Congrats! You made the resolution to get fit in 2017, just as you have in previous years, and it is now 6-8 weeks into that resolution. Suddenly, you are finding excuses to miss your daily workout. In your heart of hearts, you know there are no good excuses, but something is consistently getting in the way of you getting to the gym. That initial motivation to get to the gym (the ten pounds you put on celebrating Christmas) and that good feeling after your daily workout is done, suddenly is just not enough. It is getting harder to break away from work, family or other commitments to get to your daily exercise in. So, how do you find the motivation to ensure you make daily exercise a healthy habit?
Knowing what must be done and doing it on a regular basis are two things that are entirely different. In earlier Newsletters, I have written about the cornerstones to fitness and health (Nutrition, Aerobic Fitness, Strength, Flexibility, and Balance Training) but one thing I haven't written about for a while is where to find the willpower to execute a fitness plan.
The motivation to make exercise a part of one's daily routine is a truly individual thing. After all, exercise is by nature, an uncomfortable, hot, sweaty past time that involves hard work and an hour of a very precious commodity, "time".
For me, the expression "use or lose it" comes to mind when I write on this subject. "If one doesn't use their health, then for sure they will lose it". This simple fact motivates me every day to get my body in motion for at least an hour.
Also, while the following may seem to be a negative way of reinforcing the idea that exercise is important, it is generally the way the medical community communicates messages of health to us. Some of you may struggle with the concept: "that lack of regular daily exercise will lead to illness and perhaps death" but, we are now seeing this message on billboards, commercial television and in the press. This message should strongly motivate anyone to get moving.
We also know from many studies that regular exercise is also the best way to deal with stress, which is becoming one of the highest contributors to health problems in western society. Smoking and obesity are also huge contributors to illness and the effects of all three of bad habits, are muted by regular exercise.
I myself, prefer to motivate by using the positive. For me, the feeling of accomplishment I enjoy after completing an exhilarating workout is something I look forward to each an every day of my life. The aches and pains of sitting at my desk vanish after a workout. I combine that with that feeling that I have just done something good for me and then, it makes it easier to do good things for others.
I feel, the important thing for all is to subscribe to the Nike Motto- "just do it". We all know that doing exercise is tough, especially when you don't feel your best. That is when you just have tear yourself away from whatever you are doing (especially if you are sitting at your desk stressed, wondering what to do next) and take your body for a treat. Muscles, and joints were meant for movement, so put them in a situation where they get to work for a while. and that will help to blow away all your frustrations.
I guarantee that after you exercise, you will feel better and that your body will love you for it. Even if you are feeling a little off before you start, put in a little effort and your day will soon turn around. It doesn't have to be the same effort every day. If you are feeling lousy, back off a little. The next day you will surely feel better and can push a little harder. Remember "use it or lose it", but in a positive way and do a little something every day.
"An hour of exercise a day will be sure to keep the Doctor away".
Robin Russell, Manager, Bentall Centre Athletic Club.
posted February 15th, 2017