Whether it is a group fitness class, going to the gym or taking some time out your day to go fo a walk, what is it about fitness that we all love so much?
Technically speaking, when you exercise your body releases chemicals called endorphins which causes your brain to produce a positive, euphoric feeling in your body. Many studies have also proven that fitness reduces stress levels and feelings of depression, boosts your self esteem, and improves sleep.
So, we can understand that the bottom line is that exercising clearly does some truly amazing things to our body, but what about all the other factors? There are just so many types, varieties, classes, ying, yang, dance, sleep, jumpy aspects too?!
Lets break the exercise regime down. You wake up in the morning, you have the choice whether or not you’re going to attend a class today, or go to the gym, or walk to the tube instead of taking your car. You have that choice to release those endorphins, to live that healthy lifestyle that everyone always talks about. And you make that right decision because you know just how good you feel for doing so.
So your day goes by (and we won’t talk about the choices you make for healthy eating, that’s for another time) and it’s time for you to go to that class you booked onto (at the new studio down the road, SpinEtc of course) but you’re not feeling that great and it has been a really long day, but wait, hold on, your friend told you how cool the lights made the studio look and that makes you feel a little bit excited. Is it is weird that something like cool looking lights can make you look forward to a class? Not at all! Ambiance is absolutely a key feature to why people enjoy fitness. The mood lighting, either pumping or calming music, even the smell of a studio can make you feel at ease.
Music allows you to lose yourself in the moment and rather than focus on the ‘pain’ of exercise you divert your mind to the lyrics or beat to get you through it. In technical terms it also gives you that ‘euphoric’ feeling because it activates brain regions called the limbic and paralimbic providing responses similar to that of good food and sex.
Music also makes fitness fun! Fun has to be a key aspect because if it wasn’t, you wouldn’t keep going back time and time again, you wouldn’t stick to the same style of class or work the same muscle group. That is exactly why spinning has become so popular – because you quite literally ride to the beat.
Now, what about the instructor? Well, we’ve all had those ones that we avoid on the class timetable because they are ‘too hard core’ or we ‘don’t like their music’ or you simply just can’t seem to get them. But then there are the instructors who inspire, who make you feel like you can do anything, who open your eyes to a whole new world of fitness. A personal connection with someone or even a friend in the gym makes you enjoy working out so much more, there can even be a bit of healthy competition striving you to better yourself, but whatever it is – there is just something about finding the right instructor that keeps you coming back over and over again.
My final point – How good you feel in your own skin?
When you’ve finished your class, or gym session,you’ve had your shower, and you’re either off to work or about to sit down and relax for the evening – How good do you feel??. Fitness makes you feel comfortable, it makes you appreciate that all the hard work isn’t for nothing and that in fact you are doing a great job. Clothes feel good on you, they look good on you and you feel great, all because you worked out, you got sweaty and you took the time out your day to look after yourself. People compliment you because you’re glowing and because of all that stress you released you’re lighter (metaphorically) – or maybe physically too!!.
Whether you are just starting your fitness journey, because you want to lose weight, feel fitter, gain muscle, become healthier, remember that you’re not alone and you simply need to find what works for you. Fitness is fun, its enjoyable and we do it because of all the positive outcomes it provides.
14th Sept 2018
Honey Fine

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