We know exercise is good for us. It reduces anxiety, helps us sleep better, alleviates depression, helps us maintain a healthy weight, and makes us happier overall. But let's face it: Exercise isn't always fun. Especially when it involves a lot of discomfort and a lot of struggle.
I should know. Until about three weeks ago, I was a professional runner, covering around 90 miles of a week by foot. After 14 years of no more than two weeks off, I have stopped all traditional exercise and don't know when I will start back up again.
After pushing my body, mind, and spirit too far for all those years, I was experiencing emotional burnout, and all I wanted to do was rest. I didn't miss running, I didn't want to exercise, and worse still, without a goal or desire to look after my body physically, it became all too easy to completely let my diet go. I ate sweets every hour, chips for dinner—you get the picture.
I knew that even if I did need a break from running and a break from serious training, I would still need to do something before my long-term health took a complete nose-dive.