Let me start by telling you that I’m a part-time group fitness trainer. While I’m far from being an expert on fitness, what I am good at is motivation. Exercise is a way of life, not an option if you work on a chair. It doesn’t matter if you pump iron, jog, group train or walk the dog; get moving and more often! Life is too short and precious to waste it pinned to a couch.
Exercising is a bad word for a lot of people. It brings on thoughts of pain, sweat and messiness. We relentlessly protect ourselves from feeling bad, so why on earth would we purposely make ourselves feel bad? Exercise wastes time too, let’s not forget about that. Who has time to drag our sorry asses to the gym, sweat for about an hour and then drag our now worn out sorry asses all the way home? We have a hard enough time to make ourselves comfortable at home, so why on earth would we make time to feel uncomfortable at a gym?
Oh, and then there is the willpower to keep going.
Committing to an exercise routine is another drag on our will to live. We have ourselves committed to just about every person in our lives, our jobs and our communities. There is no way we can fit it in to commit ourselves to exercise! Committing an hour every other day to feeling uncomfortable, sweaty, stinky and sore… sure buddy!
The thing is, if we don’t make time to exercise now, we must make time later in life talking to doctors about the treatment of ailments that could have been prevented. If we don’t take care of our bodies now, how can we blame them later on for prematurely breaking down?
Committing to exercising is a lot like quitting smoking. Those who have successfully done either are amazed at how better they feel, how much more energy they have and how more mentally clear they see their worlds. The most significant game-changer for both an ex-smoker and a gym nut? They do not feel as though they are punishing themselves.
One of the problems that an ex-smoker faces when they first quit smoking is that they feel as though they are depriving themselves of something that feels good. The withdrawal from the addiction to nicotine leaves a smoker feeling irritable and sick, so the act of quitting quickly loses its lustre. The smoker has tricked themselves into believing that they feel better by continually doing something that is bad for them. They run to their nicotine to feel good when they are feeling bad, but in reality, they are doing something bad to feel good!
So back to exercising. Those that begin the journey of being fit often feel like they are depriving themselves of feeling good. When the first few days of soreness really kick in, the first thing we do is want to stop exercising. We don’t want to feel uncomfortable and unhappy! When the stresses of daily life start to pile up, that hour in the gym is often the first thing that is left behind to recoup the time that we feel that we are loosing. Remembering just how uncomfortable exercising can be, we don’t feel like depriving ourselves of the only comfort we have, so we axe the workout.
Like that smoker, we end up ditching something we feel is bad, to feel good. In reality, that bad feeling during exercise will end up making us feel good!
We all know being sedentary is bad for us, yet we keep on doing it. What if we trained our brains to flip our mindsets from one of deprivation to that of substance. That to maintain a habit of exercise, we look at the uncomfortableness as the growth of our body and we look at the time we spend exercising as an investment in our future. That by not exercising is depriving your body and mind of genuinely functioning in comfort.
Often it only takes a minor shift in mindset to make a significant change in our lives. We don’t want to live short and unhealthy lives by depriving ourselves of movement. We don’t want to feel overwhelmingly stressed and angry by depriving ourselves the investment of time in exercise. We also don’t want to die regretting that we should have done something sooner.
Why would anyone want to exercise? Who knows?!? But, one thing is for sure; our bodies and minds need us to exercise! Stop depriving them now and get moving!