Opinion: Working out is important but so is enjoying life

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Do you ever feel like a hamster on the elliptical? Sometimes, when I’m 20 minutes in on my workout I think, “Such sweat. Much tired. So many better things to be doing. I should’ve shaved my legs before coming here. Oh gosh, cute boy watching.”

However, exercise is good. In our modern time frame, many technological advances have caused humans to shift their focus from labor-intensive chores to digital chores. This, in turn, has led to more dormant jobs, chores and overall lifestyles.

This change has brought about the necessity of being health-conscious. Whereas before, manual labor, such as getting up from the couch to change the channel on the physical TV set, prevented a conscious need to maintain an individual’s exercise habits – basic tasks took care of that for us. Now, we have structures built simply for the task of exercising, which is pretty weird if you think about it. We pay to do something that our grandparents had to do in order to survive.

However, iPhones and super stores are pretty cool, so I’m not complaining. But, with the necessity of health-awareness increasing, people sometimes get caught up in their physical status. Yes, gym rats, we see you (and your veins popping out). Now, I’m not hating, but I do think it is important that people not lose sight of what’s important in life. There is a difference between exercising enough to help you enjoy life’s experiences and exercising so much that you lose out on life’s other experiences.

There’s not much more devastating seeing a person using a motorized grocery cart because walking is too difficult due to their physical condition or a person that can’t ride on a roller coaster because the seat belt or safety bar will not fit over their body. Granted, some of these cases are health-related, unpreventable conditions. But those that are results of bad eating habits and lack of exercise are also no fun. They miss out on precious moments of life. So, it’s important to stay “fit enough” that you can enjoy what life has to offer. If enjoying life doesn’t involve being active, do whatever makes you happy. I think parks, four wheelers, horses and baseball games are fun.

But there’s also no way going to parks so you can ride four wheelers and horses will happen if you always feel like you “have to workout.” I have some friends at school that go to the Chester E. Peters Recreational Complex twice a day. With each visit, they spend at least an hour there (not to mention the travel and preparation times in between).

That’s at least 2 hours out of their day spent exercising. They could easily cut down on their gym time and still be healthy, reaching a happy medium. Yet they continue to miss out on time with friends or their studies because they’re constantly at the Rec. They let exercise dictate the memories they make in life, and all the ones they don’t.

Now, like I said, personal choice is personal choice, but saying “no” to Fuzzy’s and a beer with good friends because you, “haven’t worked out yet today,” is kinda sad. Getting a below-your-best GPA at the end of the semester because you were doing curls instead of extra credit is also kinda sad. I don’t care how good your biceps look. And no, I don’t want to arm wrestle.

The key is balancing (it’s also good for your abs). Don’t let working out dictate your life; let life dictate your work out. Because, ultimately, being able to tell crazy stories when you’re 70 is a lot more important than having sweet triceps and spending $182 on protein powder this month.

Laura Meyers is a sophomore in pre-journalism. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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