How to Get Rid of Exercise Guilt

5 women doing yoga

The gym has been a scary place for a lot of people, including me. Not only can the gym be anxiety inducing, but sometimes working out can feel like a chore. Getting up and having to  drive or walk to the gym can feel like a workout in itself, and sometimes I just mentally cannot do it. When this happens, I experience this guilt eating me at the back of my head. I feel ashamed that I did not work out, as though I have to punish myself for not exercising. 

 Social media has given us the tools to compare our lives to other people who we deem better  than us. When we see influencers and celebrities posting their daily workouts, we think,“Hey, maybe I should do that.” This can lead to a more toxic mindset surrounding the gym and exercise, as you expect yourself to maintain this perfect routine.  

You should never force yourself to work out because you think it is the “right” thing to do. Working out should be something you enjoy, not something you dread. Finding the right workout for you can help you become more motivated, and less likely to feel guilty when you take time off. Personally, yoga is my favorite way to work out and I am excited to go to class every day.

Everyone’s body is different. Some people feel good working out 7 days a week and other people feel good working out once. It is unfair to our bodies to compare them to others when everyone is different. What your body needs is not the same as what another body needs. Tuning into your body’s rhythm can help erase workout guilt. 

 As society continues to push hourglass, toned bodies as the norm, women often feel as though they need to work out to achieve this ideal. They feel ashamed when their bodies do not look like a photoshopped influencer, further decreasing their motivation for the gym. The truth is that no body shape is “wrong” and one body isn’t better than another. Different sizes are normal and most people physically cannot have the body of a supermodel. Having a supermodel body is not even really attainable without certain genes and an insanely strict lifestyle that is not sustainable for the general population. No one should punish themselves for not having the right genes. Remember how hard your body works 24/7 to keep you alive and healthy! It deserves to be treated well, with yummy and nutritious foods, and healthy levels of activity. This mindset is a great way to overcome anxiety surrounding bodies and exercise. 

You should never feel guilty for taking time to relax, or for skipping out on the gym. It is okay if some days you just need to chill. You should listen to your body and let it rest. Every single person in this world is different. We all have our own routines and lives. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time considering nobody lives the same life as you.


By: Sydney Karlos

Instagram: @sydkarloss

1 comment


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