Mission #32: Have A Love Affair With Exercise

My husband recently pointed out how novel an idea “formal exercise” is. Given the fact that generations before us lived off the land, they constantly moved their bodies. Our modern, highly technological culture makes it extremely difficult for us to keep our bodies in motion.

Most of us are spending eight or more hours per day literally sitting in front of a computer. The likelihood of engaging in a physical activity is slim to none unless… we commit to an exercise plan and just do it? In my experience and training, feelings are the driving force of behavior. So why not start with an activity we absolutely love? I have been a life-long exerciser because of it. From the age of nine to twenty-two I danced classical ballet. In those days I wasn’t thinking I needed to exercise, I just wanted and needed to dance. As I matured, I found an interest in aerobics classes and weight training, as well as outdoor cycling. These days I’m having a love affair with stationary cycling and as the weather warms, I will be getting out for open-air rides with my seven year old.

If you have been unable to start an exercise program, I urge you to forget you are exercising and just have fun. WebMD suggests, “Get into your fitness program for the right reasons. Studies show that people who are externally motivated — that is, they’re working out just to drop 10 pounds or shrink their beer belly into a six-pack – don’t stick with it. Those who are internally motivated — meaning they exercise because they love it — are the ones who stay in it for the long run.”

Once you know how you want to exercise, Physiologist and Fitness Consultant, Elizabeth Quinn suggests:

  • Begin by checking with you doctor to ensure that you can safely exercise without restrictions.
  • Surround yourself with supportive people and role models. Having a support system is crucial in starting a workout program.
  • Accountability and motivation are very important to success. Ask those who are active how they’ve set up their lifestyle to support activity. You will learn a lot from those who are doing what you want to do.
  • You might also consider several sessions with a qualified personal trainer to learn what to do to reach your fitness goals.
  • Find something that works for you whether it’s bike commuting to work, walking after dinner, joining a sports league, exercise while watching tv, or training for a marathon.
  • If you make physical fitness and healthy lifestyle a priority, you will find more energy and enthusiasm for the other areas of your life.
  • Ideally, your exercise routine should be goal oriented, especially for new exercisers. Your goal must be realistic relative to your starting point, and measurable in a way that you will see your progress.

This post related to Life Strategy: Balance: General Health & Wellbeing: Exercise

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