Exercise: Learning to Love It Part One

Truth be told, I’ve been exercising seriously since the age of 13, or 42 years! During that time, I’ve probably never taken off for more than a month or two. That’s not meant to brag, but to make an essential point. It’s because exercise is something that I’ve learned to love! Whether running, biking, racquetball, lifting weights, or playing sports, I’ve experimented with many forms of movement. Some have stuck, like, strength training, biking, and running. Others have gone by the wayside.  

Based on my practice training students and adults, it’s my experience that many people just getting started with exercise, and even those more experienced individuals need help developing a passion of exercise. This isn’t any major revelation since many of you know this already. My hope is that the five brief tips below can help you find your fitness mojo! More will follow in another post.

  1. Many people start doing too much exercise, too quickly. They go from never working out, to training seven days a week. Then the dreaded soreness hits you like a ton of bricks! This may be common sense to some, but it really is critical to understanding exercise. Your body must have time to adjust when you begin any exercise routine. This is especially the case when you’ve done nothing for in the past. Yes, much of this depends on the intensity, the training, your body, and a variety of other factors. But please, avoid starting out too quickly.
  2. Just the opposite of the above tip; please try to exercise more than one day per week. You can read thousands of journals, articles, and books. You can watch hundreds of videos. The responses to how many days a week will vary so much that it’s confusing to know the answer. My response to how many days isn’t about an exact number, because there can’t be one. Anyone who gives you an exact number, find another person to take advice from. As a general guide, three to four days is a high starting point. This allows for time off but still gets you in the routine of training. Sure, you can do more if you’re loving it. But again, follow rule one!
  3. Exercise should not be just about one body part! It’s always driven me crazy when somebody says, “I’m training biceps today!” Really, your biceps are a tiny muscle. There is absolutely nothing wrong with training biceps, as long as there are other muscles involved. Yes, sometimes bodybuilders will say, “I do biceps, back, and shoulders today!” That’s different. I’m speaking in general terms. Focus on whole-body strength and conditioning exercises, sports, hobbies and anything that works a large part of your frame. I won’t cover the actual movements yet, that’s for another post.
  4. Find a partner, or even better, a group to exercise with. Exercise can be challenging when you get started or even when you get hooked. Peloton as a great example of the benefits of social interaction. Just one caveat. Make sure your goals are your goals, and not somebody else’s. All of us are unique. It’s fine to follow the lead of those you admire. But again, know your body! Which is number five!
  5. Know your body! I’ve learned through many years, how my body adapts to all kinds of exercise. This is paramount for a successful lifetime of wellness. For example, if you start running and have pain all the time; either stop running, see a professional running coach, or find something else. Please keep in mind how every type of movement makes your body feel. If you finish a workout and hated it, are constantly really sore, you might want to consider another option. Finding something you love is so important.
  6. Lastly, please do the following: Ask for help, listen to experts, be open to change, have fun, and enjoy making exericse part of your life!

Thanks so much for reading this post! I genuinely hope it’s been beneficial. Exercise is universally proven to improve mood, confidence, and how we feel. Give it a try!  

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