Was your New Year’s Resolution to work out more? For some Oyster River High School students, working out isn’t just a resolution, it’s a routine. If you were to walk into a Planet Fitness after school any day, it would be packed with students from ORHS. There have also been accounts popping up on Instagram where ORHS students are sharing their fitness journeys. For many, working out is a great way to be physically active and also achieve personal strength goals. Along with gaining physical strength, many have experienced mental health benefits they never would’ve expected. Continue reading to hear ORHS students share how they started their process, what they’ve experienced, and their advice for people interested in starting their fitness journey.
Bryce Harmon’s (‘22) fitness journey began last February and he has kept going with it ever since. He said, “I started doing track and field and [that] kind of sparked me getting into lifting and getting stronger. When I started seeing progress, it just boosted my reason to continue with it.”
Harmon created an Instagram account in June to document his process and share it with others. He posts videos of workouts and lifts he does as well as progress pictures of his growth and strength. “I like to share because I started off chubby and weak and now I’m a lot stronger… [posting my progress] builds confidence for me.” Harmon gave an example of recently hitting the 1000 lb club and said, “I felt like that was a really cool thing to share.”
After working out consistently for almost a year, he has experienced times where he doesn’t feel as motivated to keep working out. He shared how he gets this motivation back: “I sometimes lose my confidence [or I won’t] be feeling it one day, but then I just stop. I’ll be like ‘alright, I’ll get back on this another day.’ [That feeling] usually just leaves and then I’ll be like ‘looking good Bryce’ and feel like I’m going to do better this time.”
Harmon’s advice to people experiencing that same feeling or just starting their fitness journey is: “don’t give up because you [haven’t made progress]. Eventually you will see change in yourself if you keep working at it”
Follow @brycesprocess on Instagram for more!
Angie Morse (‘22) said she began working out when she “started going [to the gym] with [her] mom’s boyfriend just for fun.” Then, when she stopped playing basketball, she “just started going because [she] wasn’t doing a sport and wanted to stay active.”
At the beginning of her fitness journey she said, “I got really into it watching other people on Tik Tok and Youtube. I learned everything I know from Tik Tok and social media so they definitely inspired me.” She herself has an account she created over the summer when she had free time and posts videos of her workouts, progress pictures and occasionally food that she eats.
Morse noted how many social media accounts encourage working out to lose weight or restricting your diet. She disagrees with this and said, “when you’re eating healthy, it makes you feel better and you’re more motivated. When you eat more and have more energy, it’s actually easier to work out.”
Morse also explained how working out is very positive for her mental health. “I like going [to the gym] alone because it’s a de-stressor. It’s my time away from social settings. After you work out, it releases all the endorphins and it just makes you feel better,” she said.
Her advice to people looking to improve their mental and physical health through fitness is to “find people [on social media] who put out the right message for working out.”
Follow @angiemorsefit on Instagram for more!
Nic Brown (‘24) has been working out for about a year. He explained that the reason he started working out was that “I was overweight as a kid and just kind of wanted to end that.” He continued, “I started by doing cardio, going on the treadmill for 30 or 45 minutes a day. Then it kind of changed into weight training as I started to go [to the gym] more and more.”
Brown works out at Planet Fitness and commented on the number of ORHS students he sees there. “I go with my friends sometimes, but most of the time I end up seeing at least someone I know there,” he said.
For Brown, working out has benefited him both physically and mentally. He plays baseball and working out has helped with getting him stronger for that. He also agrees with Morse’s point about mental health, and said, “it helps my mental health too. It helps me relieve stress.”
His advice for others interested in starting to work out was “to just go for it. Start with some low intensity training, maybe three or four times a week, and if you enjoy that, you can up it from there. Make sure to do what you like in the gym because if you aren’t doing what you like, you won’t keep doing it.”
Nadia Janetos (‘23) works out a bit differently than the other students mentioned above. She started doing barre at the end of the school year last year. She described barre as, “a ballet thing because there is an actual bar where we do [exercises.] We have weights, bands, ankle weights, balls, we do everything. It’s kind of like pilates, yoga, cardio, abs all mixed into one.” She started doing it because, “I decided I wasn’t going to do basketball this year and I was like, ‘I need to find something to work out with and burn off all of my energy.’”
She enjoys doing barre for many reasons, one being the positive energy. She said, “it’s a bunch of moms and college students which I like because then I don’t have to see anybody I know from school. It makes me feel less self-conscious.”
Janetos also uses working out as a stress reliever like Morse and Brown. She said, “I’m a very anxious person, and barre has been the only outlet that helps me. When I’m anxious and I do barre, it goes away. It feels so good because I’m just in my own mind focusing on the workouts,” she said.
Janetos strongly encourages others to try barre and working out in general. She said, “I’m surprised I’m that person who wakes up at 5:00 am to work out but it’s amazing. It makes you feel incredible. It feels like I accomplished something today and it’s such a healthy outlet when I have stress from school.”
Each person can find their own health benefits to exercise, whether it’s gaining strength, easing anxiety, increasing confidence, or something else. The possibilities are endless for what working out can do for you. Maybe for this year, these people have inspired you to incorporate exercise into your routine!