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Lesser Known Benefits of Going to the Gym

To say I'm not really a sporty person is a little bit of an understatement. I remember being so nervous in one of my first ever ballet lessons that I wet myself,  a story that both me and my dance teachers (who had the pleasure of reminding me of this fact every dance lesson until I was 18) find really hilarious, but to a shy three year old it was a horribly intimidating experience. 


My dislike for sport only increased with my age; although I was no longer wetting myself on frequent occasion, I did have a habit of hiding in the bushes during cross country runs and rejoining in with everyone on the last lap, and the number of notes feigning migraines to excuse me from having to play netball in the freezing cold probably rival the page count of War and Peace. I have always relied on the fact that I was on the 'slim side of average', and therefore my health must be OK. But when I hit 17 my health took a serious turn, my immune system decided that it no longer wanted to cooperate and over the space of two years I endured countless doctors appointments, blood tests and even a few hospital admissions. I have worked incredibly hard over the past few years, finally becoming someone who I am proud to be. I overcame my anxiety, I beat my illnesses and I am now working hard on becoming a healthy, strong and happy person.

Part of this involved me rejoining the gym, but along with seeing an vast improvement in my strength in the two months since, I have also noticed monumental changes in all sorts of areas in my life. I never thought I would write this but going to the gym is now something I enjoy. I have listed just a few of these little changes below...

1. Confidence - Walking into the gym to rejoin in November I didnt feel anything close to confident. Confident in my body, in my fitness, in myself or confident that I'd actually find a routine that I could stick to and see the benefit of. It was almost like walking into the lunch hall on your first day at a new school; not being at the gym for weight loss reasons, and having never lifted a weight in my life I just felt lost. But through support from a Personal Trainer, and now through my own training I have found a flow that works for me. I am still an insecure person, but I have a new found confidence in both my mental and physical strength. In two months I have improved much faster than I ever thought I would and these successes are only spurring me on to reach bigger and better goals.

2. Mind - People say exercise releases endorphins... I've been told it creates the same chemical reaction in the brain as when you give a hormonal woman a bar of chocolate. (Whoever said this was clearly a man and has never experienced the pleasure that is eating a bag of minstrels straight out the fridge at the end of a stressful day). Joking aside though, he did have a point. Strangely, coming back from the gym really does make me feel good about myself. I get a buzz from pushing myself to try something harder, and enjoy educating my mind and my body into a new way of training. I am mentally kinder to myself now. I am learning to be my own cheerleader, to love, treat and respect myself the way I want others to. Tonight I tweeted that I am happier, stronger and more proud of myself than I have been in a long time, and hand on heart that statement could not be more true.

3. Resilience - Failure is hard. Someone recently told me quite bluntly that we need to fail. Failure teaches us to appreciate success, rejection makes us stronger and admitting defeat is not a sign of weakness. Strength is how well we react to these inevitable traits of human life. Training has taught me that unless we allow ourselves to fail we will never improve and never leave the safety of our comfort zone. For years I have clutched to things I know I can succeed in, absolutely terrified of entering a realm of the unknown or pushing myself to try at something new, clinging to my safety blanket to the point where at one stage of my life there were days when I was frightened to leave my room. I have learnt that it's OK to fail, it's OK to fall. Fall seven times, stand up eight. With each fall you drop further and it can be harder to get back up- I know that to be all too true myself, but I'm still here and I'm stronger for it. I will keep pushing, I will keep failing and I will keep standing back up.

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52 comments

  1. Exercise is definitely a great thing to do if you want to destress, especially things like Yoga or pilates. But like you I've never been that much into exercise.

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I'm definitely finding that too! I've been going to pilates and I really enjoy it xx

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  2. Your blog is beautiful. I will definitely be returning <3

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  3. I loved this post. I've always been similar and really dreaded exercise, but lately I've been forcing myself to get into it and I feel a million times better (mentally and physically) than I ever have before. It is such a great thing after all!

    alittlesoapbox.com

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    1. Thank you lovely, aw I'm so happy for you that's so great! xx

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  4. I love reading your posts Amy!
    Resilience is so true, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes but when you get to the other side it's totally worth it.

    www.saturdays--girl.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. I'm much more of a "gym at home" type of person but a lot of this works in that situation too! Love your blog photography by the way! Very gorgeous composition :)

    Julia
    this sojourner

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    1. Thank you lovely! I try and do a bit at home too but I find it much harder to motivate myself xx

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  6. Great blog post Amy! I'm happy for you and glad that you're doing so much better! :)

    xx
    Erika
    http://whaterikawears.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/whaterikawears

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  7. So glad you overcameyour health issues Amy. Keep up the good work!

