Wednesday, June 27, 2012
When would I ever advise you not to exercise? I can think of two situations. The first is if the doctor tells you not to, due to illness or injury. My number one rule is to follow your doctor’s advice. If you don’t want to do as your physician instructs, please find another doctor, one you trust and will abide by.
The other time I would tell you not to exercise is if the activity is not enjoyable to you. I know many people have the notion that exercise is drudgery, something to be shunned because it’s hard, boring, and/or painful. Other people dread it because, like me, they have childhood memories of being humiliated on the playing field or in P.E. class. The truth is that being active doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience - and if it is, don’t do it! Forcing yourself to exercise when you dislike it defeats the purpose; any benefit you’d gain physically is counteracted by the damage done to your spirit. And while I don’t have proof, I’ll bet your chance of injury is greater than if you were doing something you loved!
Instead, find an activity that you will enjoy and stick with. In my initial health assessment, I ask my clients about their preferences regarding 36 different forms of exercise, and I know my list is not exhaustive. Your choices are almost endless, even if you don’t consider yourself to be athletic. For instance, I love to dance. How many different types of dancing can you think of? And that is just ONE form of activity!
The trick is to stop telling yourself that you hate to exercise. Instead, remind yourself that with over 600 major muscle groups you are designed to move. Make a list of ways to be active that you’ve enjoyed in the past or would be willing to try. Choose one, and get moving!