Most of us are plenty tired of having experts tell us we should do more exercise. Our chiropractors tell us. Our family doctors tell us. Friends who just started taking their first yoga class and are not really experts tell us. Celebrities tell us. Kid stars on Disney Channel tell us. Now even local television news anchors are telling us.
Intentionally or not, the result of all this “encouragement” is just more and more guilt. We already know we should be exercising. Hearing about it all day long really does not help. We are working hard at our jobs, keeping it together, taking care of the family, but as long as we are not also doing our daily exercise we are just not doing enough. We are not being healthy and the experts are only too glad to recite all of the long-term consequences of our slothful behavior.
So what is a person to do? On one hand, we can dig in our heels, deny reality, and desperately resist all those do-gooders. Some will bet their future on ancient family legends – “My grand-dad smoked two packs of cigarettes for 50 years, never exercised a day in his life, and died in his sleep when he was 92.” Others will simply leave things up to fate, taking their chances as well as the path of least resistance, doing the same old same old, and hoping everything will be OK.
There is another way. First, it is very important to distinguish what I choose to do from what I should do. No one wants to do what they should do. Should means having to. Should means having no choice in the matter. Should means someone else is telling me what to do, and no one really wants to do that. We want to do what we want to do. So telling a person they should do more exercise merely engenders resistance. People will only take the time and make the effort to exercise regularly if they want to do it, if they themselves choose to. Not because someone told them they needed to.
The secret of adding exercise to your life is discovering why you would want to do it. Discovering the payoff. Sure, the payoff includes being healthier, lowering your blood pressure, improving your metabolism, and lowering your serum glucose. But these are not really motivating factors for most people. If they were, everyone would be exercising. The real payoff, what gets people into the gym and out on the road walking, bicycling, and running, is that exercise is fun. You feel great afterward, often for the whole day. And pretty quickly, the more you exercise the more your body wants to do it. Your body takes over and your mind goes, “yeah, I am going to the gym”.
Join Body Logic this spring: get moving, support charity, and have fun! We are supporting two local 5K events in the month of May and want to help motivate you to get moving!! Check out our events here.