You know, in your heart of hearts, that eating healthy is a good choice. Just the same, you know that hitting the gym from time to time is probably the right idea
But as I’m sure many of us can relate, I always have the intention of working out, but usually end up not going. As much as I hate to admit this, the last time I went to the gym was during Welcome Week. I used to go to the gym every day, and I wanted to discipline myself to do that again. So in the name of the Washington Square News, I tried going to the gym every single day for a week.
Excited to start the project, I texted my friend an invitation and went to 404 Fitness. Walking to 404 from Lipton Hall takes about 10 minutes. During these 10 minutes I contemplated what I was doing with my life. Why did I take this pitch when I could write about something less physically draining, like Flurry or the holiday season? 404 was relatively empty, which made me happy because crowded gyms can be intimidating. I located the nearest treadmill and started running. I ran for an hour and successfully finished my workout for the day. It felt very good to be done.
Okay, I cheated! I know, not good. I’m not making excuses, but Mondays are just hard. I was not able to work out these two days because on Monday I volunteered at the children’s parade and then went to the real Halloween Parade, and on Tuesday I was working at Flurry. I did feel guilty about not working out, but to be fair, I was very active while running around in the children’s parade and making sure the people on the stilts were not smashing children.
Wednesday was a good gym day. I was prepared this time. I had a water bottle, and I made a running playlist on Spotify. Pro tip: especially for running, if you include songs that you know the lyrics to, it seems to make the time pass faster. My playlist consisted of songs ranging from Adele to Kygo, and I enjoyed every second of it. Other than staying hydrated and having a great playlist, having a good gym friend is very important, especially if you are a lazy person like me. I took my pal and we motivated each other to go to the gym. When I passed Dunkin Donuts on the way back to our dorm, she stopped me from getting a donut. If you share an experience with a friend, it automatically becomes more fun. So, I learned that the three essential things you need to maintain a workout routine are water, music and a friend.
After going to 404 for two days, my buddy and I decided to try Palladium. The treadmills had mirrors in front of them and although it was awkward looking at myself while running, I quickly got used to it. Thursday was a harder day for the gym because I was sore from Wednesday, and I also had a lot of homework on my mind. I motivated myself by playing music and imagining I was in a music video (the mirror helped). I ran for 45 minutes and spent 15 minutes on the bike, which I regretted on Friday when soreness morphed my legs into bricks.
Friday was one of my better gym days because the gym was more or less empty at 8 p.m. I alternated my treadmill time; running for 10 minutes, speed walking for 10 minutes and then running again. After 30 minutes of doing this, I got very tired because I had increased the speed of the treadmill. To motivate myself, I started imagining models and kept telling myself, “If Adriana can do it, you can too.” This actually helped me continue running. It is interesting to see how your psychology can affect your physical activity. Your body can be exhausted, but your brain is just as powerful. I overcame.
In lieu of hitting the gym on Saturday, I found exercise in sport — namely the NYU Quidditch team. This was my favorite exercise because I didn’t feel like I was working out. I was just having fun and sweating with a group of my friends. I can say that Saturday was a good workout day, especially because it ended with me eating ice cream covered in chocolate chips and rainbow sprinkles.
After the craziness of the week, I just wanted to relax. I did not want to be stuck inside at the gym when it looked so nice outside. I wanted to make use of the lovely weather, so I walked. I walked for a long time, observing the lovely dogs and interesting people while doing so. It was a much more relaxed exercise for a much more relaxed day. Sundays are the best.
Going to the gym for a week was a great way to discipline myself. I will definitely continue going to the gym more, if not every day. Going to the gym made me feel less guilty when I made 2 a.m. runs for Indian food or satisfied my midnight ramen cravings. I am happy that I tried doing this, because I would not have been able to start working out any other way. Going to the gym is a part of my daily schedule now, and I am hoping to keep it up. To everyone who wants to start working out, but just can’t: grab a friend, make a playlist and go exercise. Your body and mind will feel great.
Email Yasmin Gulec at [email protected]