Four Ways to Hate Exercise (If you don’t already)
by Angie Miller
We don’t lack exercise programming in our society. There are more exercise programs, workout DVD’s, gyms, equipment, ideas, tips, and information than ever before. What we do lack is motivation to start and maintain an exercise program, and that’s something that can’t be packaged or sold. The thing about motivation is that it varies from person to person, depending on interests, lifestyles, upbringing, and beliefs. What motivates me might not motivate you, and vice versa. I’ve always believed that there is a missing link between what we know on an intellectual level about exercise, (we know it’s good for us and that it will help us stay healthy), and how motivated we are mentally and emotionally to make exercise a part of our lives. Rather than list 10 Tips for Motivation, I did that in a previous blog, I thought I would do the opposite. I’ve listed four surefire ways to hate exercise, hoping to shed irony on some of the decisions we might make that inhibit rather than increase our motivation.
- Make it a goal to exercise every day of the week, especially if you’ve never exercised before. I hear this a lot after the first of the year, aka New Year’s Resolutions. Individuals email me, or see me at the gym, and tell me that their goal is to exercise everyday until they lose x amount of weight. Exercising everyday, especially if you’re not in the habit, is the kiss of death. There are few things I want to do every single day, even when I enjoy them. Exercise is not one of them, and I love to exercise. I know that my body needs rest and recovery, and I know that my mind needs a mental break. Three days a week is a great place to start. Four is good after you’ve accomplished three for at least six weeks, (six months would be even better). Five is something you strive for when exercise is truly something that is here to stay, an integral part of your life. Six is starting to push it, and seven; that’s overkill.
- Don’t have a plan for when you’re going to exercise, what you’re going to do, who with, or where. Just wing it. Sort of like we wing our jobs, where we’re going to work, when we’re going to work, or what we’re going to do at work. Or how we wing appointments, just showing up when we’re in the mood for an annual physical check up, or head over to the dentist because our teeth could use a good cleaning and we have some extra time in our day. That’s silly, right? We have to schedule exercise the way we schedule everything in our lives or it just won’t happen, at least not consistently. Bottom line, schedules, including a specific plan for what, where, when, and how, lead to success.
- Order a super intense program off of the late night TV infomercials, the one that shows the individuals with perfect bodies and sculpted abs to boot. If we’re having an issue in our personal or professional life, we don’t look for the quickest fix, we look for the fix that will help us or our loved ones get back on track and resolve whatever issue is at hand. Exercise is not a short-term solution to an immediate problem… I need to lose five pounds for my reunion then I’m done. Exercise is a long-term commitment like raising kids, marriage, our career, and everything else in our life that is worth the investment for health, happiness, and personal fulfillment. We don’t need the most intense program; we need the program that makes us feel inspired to do it again and again. Quick results are not the goal. Lasting results are the goal. Intense workouts can lead to injury and burnout. Enjoyment leads to a long-term commitment and weight loss that is slow, safe and steady, promising to stay with us as long as we stay with the exercise program.
- Check out You Tube or another social media channel scanning for some awesome new moves and advice that may or may not follow. This might be one of my biggest pet peeves, and it’s certainly one of my greatest concerns. It’s the Wild West out there on the Internet and anyone can claim they’re anything. Fitness “experts” and “coaches” (life coaches, health coaches, fitness coaches) abound, but is anyone checking their credentials? Are we digging deep to see if they’ve earned certifications or licensures authenticating their ability to dispense advice about the human body? We wouldn’t get medical advice off of a social media channel unless we knew that the source was authentic, that they were actual physicians. We wouldn’t get psychological or mental health advice off of a social media channel unless we knew they were educated, licensed professionals. That said, it seems incomprehensible that we might consider getting fitness ideas, tips, information, workouts, and nutrition advice off of a social media channel without checking the source, investigating their credentials, and making an educated decision as to whether or not that source aligns with our goals.
May you be motivated to exercise, and supported in your endeavors.
Best to you in health and wellness~
Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com