You Truly Can ENJOY Exercise!
What gives you immediate gratification, benefits your short and long term physical and mental health, and is one of the best investments you will ever make?
How we do this? Try these:
DO! Get into the gym with others who share your goals and interests. If you are a baby boomer or a senior, find a facility with programs and services which focus boomers and seniors, rather than treating you as a separate membership category or an afterthought. Find a place where you would be the priority.
LEARN about the benefits you receive when you exercise because they are endless. Among many other things, you will get stronger, have more energy, sleep better, improve posture and balance, reduce stress, and be happier. If you have health conditions, exercising regularly and correctly will treat these as well as medications (which often have negative side affects). Study, understand.
Ask questions and become educated about your body, movements, muscles, and how exercise improves your specific medical conditions. Thirty or more minutes of moderate to higher intensity aerobic exercise combined with specific types of movements can actually create new healthy brain cells! This is also known as neurogenesis (not neuroplasticity). Research this and it will motivate you! KNOWLEGDE IS POWER!
MAKE FRIENDS at the gym. Introduce yourself to others in class and visit with them before and after class. IHRSA statistics show that those who participate in group classes and know others at the gym are far more likely to go more often and enjoy it. If you are not comfortable doing this, ask a staff person to help. A facility with community practices will introduce people to each other and assist with building those bridges and relationships.
REWARD YOURSELF. Set a goal make it to the gym most days of the week for a period of time, then get a pedicure or manicure when you do! Buy yourself a new shirt or splurge on a massage or personal training session to keep the cycle going!
REFLECT. We just don’t do this often enough in a positive way, do we? When you leave the gym. Take a minute to sit quietly in your car and think about what you just accomplished. Did you overcome your mind’s desire not to come today? Did you try something new and different? Did you make a friend or learn about something? Remind yourself how good you feel and be proud of yourself. There are many wonderful things that probably happened, but you may not even realize they did unless you take a little time to reflect.
PRIORITIZE. Do you take better of your car, house, yard, hair, others, than you do of yourself? Exercise is not something to do when you have extra time; it is something to do before most other things. If you don’t stay strong and healthy, other events and activities will not be possible or be extremely difficult. If you value your health and independence, being healthy will always be a priority.
VARY YOUR WORKOUTS. Keep things fresh and change your exercise program often. Doing the same thing all the time will minimize your benefits and can even cause overuse injuries and plateaus. Challenge is growth. Get a reassessessment every few months and seek advice from your trainer regarding what to change.
According to the CDC and the American College of Sports Medicine, exercise IS treatment and prevention for nearly every health condition known. However, there is no generic exercise program that is best for everyone. Get a fitness assessment from a qualified fitness professional with a degree in health/fitness and a NCCA accredited certification and invest in a few personal training sessions so you have a plan that is safe and appropriate for your specific needs. Be sure that your trainer has accredited training in areas that affect you. For example, if you have high blood pressure, Parkinson’s Disease, or arthritis, find a professional who has specific accredited training in exercise for each condition.
DON’T MAKE EXCUSES. This is definitely one of my faults. We all do it, so here are a few of my favorite quotes to kick myself in the butt when needed:
Be Stronger than your exercise
Focus on building the new; not fighting the old
You can have excuses or results. Not both.
If it matters you will make time.
“I am glad I WAITED to start an exercise program and get healthier” said no one ever.
Choose health - choose happiness.
See you at the gym for an enjoyable time!