    #MCRBloggers

    Follow me too? Oh So Gawjess

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  8. I used to feel so much dread with exercise, comparison is what got me.
    This month has completely changed my view on the whole situation too.

    Glad you are finding it better!

    Allie x
    Rush & Teal

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    1. aww im glad you feel the same, i think seeing positive changes to my body helps xx

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  9. This is such an inspiring and raw post, thank you for sharing - these are things I know I deal with too so it makes it nice to know we aren't alone!

    Details of Dress - launching 02.02.2015

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  10. Your blog is so good! The whole theme is really sweet, do you have any tips (especially for getting sponsors/ ads/ collaborations)? x

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    1. that's such a lovely comment thank you so much!! feel free to email me if you like, but I'd definitely recommend signing up to websites such as affiliate window for ads xx

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  11. I always find that after I go to the gym I want to eat better :)
    Anjna Harish

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    1. I wish i felt like that haha, my diet is something that i really need to sort out! xx

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  12. Great post! Confidence is definitely key and I've learned not being afraid to ask for help on the machines is gonna make all the difference.

    trendydonut.blogspot.ca

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  13. Love your posts - they're always something colourfully inspiring! Followed on instagram too xo

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  14. I love this!! I've always been less than athletic…team sports used to freak me out so much! But I've learned to enjoy yoga and going to the gym for almost these exact reasons. The confidence is key!

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    1. i was the exact same! i really want to try yoga xx

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  15. Amy- loving your blog and loving your thoughts here! I totally agree with all you've said above. I find after a week or so of no real excercise, I'm irritable and uninspired in daily life. It's amazing how a little sweat and training can change your life outlook in just an hour or so!
    Abby - http://abbyflynn.com

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    1. aw thank you! I completely agree xx

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  16. lovely cup ! and pics ! really like it

    www.madamedaria.blogspot.com

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  17. I loved your thoughts on exercising! After a workout I feel so positive and full of energy - it completely changes my mood.

    Jana
    Life of Jana

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    1. mine too! i love going to the gym now xx

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  18. These facts are super true! I can totally relate!

    www.fashionteacup.com

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  19. Great post I totally agree, going to the gym the first time might be intimidating, but you will feel so good afterwards :) However at the moment I am really enjoying following routines at home, especially since my time is very limited at the moment. My current go to as blogilates, toneitup and lornajane. Keep it up xx

    Cheryl
    http://daisycandle.com

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    1. ooh im definitely going to look into blogilates that sounds right up my street :) xx

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  20. I am really glad you are enjoying gym, because I am about to join and I am scared I won't like it! :)

    Much love xx
    Catarina // ohkori.blogspot.com

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    1. aww im sure you will once you get into it, i really love it now xx

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  21. Oh, dear, it's so hard to push yourself doing all this stuff. But I must, I'm saying it everyday for myself... still doesn't work *) but soon! Thanks for subscribing me!

    xx http://www.fashion-confession.com

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  22. Great post Amy! There is so many benefits of exercising, but then there is getting around to it!

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  23. Great post! I love the picture!!
    Chckgeek.com

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  24. I wish I had thought to give notes to my gym teachers to get out of sports. I was always picked last!! I've been thinking of rejoining a gym and this post of yours has given me the extra nudge. Thanks!

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  25. I really want to get into exercising and be one of those healthy people. I really want to get cute gym wear to make me feel more motivated, I love your scrunchies. Also, the dumbells (is that what they're called?) are adorable!x
    libbyjade26.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. haha thank you I do love my scrunchies! xx

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  26. Great post, I love your blog! Would you like to support each others blogs?
    http://pinksmartiesblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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