Everybody knows that exercising is good for you. Many of us know how great the endorphin rush is after a workout. Yet many people seem to prefer taking prescription drugs to get some similar feeling rather than to get active. Is there a way to overcome that gap between thinking and doing?
In this post and those that follow, I am going to outline the main reasons people give for being physically inactive and offer some long-term solutions to the challenge of reaching a proper level of physical activity.
Let’s take Lee, a software developer – young, slim and generally in good health. He doesn’t really see any need to go out there and break sweat. Moreover, even the thought of going running is pretty unpleasant for him. Working with Lee as an example, we can get to the root of the Million Dollar Question of exercise psychology: Why do people exercise? One way to find it out is to ask: Why don’t people exercise?
For many individuals, exercise is neither pleasant nor exciting. For instance, running really isn’t much fun when you first start or only do it every now and again. Sometimes the very fact that it is a natural activity means that people don’t have enough information about how to run at the right intensity level, with the correct technique, or about comfortable equipment. The cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle is the choice of an enjoyable form of exercise and workout type.
My first piece of advice for Lee would be to start by choosing moderate-intensity activities he would probably enjoy the most. Exercise is voluntary, remember it’s supposed to increase the quality of life, not increase stress and discomfort! So for Lee the best start on the road to sustainable fitness would be to identify 3 or 4 physical activities that look like fun, and just try them out without pressuring himself over the coming two weeks. Do you know any cool workouts you could suggest to him?