Thursday, February 12, 2009

Exercise. Fun. Two words rarely in a sentence together.

The one obvious habit that can help you lose weight and creates a healthy life is exercise. Actually, getting active has so many benefits besides weight loss that if you want to lead a healthy life, it is an absolute must for all, fat or skinny, old or young. So, lets get out there and hit the pavement starting with 30 minutes each day this week of exercise.

Despite everything you know about how good exercise is for you, you won’t do it. First, there’s all the excuses, then you might start but give up half way through the week – something important might happen, or you will lose motivation. You might get through the whole week, but what are the chances of continuing for another week? And if you are really motivated that this time will be different you will keep going and you do, will you continue for the rest of your life? I know I wouldn’t last.

Somewhere along the line I picked up the idea that no pain means no gain. Since I only exercise to lose weight, I figure anything less than jogging is pointless. I hate jogging, so I guess my exercise habits are pretty clear.

Just like with eating where some foods are ‘super foods for weight loss’ and others are bad, we’ve created a distorted view of what exercise should be. If I took up jogging, or any activity that I don’t like today and continued until I was 60, I would need to do it 10 920 times. If I struggle to motivate myself once, or even twice what’s the likelihood of doing it over ten thousand times. Plus what will I do for the 40 years I plan to live after I turn 60?

A life full of ‘should because it’s good for me’ is an unhealthy life; you never quite get around to doing the should items. If exercise is to become a want, then it needs to be pleasurable. The time I have felt this way about exercise, I never labelled it as healthy or fat burning, I did it because it helped make me feel alive, happy and free. Coincidentally, I could fit into my Europe pants at the time. That is what exercise should be, fun.
So this time round, I am going to get that pleasurable feeling from the activities that I love doing, but that have never seemed worthy – an after dinner walk, a dance in the lounge room or a casual game of tennis. I’ll ease into this habit with, at least a half hour session each day. In fact, I’ll book that court now!

1 comment:

  1. I was fortunate to have my husband join me when I first embarked on an exercise regimen. I whined and moaned and complained; he kept silent and nudged me into the car to drive to the gym. Twelve years later, we are still exercising together, talking between gulps of breath and laughing at the day's absurdities (also between gulps of breath). Do what you enjoy - any movement is infinitely better than none. Eventually, we find that we want to do even more!



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