June 6, 2012

So WHAT if you DON'T Exercise?

It's important to make the point that
what you think about your body reacts
to. If you continue to beat yourself up
with all the "shoulds" and guilt, your
body will react (and not in a good
way either). 
Really. Who cares? What's it to ya? Why are we bludgeoning ourselves over the head with negative thoughts like, "I really should", or "I'm such a lazy-ass", or even worse, "I'm outta control"? You wanna know what I think? I think thoughts like this over the intention to exercise is more damaging to you than just not doing it.

That's what I think.

Yesterday, I experienced 1.5 hours of joy, bliss, and true peace and happiness as I presented on my absolute favorite topic.  There is only one thing I do to perfection and that's talking about the psychology of exercise. I'm so frickin good, you really should consider hiring me as a speaker for your next big event...but that's another blog for another time (he he).

What's funny was I had repeat customers as they continue to be challenged with sticking to an exercise program.  From reasons relating to stress, work, and family, to injuries incurred from their exercise program, there were many frustrated comments flying around the room. I stood there looking at their frustrated faces and, instead of reviewing the theory behind behaviour change or provide them with a progressive exercise program, I simply suggested that stepping away from the workout gear may be better for their health.

But really..if you were to consider the role exercise has to play on health (in relation to the other components of health) it is only a co-star (1/5 of health). So why do we pay so much attention to it? Why do we put exercise up on a pedestal like some panacea for good health and longevity?  It could be we hear the message of "just do it" everywhere we turn. It could be peer pressure from our neighbours, friends, family, and work colleagues to just go for a walk. It could be every time we turn on the news we hear of some study showing this exercise is good for that. But before you berate yourself too much consider this.....

Did you know that having a sense of social connection (even with one person) provides the same health boosting benefits as physical activity? From strengthening our immune systems and lowering blood pressure to reducing heart rate and enhancing the quality of life, it's got it all.

So why don't we see this on the evening news?

Did you know that a belief in something bigger than yourself, challenging your brain, and enhanced awareness of your emotions (along with being able to communicate them in a healthy manner) also reaps the same benefits?

So really, why put yourself through the stress of "should'ing" all over yourself when you can get the same results with going out with your favorite people for a laugh at the pub? Why not take a walk to the beach, sit on a log, and contemplate the meaning of life?
How exhausting it must be to think this
all the time. Give it up and find something
that makes you happy and content. Even
if that something is a plate of nachos (not
that I support emotional eating...I'm just
being realistic about it).

I get that we all have that one desire that links us together and that is the desire to look good (naked or otherwise). I also understand that to achieve this we may have to sweat a little and eat a little less (excuse the simplicity of the weight loss message; I do realize it isn't that simple). But if one is going to practice self flagellation more than they practice their push ups....why do it?

Seriously. If you are struggling with sticking with it and you are practicing illness-inducing negative self talk more everyday step away from the running shoes and call a friend. The good news is once you pursue other health avenues you may feel stronger and more inclined to put on the shoes again and go for that workout (how great is that? I may be the only fitness professional ever to say...don't do it!).


PS. thank you for visiting, reading, and even commenting (no matter what you say or sell) on my posts. It makes my day to know that people are actually reading this stuff. I am very grateful for your time.

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