Exercise is fun, right? Well it’s not fun for everyone. In fact, many people consider it nothing short of torture. Perhaps it’s because they’ve fallen prey to many of the myths about exercise. Changing your exercise mindset, and letting go of these myths, can change your life.
No Pain No Gain
How often have you heard this lovely cliché? It implies that exercise must be painful in order for it to work. That’s just not true. Believing it is a sure-fire way to avoid exercise too! Who wants to feel intense pain? Actually, exercise can and should be fun and something you can do each and every day. Because honestly – if you’re not having fun, how likely are you to continue doing it? If it’s not easy to do, how can you find time to fit it into your day?
It’s a whole lot easier to motivate yourself to go for a walk or a bike ride to the store than it is to run five miles, right? And you can fit a walk into your day every day. It’s easier to go play tennis with a friend than to climb on the stair machine at the local gym. And much more fun, too.
More and more, scientists and doctors are learning that movement is more important than exercise. Exercise tends to be defined as sustained activity for twenty, thirty, or even sixty minutes. It’s a spin class, the time it takes to run three miles or an hour on the treadmill. However, studies are showing that it’s more beneficial to have a practice of moving your body rather than “exercising.”
Moving your body means walking; it means being physically active. It doesn’t mean an hour in the spin class – unless you enjoy spin class. Exercise is fine as long as it’s part of a daily habit of movement. Instead of sitting at your desk for four hours, getting lunch and returning to your desk, get up and take a five-minute walk each hour. If you can, stand at your desk. Bike to work. Walk to the coffee shop or store.
Adopting a Healthy, and Active, Mindset
If you dread working out, find an activity that you enjoy. The activity should require movement – knitting or watching Dancing with the Stars doesn’t count. Play tennis, hike, play golf, swim or take a dance class. Do something you enjoy that gets your body moving.
Additionally, take a look at your current habits. What can you replace with movement? Where can you fit physical activity into your day? It doesn’t have to be a five mile run; it can be a one mile walk. The important thing is to move.
If you like goals and numbers, shoot for ten thousand steps a day. That’s about five miles and to reach that number each day, you’ll likely have to create a few new habits. You can do it. Your health depends on it. To your success!