Do you groan at the thought of going to the gym? Have you had a gym membership that drained your bank account despite months or years of inactivity, leaving you feeling guilty rather than fit?
It is time to think about exercise in a different light!
Simply put, if you don't enjoy doing it you probably won't . . . at least not for very long.
If you love the gym, awesome! However, for many people the gym can be intimidating, monotonous, inconvenient, claustrophobic, time-consuming, boring, or simply ineffective, which can result in a lack of motivation to actually go.
a) Everyone is different
b) The gym is not the only way to get a workout
I HATE THE GYM!
I love and need to exercise, however I strongly dislike traditional gyms. I find driving to and from the gym a waste of my valuable time, I feel like a robotic hamster using exercise machines, I dislike working out in close proximity to other people, and I find it mind-numbing to stare at the same thing the entire time. Overall, I find the gym extremely boring and lack the motivation to go. Luckily, I don't have to. Exercise I currently enjoy and look forward to includes playing soccer, jogging outdoors and Yoga. On rainy winter days I use a rowing machine, weights, and the occasional exercise video in my basement . . . while watching my favorite shows on Netflix. In the past, I was a member of a women's kickboxing type gym, because who doesn't like punching and kicking things? I am self-motivated and don't need or want a contract/obligation or someone pushing me. However for many that is exactly the motivation needed.
Exercise should be something you enjoy (or at least don't hate), and it should be a priority. Think about WHAT you enjoy (or might enjoy) and what type of workout environment you need and/or will thrive in. For inspiration, here are 21 SIMPLE IDEAS TO GET MOVING!
According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, and most Canadian and American organizations, "adults, including seniors, should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more." This is equivalent to 21.43 minutes a day, or just under an hour 3x per week.
But what does the evidence say? Basically the more the better. Yes, 20-30 minutes per day yields health benefits as compared to no exercise, but 60 minutes per day yields 2x the benefits and 90 minutes per day yields 3x the benefits. So the recommendation of 150 minutes per week is a starting point but the more exercise you do the better off you are. Check out this brief video from nutritionfacts.org for more information.
Regardless, if exercise, of any type, is not currently part of your life, doing something, ANYTHING, even 1 or 2 times a week is going to be beneficial to your health and serve as a stepping stone to gradually add more. It doesn't need to be all or nothing.
Why does our body need exercise? While most people exercise to get or stay in shape, regular exercise is extremely beneficial to our bodies and can help prevent a long list of health complications. So even if you are at your ideal weight and happy with your body, you should still be exercising regularly to stay healthy! Here are 19 REASONS TO START EXERCISING YESTERDAY.
Think about why you are not getting the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Did you try it and stop? Dislike what you were doing? Were you unable to keep up? Couldn't find the time? Found it too expensive? Didn't see the point? Had no one to support you?
With that in mind, consider.....
Is there a form of exercise you have done in the past you enjoyed?
Is there something on this list that you might want to try?
Have you looked at the classes, sports, programs, etc. offered in your community?
Have you figured out how often and when you will make time for exercise?
How will you stay motivated and ensure exercise remains a priority?
Is there someone that might join you? Or someone you can join?
Do you prefer doing something on your own or do you need the motivation of a coach or instructor?
Are there any sports or activities you would like to learn/play?
Can you afford a class or membership somewhere?