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Working Out Past the Comfort Zone

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Fitness related image Photo: Getty Images

Like meditation, eating well and being kind towards yourself, working out can be both the bane of your existence or the way you empower yourself. As we all know, feeling good about yourself doesn't mean maintaining a certain weight, but, as many of us know as well, finding time to really get at the core of your workout routine is difficult at best and sometimes may feel impossible.

Because of this, invariably we often end up with a workout routine that is all too similar, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year until we are bored to tears with our workout playlists and the very exercises we are doing. We may purchase countless DVDs, salsa abs, hip-hop buns, and even stripper cardio in order to motivate and to titillate us back into pushing the envelope; but the real solution is to push ourselves beyond our comfort zones, jump those jacks right out of the box, so to speak, add difficulty and add time, until we are working at a pace we would have thought well nigh impossible.

The other day I leapt upon a machine at the gym that I heretofore would never have attempted, because it appeared too difficult, too work-outy, too jock-ish. I was, in fact, afraid of this machine. Having reached a level of boredom with my usual elliptical experience, I ventured forth, onto the frightening piece of equipment and lo! My workout challenge increased just enough to keep my interest piqued, my muscles worked in ways I never knew they could, and my sense of accomplishment upon exiting the gym was more profound than it had been in quite some time. Not only that, things went a step further when I decided to take on this piece of equipment and not just "try to stay on" as I had been previously challenged to do. Now I wanted thirty minutes, then fifty minutes, and yes, finally, sixty minutes on said sweat-making machine...I haven't hit sixty yet, but forty-five is beginning to feel downright good, and I do love it so when the front of my t-shirt is covered with the evidence of my efforts.

Needless to say, there are so many days when I either can't or just don't want to achieve this level of effort, and that's okay.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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