Exercise: The Positive DO!
Is exercise really for me?
Perhaps you have a negative attitude toward exercise. Through no fault of your own, past physical education or athletic experiences may have created this outlook. Experiences such as being punished with exercise, being chosen last in a pick up game (oh, that one hurts!), or being ridiculed or feeling embarrassed because of poor skills may have kept you from getting involved in sports and exercise. The use of calisthenics or running laps to punish a participant is absolutely ridiculous. Allowing an inept performer to be heckled in a physical education class is inexcusable. It is no wonder so many people will not participate in sports or exercise. Who wants to do something that is associated with pain, punishment, or embarrassment? Obviously, not all people can excel in athletics or even make the team.
You don't have to be athletic to be physically fit. Traditionally, organized athletics have tended to develop super-fit competitors for the entertainment of a physically inept society.
Programs that reward the best and disenchant the rest leave the majority ungratified and even alienated. Such a philosophy has forced more people into the inept and unfit category. Fortunately, we now realize that people who may not win championships or make the team also need invigorating exercise. Why should you be relegated to be a mere spectator? You deserve the opportunity to develop the skills and abilities to enjoy a full and active life. If you can find the right program for you that helps you discover some pleasure and gratification as a result of exercise, you will become a convert.
Exercise IS good for you.
Try this: call exercise a "positive do!" Rather than telling yourself, "Don't eat this or that" or "Don't smoke", "Don't get excited", "Don't worry", say, "DO exercise!" Think of exercise as something fun that you can integrate into your lifestyle in a fairly painless manner. It is a physiological fact that people who exercise tend to not smoke or if they do they find they smoke less, they are more conscious about what they eat and they have an easier time relaxing and sleeping better. Can't argue with those results! Think of these facts as the positive side effects of exercise. Exercise offsets the ill effects of sedentary living in our modern technological society and ensures that you are living at your potential. Strive to make exercise an integral but fun part of your lifestyle.
So, what is fun?
When you haven't had an exercise regime it's easy to think of it more like work than fun and that attitude is quite normal so if you feel that way, take heart! You're not alone. Designing a program is easy, but exercising on a regular basis is not so easy. If you can find a way to make it fun, you will be well on your way to looking forward to it rather than pulling away from it or making excuses not to exercise.
Ever heard the comment, "I've never seen a jogger who was smiling"? No doubt this is true but let's say a couple goes to a symphony concert because they enjoy them. Do you think they would be sitting there smiling through it? Probably not, but they would be enjoying themselves none the less. Maybe that isn't a good analogy to some of you, but the point is that fun comes in many different forms.
If you enjoy dancing, buy an aerobic work out that is done in a dance style. It's fun - it may take a while to get all the moves down, but that's normal. Don't let that discourage you. One day you'll find it all comes to you and you'll be enjoying it and may even crack a smile during your work out! Attitude is another key factor, so you may wish to do an attitude check!
Find a Friend
Work out with a friend or even a group of friends. Don't worry about looking foolish -- laugh at each other if you do! If you're not used to exercising, there is no doubt some of the positions and movements will feel quite strange to you, therefore, you may feel funny being seen doing them. This is where attitude comes into play. Take squats; for years I simply wouldn't do them. What got me past the hurdle, because squats are an all around superb leg exercise, was a picture of Cory Everson doing a squat. I cut it out, laminated it and put it where I could see it while exercising. I grew to love doing squats! It's about setting a goal, integrating it and finally, achieving that goal.
Setting goals and striving to meet them feels great and better yet, successfully reaching those goals is something guaranteed to put a big smile on your face along with a pretty good boost of self esteem and confidence.
Think about something that you enjoy doing that involves moving the body. Write down some goals you would like to reach, do some research on various forms of exercise and attempt to find one that appeals to you. (See Exercise!). There is an abundance of ways to exercise and you needn't bring yourself to complete exhaustion. That isn't even healthy. It's about movement of the body. Getting the blood pumping and sending oxygen and nutrients throughout your blood stream. Working your heart and lungs for peak efficiency. Enjoying the feeling of movement and a little exertion.
Take Baby Steps
Don't be too hard on yourself. Laugh at your goof ups, share your experiences with a friend, keep a diary of your accomplishments (see our Health Tools for printable logs), reward yourself upon reaching a goal. Not with some naughty food though! Buy yourself something you always wanted. Or take an entire week off of exercising when you start to feel burned out, which can happen. During that week, think of trying something new when you start again - just be sure you do start again.
There is a feeling of accomplishment when you finish a work out. You have the ability to do more things with a sense of energy, live life to it's fullest - all things that make for a fun life. The investment of time and effort will be paid off with many hours of enjoyable times in your life.
If you can get yourself past the hurdle of starting an exercise regime and sticking to it long enough to realize the benefits, you have succeeded at something crucial to the quality and longevity of your life.
You may also find of interest...
- Mind Over Exercise Matter
- Practicing the Positive
- Endorphins: Opiate-Like Effects (Blog Post)
Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.