The weather in Pittsburgh is getting warmer again and it’s been a good reminder for me to get outside more and try to stay active. I have seen the huge positive impact exercise has on my personal mental health and it can also help me control the weight gain side effects of my current medications. I often neglect physical activity because I feel like I don’t have time in my busy schedule or I’m too afraid of “gymtimidation.” I’m working to care less about what other people think of me or my body, but in the meantime, I’m finding ways to stay active outside of the gym.
Whether it’s taking walks, doing high-intensity interval training workouts in my room, or renting a HealthyRide bike with a friend, I’m trying to switch up the type of exercise I do each week so I don’t get bored. I have a smartwatch that holds me accountable for exercise minutes and lets me enter competitions with friends to hit our calorie-burning goals. I would definitely recommend a fitness watch to anyone trying to keep track of their activity. I don’t have a car so I walk almost everywhere and I track every walk, even if it’s only 10 minutes, as a workout on my watch. I also bought a pair of rollerblades last week and although I fell a few times on my first ride, I hope to try them out again on some smoother terrain soon.
As an extrovert, my greatest piece of advice is to find a friend to exercise with! You would be surprised by how many people say yes to a quick walk, bike ride, or trip to a skating park if you just reach out and ask.
Do you experience “gymtimidation?” How do you stay active? Have you seen physical activity improve your mental health?