What's the key to better personal fitness?
Exercise is a complex (often avoided) activity. It should be easy though! It can be as simple as taking the dog for a short walk, or completing 10 minutes of gentle strengthening exercises. It can be used and prescribed for man therapeutic reasons such as stress relief, improving physical health, preventing chronic disease, recovering from injury, and many more. However there are probably more people that avoid exercise or make excuses to get out of exercise, than those that actually participate! "It's too cold", "my arthritic knees ache", "I'm not fit enough", "I'm too stressed with work", "I haven't got the right clothes", "My favourite TV show is on" are all regular excuses individuals use to reduce the guilt of not exercising. But why feel guilty if YOU don't WANT to do something?
This under-lying guilt for not exercising is normally as a result of one knowing they SHOULD exercise, but motivation is low. Exercise and movement is an opportunity that many, many people take for granted. Its something that those that can exercise often don't and those that can't would give ANYTHING to be able to move again! So, how do we change? How can we motivate ourselves to get moving, when on the surface we aren't motivated to? The best way is simple - do things that you enjoy!
If you enjoy something, you are infinitely more likely to do it, often. Exercise doesn't always have to be a structured exercise regime, with a set dose, reps, weight, etc. Yes, that might be and ideal dose for an individual, but the most important thing is actual movement and participation! A short walk at the end of the day, or 5 minutes of a high-intensity workout at the end of a long day will be much more beneficial than no exercise. But if its something you REALLY ENJOY, you will make time for it, find ways to include it in your life as often as you can.
Great examples of this might include listening to your favourite music while you exercise, exercising with a close friend who you enjoy their company, joining a fun, social team sport, getting outside and exploring new areas you haven't been before, the list goes on! Personally, I love getting out in my kayak and fishing! I try to include this regularly, because I love doing it. On an average day when fishing in the kayak, I might travel up to 25km! But it doesn't seem like a chore, doesn't become boring because I enjoy it so much. You just have to find what it is that you really LOVE doing. If you can succeed with that part, your exercise habits will prosper.
If you are struggling to think of ways you can get started exercising again, or need guidance, engage in a conversation with your Exercise Physiologist to get you back on track. You can connect with me today at www.stackhealth.org. Enter your email on our homepage and receive daily health information along with your complementary wellness concierge. With this service you can email with me and explain your personal situation for FREE. This is the first step to achieving optimal fitness.
Mathew Cameron - Stack Health Accredited Exercise Physiologist