We get it: working on your health and fitness sometimes isn’t the funnest thing in the world.
When there are more enjoyable things to be getting on with, like lying on the sofa, eating crisps and watching Netflix, why the heck would you want to be in the gym, being barked at by an instructor?
Still, there comes a time when most of us feel like we can’t continue living like we’re 19, and when you finally start dipping your toe into the world of fitness, you soon realise that you’re a lot more unfit than you thought you were.
If you’ve started on the long road to better health, here are some things you might be able to relate to…
1. Simply walking up the stairs leaves you gasping for breath
You don’t want to rude about yourself, but seriously… what chance do you have of surviving a Zumba class when taking the stairs instead of the lift leaves you doubled over in pain and gasping for breath? Somebody bring water, fast.
2. Your runs are more like fast-paced walks
It always starts off so well. You pound the driveway of your house feeling like Usain Bolt, but by the time you get to the end of the street, it’s more like the tortoise and the hare (and I’ll give you one guess which character you are).
3. Even light exercise leaves you sweaty and red-faced
The instructor at your gym (aka your sworn enemy) said the class would start with a light warm-up. While everyone else is still cool and composed, you’ve broken into a pink-faced sweat and are thinking about making a run for it before the real hard work begins.
4. Everything hurts the next day
Even worse than the actual doing of the exercise itself is the unbearable aches you have to endure for days afterwards.
Sneezing, coughing, walking, smiling… is there any task that isn’t torture?
5. You have a lot more respect for athletes and fitness influencers
It’s easy to think ‘I could do that’ when you’re watching someone else exercise on YouTube or Instagram.
After a couple of exercise classes though, you have to admit, doing a bunch of burpees and mountain climbers in a row is a lot harder than it looks.
6. You spend most of the yoga class in child’s pose
After a couple of downward dogs, you’re ready for the teacher to hand out the blankets and for everyone to get into an early shavasana.
7. You struggle to lift even the smallest weights
Note to self: work on your upper-body strength.
Lifting a pair of 2kg dumbbells usually elicits grunts, groans and facial expressions from you, that wouldn’t look out of place in a World’s Strongest Man competition.
Don’t worry, though, everyone has to start somewhere. While the initial stage of feeling unfit can make you want to give up, it’s good to remember that results don’t happen overnight.
And until then? There’s always child’s pose.