Yes, Virginia, You Can Learn to Love… Okay Like, Exercise
Hate exercising? You’re definitely not alone. At any time during the year, thousands of people across the country commit to working out, only to fall off the wagon weeks later.
So what gives? Why does exercising feel so hard and is there any possible way to like it more?
Exercise feels like a chore because there are so many misconceptions (AKA myths) out there surrounding it. The best way to like exercise is to put some of these myths to bed.
Let’s DO THIS…
Myth #1: You Need to Exercise X Minutes a Day for X Days a Week
Most people think there is a certain magical number of days and minutes of exercise, and if we hit it, we have exercised “enough.” But this model can lead to difficulty when we exceed our capacity. For example, if you haven’t been the gym in awhile, and then hit the gym hard for 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you’re likely to get injured and be forced to stop this pace of activity.
There IS NO magic number. The real magic begins by simply moving your body more. So don’t focus on a number, focus on creating a better habit in yourself and moving your body more each day.
Myth #2: Exercise is Boring
Then you aren’t doing the right exercise for YOU. No one says you MUST take a spinning class or a yoga class. No one says you MUST run 5 miles a day or do 100 squats a day.
What do you enjoy? If you like dancing, take dance classes every week. Do you like to swim? Maybe you used to play tennis and it would be fun to get back into it.
There are almost endless activities and ways to move your body, so pick something that isn’t boring to you and do that.
Myth #3: No Pain, No Gain
Now I guess we should start by discussing what “pain” actually means. If you haven’t moved your body very much except to walk from the sofa to the kitchen to retrieve another beer, then yes, you can expect that your muscles might get a little sore. But sore and pain are NOT the same thing.
If, while you are working out, you feel any kind of real pain, STOP immediately. This is particularly true if you are over the age of 50 and very out of shape. Nothing should hurt on your body. This is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. When you workout so hard that you can barely move the next day… well, you are hardly going to want to do it all over again.
Go slow, pace yourself, don’t try and be a hero.
If you kick these 3 myths to the curb, choose an exercise you enjoy and just try and move your body a little bit each day, you may find that after a while you… (GASP!)… enjoy exercise!