By NATALIA HAWK
You might have seen an article doing the rounds on the Interwebs this week. It’s an article from US site Refinery29 and has the optimistic title, “How To Really, Truly Love Working Out.”
We’ve long heard that with exercise, “just do it” is the answer. Get out of bed, put your shoes on and get your butt out the door before you even have another chance to think about it. Sleep in your exercise gear if you have to. If all else fails, superglue your Nikes to your feet. (That’s not actually recommended. But hey, it would be effective.)
But according to Refiney29 – “just do it” is so last year. It’s all about finding a workout routine that speaks to you. Developing a plan that makes you “beyond excited to keep moving”.
Here are some of their tips (and a summary of what they mean by each one) :
– Set Goals, But Get Them Right (Are you doing it to lose weight or just feel less tired all the time?
– Do what you enjoy (Dance if you want to dance. Don’t run on a treadmill for 20 mins if you hate it)
– Put your personality into it (Are you a group exerciser? Are you introverted and an alone-exerciser?)
– Set yourself up for success (incorporate strength training, interval training, yoga, and a focus on nutrition into your routine to avoid failing before you even begin)
– Don’t Quit…Even If You’re Over It (this one is quite self-explanatory)
I think that the above tips are all very well and good. It’s excellent to incorporate strength training in your routine. A focus on nutrition is always a positive thing.
But is it really possible to truly LOVE exercise? Can you really change your attitude to make you “beyond excited” about going for a run at the end of the day?
I know what I get beyond excited about – and it’s not really the exercise I schedule in for the day. I get beyond excited when I see my boyfriend (we’re long-distance). I get beyond excited when it’s my birthday (and that shit only happens once a year).
During particularly busy weeks, I have been known to get beyond excited about a Friday evening spent in front of the television, watching Better Homes and Gardens.
Zumba class at the gym? Not so high up on the excitement radar.
Mia has previously written a post about exercise guru Michelle Bridges. If ANYONE would get beyond excited about exercise, surely it would have to be Michelle? But what she had to say about it may surprise you:
Like the rest of us, Michelle doesn’t adore exercise when she’s doing it and she doesn’t particularly look forward to it. And it’s this myth – that we should LOVE exercise and be inspired to do it – that so many of us use as an excuse not to.
Michelle says she’s asked about motivation all the time because people assume she is a motivation machine. But she’s not. “I don’t wake up, pump my fist in the air and go ‘YES! I’M GOING RUNNING! RUNNING! YESSSSSSS!’” she insists. Just like she doesn’t wake up and go “YES! I’M HAVING A SHOWER AND BRUSHING MY TEETH.” Or “YES! I HAVE A DENTIST APPOINTMENT!” It’s just what she does.
If you wait for motivation to magically appear? You’ll still be sprawled on your couch watching The Real Housewives in a decade.
I think Refinery29 does have a point in that you should do what you enjoy.
Once upon a time, I decided that I was going to become a runner. I always wanted to be a runner. I would run many kilometres at a time in a lovely outfit and be the fittest person alive.
And then I started running and realised that I seriously hated it. My legs are short and so I can’t run very quickly. I get tired really easy. I get INCREDIBLY bored INCREDIBLY quickly.
So now I stick to dancing and swimming and touch footy, as well as the odd adventure sport – I find sailing particularly great because it’s so stressful that you don’t even realise how tired you are until you’re back on shore.
I may not love exercise with the passion of a thousand burning suns. I may not wake up in the morning and spend my whole day passionately looking forward to it – because, let’s face it, I would probably prefer a night with Better Homes & Gardens.
But I do try to make it as enjoyable as possible. And I think that’s the best I can hope for.
Over to you. What sort of exercise do you do? Or do you do very little (AKA none) at all?