Finding your exercise Why?
Ok, let’s get a show of hands… who here reeeaaalllyyy doesn’t enjoy exercise? Come on, you can admit it… no-one is listening. The first step to any solution is admitting the problem right?
I will go first… I don’t love it. I have always done it – with my family medical history I am surprised I am still here! I even sometimes enjoy it when I am there and I do like that ‘sore’ feeling the next day. But if I am being totally honest I don’t exactly bound out of bed on the days I need to exercise. If you are like me, read on and let’s see if we can find a way to maintain motivation together. If you are not… well stop reading and go do some exercise hahaha.
Why do we think we should do it?
We think we should do it because it is supposed to make us stronger, healthier, able to do things better and live longer. We think we should do it to lose weight, tone, be happier, get fit, be an inspiration to others or more common than not, to make ourselves more attractive to those we are attracted to (aka. to look good naked).
And now, just to add some credo to this little blog, I have accessed my favourite search engine and searched for the benefits of exercise. The top 10, in no particular order:
- Lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol
- Assists with weight loss
- Strengthens bones
- Helps prevent chronic disease
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Strengthens the heart
- Increases ability to sleep
- Increases cardiovascular fitness
- Helps reduce stress
- Increases concentration levels and memory
Something about a better sex life was also mentioned a couple of time too!!
Why don’t we stick at it then?
The reason, in my case at least is simple… we don’t love it so we have to find a motivating factor. The trouble is, that most of the tags we put on it for why we should do it are intangible. We place the words on them but have no realistic outcome identified. I mean, what does ‘get fit’ really mean? And how can we tell if exercise is making us ‘happier’? How toned is toned?
We need to be able to see results, we need to know that the thing we are doing is actually getting the results we want. I mean, here is the crux of the matter… If we admit we don’t enjoy it but we understand and know the benefits, then we need to see some tangible results for our efforts. If we can’t, then those mornings get just a little bit colder, the nights a little bit darker and before we know it our calendar is just a little too full to fit anything else in.
So how do we get around this?
For me, just saying that I am going to do 4 classes this week does nothing so this is how I do it. And the answer is actually quite simple – if not something we have had rammed down our throats in all avenues of our lives. I set small, tangible goals.
Let’s break this down into realistic steps
- Revisit why you are doing this at high level. I.e. weight loss, toning, fitness etc.
- Write down what you mean by these words – e.g. Fitness might be to be able to walk 5km without falling over or toning might be to be able to wear tighter bikinis over summer without those ‘hangy bits’.
- Set realistic timeframes – how long do you really think you will need to get to your goals? – too soon and you can get disheartened, too long and boredom will set in.
- Set realistic mini goals – for example, if you want to walk 5km in two months’ time, how many km do you want to increase by each week in order to reach that goal? If you want to lose weight, how many kg do you need to lose weekly?
- Note anything else you need to do in conjunction with these goals – help with diet, set time in calendar, get kids looked after etc. – the aim here is to remove anything that can interfere with your goals
- Write these weekly goals somewhere you can see them and tick them off as you go – celebrate success.
- If possible, get a buddy to work with you and keep you accountable
- Revisit and adapt weekly and do not let setbacks bring you down.
There you go! Easy peasy – remember things we don’t enjoy become enjoyable if they are fun. Have fun with your goals and with your exercise. Laugh in class and celebrate success!
Let us know how you go!
Written by Paul Watson – Coffs Harbour and Newcastle Partner