is sustainable.
Can it be a priority?
P: So when I think of my next question of whether working out is a priority? I go back to what Sydney Cummings, an ex-professional athlete says in her cooldown talks, that it is a priority to show up for yourself, to take care of your health and to look after yourself first and then others because you can’t help others if you pour from an empty cup.
From our last post, we spoke explicitly about the benefits exercising has on our bodies and my mind. Exercising only adds to the longevity of our life, it makes us happier, makes us sleep better, makes us feel grateful that we can move our bodies and makes us confident as a whole.
For instance, I signed myself up as a speaker for an event. This was only because Sydney pushed me on the mat and off the mat to take up goals that challenge me. And guess what I actually was chosen. I made my entire presentation and the event got cancelled due to covid. But this has shown me my own strength that if I pursue things I can get them with consistent effort.
K: I ended up making exercise a priority because of health reasons. However, the more I progress along my journey, the more I realise how deeply the desire to exercise (if you are in the right mindset) is tied to self-love and self-respect. It’s not about looking a certain way, it’s about feeling strong and knowing that you are honouring and nourishing the body that’s going to be your home for the rest of your life.
Here are some factors that can help you better structure your life to incorporate fitness into it.
Think of your WHY
P: It’s very easy to show up when times are good. You’re WHY is required for when the times are rough, and you don’t know why you are putting yourself through this arduous challenge. That’s when you dig deeper and surprise yourself. That is where confidence is born.
K: Your WHY can differ from day today. Yeah sure, you’ve got one big ‘WHY’ that is guiding your journey, but maybe one day you’re just not motivated and can’t see the bigger picture. Find the little whys and keep pushing through––maybe it’s something as simple as wanting to feel your sweat drip onto the mat, or wanting to accomplish something before you start/end your day.
Find a programme that works for you
K: This tip functions on several levels, because it checks multiple boxes. If you find a workout regimen or programme that suits your needs and goals, you’re not only more motivated to show up each day, but if the workouts are pre-planned, it takes all of the thinking and guesswork out of the process. All that’s left for you is to show up and crush it.
K: If you’re someone who isn’t used to working out, don’t expect to immediately hit the ground running and work out 5 days a week. Start with smaller increments. This will ensure that you ease yourself into it, and gradually learn how to incorporate exercise into your day.
Listen To Your Body
P: What worked for me is listening to my body. I have seasons, where I work out in the morning between 7:30- 12:30 pm, sometimes I crave an early evening workout 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. You can see my diversity of when to work out. I scheduled it into my day. I know I must work out, so I leave an open space. There’s no ideal time to show up, you need to find something that works for you.
K: To be honest, this is something that I’m still working on! Finding the ‘right time’ (for you) to work out requires both physical and mental effort. For me, this has been around 8-9 in the morning, but I’m slowly finding that as my routine changes, I need to be more open to working out in the evening. It’s definitely a combination of listening to yourself and giving yourself a slight push to make sure you’re not avoiding a workout for the wrong reasons.