If you live in a modern day society where soft clothing is at your fingertips, the indoor temperature in your home is set perfectly year around, and you lay in the cushiest bed ever, the thought of the slightest discomfort that exercise brings can make you side eye an invitation to the gym. Let's be real, working out can feel awkward, your hair frizzes, sweat drips from your tired body, and the feeling of pain takes over after the fourth rep. Even YMCA and ACE-certified fitness instructor Deniece Griffin understands this struggle, and thanks to her expertise, she can help make fitness fun and maybe even relaxing.
Griffin has taught as a fitness instructor in Atlanta for over 20 years, speaking on fitness panels and presenting at a countless number of events. Along with being an instructor, Griffin is also the head of Grown & Fit, a private Facebook community specifically for women who are over 40. With her knowledgeable health and wellness background, she can guarantee sound advice and flawless results. Keep reading for her thoughts on becoming comfortable with working out:
1. Why do you think women are uncomfortable during physical activity? Does it have to do with not being used to exercising? Or do you think their mental burdens affect how they exercise?
Women who are uncomfortable with working out have had limited exposure to fitness and physical activity in most cases. To obtain true results in weight loss and leading a healthy life, one must be willing to endure some discomfort. No one likes to be uncomfortable. Working out requires you to be in pain, sweat, not looking your best, messy hair, and soreness. That is the reality if one wants to see results. Feeling uncomfortable in a gym with weights and machines can also be intimidating for women seeking the healthy lifestyle.
In addition, some women are uncomfortable with exercising due to social and cultural barriers, something that is not discussed too often. Social barriers such as time away from their households/children responsibilities and lack of support from spouse, friends, or family can make a woman feel uncomfortable. Cultural factors such as women wearing tight/exercise clothing and performing physical activity in public places along with religious beliefs also provide a barrier to working out.
2. What ways do you suggest for women to get out their comfort zone and exercise to the best of their ability?
I would recommend women to start slowly by walking more. Walking in the mall, then the park, etc. Finding someone to walk with can make exercise more enjoyable, and sometimes you don’t even realize you were working out. I recommend to my audience group to include strength training in addition to cardio (walking) activity. I would suggest taking a strength and tone type "class" to get familiar and learn the various techniques to feel comfortable with free weights first. Trying a variety of classes from yoga, Zumba, pilates, and aerobics can also help one feel comfortable with exercise. This can also help determine a mode of exercise that you truly enjoy. Exposure to fun activities and workout classes is important. There are motivation and adventure improving your experience.
3. Why is comfort such a huge part of exercising? Do you think it should be? Why not?
Most definitely! If you feel comfortable with something you will make it a lifestyle. You will do it with ease. Physical activity and movement is key to leading a healthy and productive life especially as we age.
Have more ideas on how to become comfortable with exercising? Share them with us in the comments below!