Do you really enjoy it?
Every now and then, when Bevan runs to the gym, I catch myself cringing. Why? Because I don’t like running. Given the option of an 1 hour weight training session versus a 15 minute run, I would honestly take the hour of weights training any day of the week, because to me 1 hour of something I love trumps 15 minutes of something I dread.
A lot of people ask me how I can bring myself to train 4+ times per week when I already spend my days on my feet, moving and lifting, and my answer is always the same, ‘How could I not? I love it’. And that’s the truth. I enjoy weight training so much so that I look forward to sticking in my headphones and pumping out some weights. I even feel like I’m missing out on one of my favourite parts of the day when I take a day or two off.
And it was this single lesson that completely reshaped my approach and relationship to fitness…
When it comes to fitness, the most important element is finding a form of exercise that you genuinely enjoy, rather than trying to force yourself into the most effective or most popular workout when it really doesn’t inspire you.
Believe me, I spent years trying to force myself to go to HIIT classes and Functional Training Groups, and always wondered why I’d fall off the wagon after a month or so… that was until I discovered weight training.
See, life is already full of obligations and must-do’s, so adding something in that isn’t enjoyable isn’t going to last. However, if you are positively engaged with something, it becomes a ‘want to’ rather than a ‘have to’, and this major shift in mindset is incredibly powerful when it comes to the consistency and sustainability of a fitness habit.
When you enjoy something, you’re more likely to stick to it, and this is important as consistency is the key to achieving goals and maintaining health over the long-term. The same goes for sustainability. When you find a form of exercise you enjoy, it’s more likely to become something you can sustain over the long term, as let’s face it, how long can you force yourself to slug away at something you don’t enjoy?
And the best thing about finding an exercise you enjoy is that the enjoyment feeds itself. Regular exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids) which can have a really positive impact on a person’s emotional being and mental state.
Participating in regular exercise has been shown to have profoundly positive effects of a tool for relieving stress as well as improving memory, sleep quality, and boosting overall mood.
As you can see, once you get started on a fitness regime you love, the fun and enjoyment will keep building upon itself, helping you not only want to exercise, but helping you reach your health and fitness goals along the way.
Whether it’s weight training or running, swimming or dancing, curling or timbersports (which I really like for some strange reason), there are so many ways to exercise that I promise you there is something out there you’ll enjoy. And if you don’t like ‘exercising’ at all, well, I truly believe if you really look, you’ll find something that doesn’t quite seem like ‘exercise’ to you at first because they’re so fun! Underwater hockey anyone?
So ditch the voice that says exercise needs to look a certain way, and turn it into a highlight of your week by finding something you love doing and start doing more of it.
Distributed to email subscribers on Monday, 8th October 2018.
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