Many of us go through life, hating physical activity. It’s hard, uncomfortable, and has an annoying habit of causing old injuries to flare up.
But, at the same time, we understand that it is also necessary for keeping us fit and healthy. If we don’t do it, it eventually takes its toll on our bodies, and we end up failing in our quest for wellness.
What if there was a way to enjoy your exercise routine, though? That would completely change the game, wouldn’t it? You’d go from literally forcing yourself out of the front door to enjoying your training as much as, say, a drink in your local coffee shop.
It sounds impossible – like making broccoli taste good – but rest assured, people have done it. And you can too.
Change The Emphasis Of Your Workout From Performance To Recuperation
Personal trainers will often point to mindset as key to ensuring that you have a positive experience while you train. And they’re right. How you think about exercise informs your perceptions – there’s no doubt about it.
Thus, if you want to enjoy your fitness routine, it pays to change the way you think about it. Getting exercise isn’t about performance for the average person – it’s about being healthy. So nothing is stopping you from reframing it in your mind. Instead of pushing yourself to the extreme, take a step back and view it as a rest from your hectic schedule. Your exercise is your time alone to recuperate, relax, and rest. It’s a time for reflection and contemplation, not gritting your teeth.
Yes – this all sounds very counterintuitive, but that’s the point. If you can adjust your approach to exercise, you can radically change your attitude. And that can lead you to the point where you want to leave the house and go for a jog.
Listen To Your Body
Exercise is supposed to stress your body. But ideally, it should be a gentle form of stress that operates at the biological level – not the level of your psychology. You want to get the benefits of movement, but you don’t want it to take up your mental energy. It should add to the enjoyment of your life, not take away from it.
Listening to your body, therefore, is part and parcel of having a healthy relationship with physical activity. The mind muscle connection isn’t imaginary: it’s real. Listen to what your body tells you when you exercise. Ideally, it should feel pleasant – or, at least, not unbearable. If you feel tingling in your arms and legs or so out of breath that it is painful, you’ve probably pushed it too far.
Ideally, you want to avoid associations in your mind between physical activity and pain. If you don’t, then your attitude will remain fixed, and you’ll always dread going to the gym. Fundamentally rethinking your approach, therefore, can make a tremendous difference in how you feel. When exercise becomes a positive (such as an escape from your regular work), it becomes more sustainable. And that’s what ultimately makes you stick with it long-term.