I did a little poll on my Facebook group about an interesting lecture I attended yesterday and it was fascinating to hear your answers!
And some of your insightful answers:
My lecture was by Michelle Segar and if you are interested in learning more about her book you can find it here. It’s called “No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring you a Lifetime of Fitness”.
She answered some questions that I’ve always wondered. Why do some people stick with exercise consistently and some people fall off immediately? Or how can someone work out their whole life or play sports and then just stop?
I count myself as lucky as I’ve had the exercise “bug” my whole life and never really stopped. BUT I realized a few years ago WHY I find it so easy to exercise (and would do it on vacation willingly) and others do not. I have been in the spot after my back injury where exercise was very hard and I was extremely unmotivated, but it never occurred to me to just stop completely and I’ll tell you why.
The large majority of people when asked on the street for Michelle’s study about their motivation for exercise was for “better health or to stay healthy” (this was the reason given by 75% percent of people.. I found it interesting only one of you mentioned this!). BUT pretty much all of the 75% of people didn’t actually regularly exercise.
Why the gap? We value health but not enough to actually do something about it because of time, kids, money, any excuse.
The reason is because we live in a society of immediate gratification- and “health” or “weight loss” is NOT an immediate result of exercise, in fact it’s usually farther away than we think which is why people end up quitting 90% of the time. People that exercise consistently have created immediate gratification with exercise. They know that they have more energy, they are more productive, focussed, happier, less stressed immediately after a workout. That is certainly true for me… if I had been exercising just for weight loss or “health” I NEVER would have pushed past the first two weeks.
We need to start recognizing the immediate benefits and REFRAMING exercise in our mind. You’ll notice that those of you that said exercise is a gift really do not take for granted the fact that they can move their bodies regardless of health problems, and they do it regularly! When you experience the immediate gratification of exercise- you’ll find a way to get it in no matter what because you ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
That is why it’s imperative to find a form of exercise you enjoy. If you hate the entire way through it – you are not going to keep it up. Forget all the different “rules” that trainers tell you about “3 x strength training sessions a week, or 3 x 30 min high intensity cardio etc” and just do what feels GOOD. THAT is how you are going to start changing into one of those people that regards exercise as a chore into one that regards it as a gift and craves it every single day. (A side note: Michelle gave this lecture to a group of doctors and one doctor stood up and argued with this; “My clients NEED moderate to high intensity exercise in order to see results in their cholesterol etc etc”. When she asked how many of them actually kept up with it he sat down and shut up). The important part is not what you do, but THAT YOU DO IT!
Another interesting point: Intensity of activity influences people’s affective response during physical activity. Feelings worsen with increased intensity: pleasure plummets and discomfort elevates. (For the majority of the population… I don’t find I have this problem haha).
Positive affective change during moderate intensity activity but not AFTER, was associated with future behaviour. HOW WE FEEL WHILE WE ARE MOVING IS SO CRUCIAL.
Take away points:
1.) Re-frame how you view exercise. A study showed that if you view a walk as a fun social activity you will have a completely different experience than if you did the exact same walk and called it “exercise”. Think of exercise as that magic pill that will heighten your mood, increase your energy immediately, help you focus at work, make you feel powerful & capable of anything life throws at you. Whenever I have a hard day or I’m anxious about something, I know that if I exercise I will immediately feel more ready to tackle hard tasks and can get through a long day.
2.) Find exercise you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it during– you won’t keep going. Keep trying out different things that feel good for you. Maybe it’s Zumba, rollerblading, hiking, swimming, trampoline fitness, Pound, Dance, or I genuinely love running and HIIT training. Keep trying new things until you find something that you look forward to.
In regards to time and cost: you don’t need to spend hours exercising for it to be effective. Anything is better than nothing and that is a proven fact! It’s free to walk, run, cycle, hike, swim, do at home workout videos on You-Tube (where they have pilates, yoga, dance, etc) there are so many options or things like my Vimeo which is $20 a month.
No time? If you watch TV, scroll Facebook or Instagram, you have more time than you think. Run around with your kids outside, play frisbee, do an outdoor workout with your kids, walk your dog, run beside your kids on their bikes- you don’t need to be doing any regimented- JUST MOVE ANYWAY YOU CAN. (Also being a positive example to your children I know can have amazing effects).
I know that I don’t have kids but I have plenty of clients with 2,3,5 kids that still find a way to get it in. I know that people are busy BUT WHEN you start viewing exercise as a gift and loving the immediate effects- it becomes automatic to fit it in. Do squats while you brush your teeth, do tricep dips on the bathtub during bath time, do high knees on the spot while talking on the phone. Do lunges from the kitchen to the living room. Don’t worry about reps, time or anything. Just try to move when you can, where you can! 10 minutes of movement in the morning can change your entire day and mood guaranteed. Remember anything is better than nothing.
Something that also helped me was taking stock of my mood before and after a workout. Where was I in regards to stress, energy, mood before? And where was I after? This can show you the amazing benefits that even a walk around the block can do for you.
Did any of this resonate with you guys? Let me know your thoughts!
NOW GO WORKOUT!