Two essential steps to stop hating exercise and start enjoying the benefits
Falling in love with exercise is unlikely if your sole reason for getting sweaty is losing weight.
Think of something you absolutely LOVE to do. Something that makes you feel happy, centred and great about yourself and your world. It might be catching up with your best friend for a chat, drawing, dancing, cooking up a storm, busting out some tunes on your guitar, playing with your kids, visiting the beach or reading a great novel. You know that feeling I’m talking about. When you truly love and enjoy something you make time for it. You can’t wait to get back to it, and when you manage to prioritise it you feel great joy.
You don’t do it because you have to.
You don’t do it because you’ll feel guilty if you don’t.
You don’t do it because everyone else does.
You don’t do it because the bathroom scales show a particular weight.
You do it because it makes you feel awesome and your life is so much richer for it.
You can feel that way about exercise. Really.
How to fall in love with exercise:
- Find physical activities you don’t hate
- Find a ‘why’ that is not related to your weight
Finding exercise you don’t hate
You don’t have to run, lift weights at a gym or force yourself to do anything you hate. In fact that’s a recipe for a very short lived fitness kick.
All you need to do is move your body regularly. Think of ways to move that you don’t hate – Walking? Swimming? Cycling? Group classes? Yoga? Dancing? Rock climbing? Tennis? … Check out this list ofexercise ideas that can all be done indoors.
Finding your exercise ‘why’
Once you’ve got a couple of exercise ideas that don’t make you roll your eyes, I encourage you to find your ‘why’ that’s got nothing to do with your weight or your appearance.
When exercise is merely a tool to burn calories and change one’s appearance, it loses it’s joy. It becomes a chore that I’ve seen slide into guilt, disappointment, frustration and obsession for so many people. Our bodies reflect more than just the sum of our latest workouts. They are a completely original result of genetics, nutrition, activity levels, age, medical issues, medication, sleep patterns, pregnancy (if applicable!), socio and economic influences. When we exercise our appearance does not change immediately. It doesn’t even change quickly. And for some people it may not change at all. If your main or only reason for exercising is to change your appearance, you’re likely to give up in frustration pretty soon after you begin.
This is one of the main reasons why gyms are packed full in January with new sign ups who quit before the end of February! They mostly sign up with New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or change their appearance and give up in frustration when their one goal is not realised soon enough.
You cannot see wellness nor fitness in a person’s appearance. Your appearance is the least important aspect of your fitness and health!
So why exercise? There’s soooo many fabulous reasons to do so. There’s benefits you’ll notice immediately that will inspire you to keep at it. Keep at it long enough and you’ll find you’ve fallen in love with it like I have!
From this list below work out the reasons why regular exercise is really important to you. Read this list often – especially during the first 6 weeks of your new exercise routine. During and after exercise, remind yourself of these awesome benefits. Mentally high five yourself. Before you know it, exercise will be a joy you look forward to rather than a chore you feel guilty about.