The Truth About Exercise, Part 3

Your body does not want to change; and every time you exercise, you force it to change, particularly when you first start to work out. Your body is not defenseless in this process. Science has started to discover the link between the brain and the body. In a nutshell, this is how the process works.

First, you exercise and it “feels” uncomfortable because your body is not used to the stress. This physical sensation gets transferred to a psychological “feeling” or perception. In the future, every time you think about exercising you get this uncomfortable feeling in the back of your mind. This is your body not wanting to upset the status quo. The good news is that, over time, your body does get used to the stress of regular exercise and these negative feelings or perceptions diminish.

So now that we know where these feelings come from, how can we deal with them? In the beginning, it comes down to will. You need to take control of your body and make yourself exercise. Fortunately, as you continue to exercise regularly, it gets easier. As with anything, the more you do it, the more it becomes a part of you.

Step Three
The next issue is related to choice. At the core of anything you do is a choice. You choose to get up in the morning and go to work. You choose to brush your teeth, iron your clothes, and wash your car. Everything is a choice. The key to exercising regularly is making that choice, not daily, but only once. Surprised? Let me explain. I know someone who would drive to the health club and look for parking in the first row closest to the front door. If she didn’t get a good parking spot, she would go home and not exercise that day. As you can see, she was basing her decision to exercise on whether she got good parking. Sounds funny, but many people do the very same thing. They decide whether to exercise based on time, scheduling, “how they feel”, etc. Any number of criteria and factors could dictate if they exercise or not that day. Setting up exercise criteria only serves to increase your arsenal of excuses and prevents you from achieving a healthy lifestyle.

The problem with these scenarios outlined above is that they allow you to choose whether or not to exercise based on some criteria that you have consciously or unconsciously developed. If you are going to start and maintain a consistent exercise program, you cannot approach exercise this way. Take a moment right now to review the exercise criteria that you have set up for yourself. Ok, now get rid of it!

The bottom line is that you make the choice to workout and that choice is final! Why, because you have already decided to do it. There is NEVER a choice not to exercise, because the choice has already been made. You just do it!

Step Four
The next issue is that exercise must become a routine in your life. It must be like brushing your teeth or ironing your clothes; it is not your most favorite thing to do, but it is part of your lifestyle. Do you see this strategy? Most people do not decide daily if they are going to brush their teeth or not. They just do it, because at some point in their life they made the choice that they need to brush their teeth daily, and now they do. No criteria to meet, no mental struggle, they just do it with no questions asked. This is the key to changing your lifestyle; make exercise a daily routine, no different than taking a bath.

Step Five

The last issue in starting and maintaining an exercise program is boredom. You need variety. It is ok to change exercises, routines, health clubs, etc. Try the treadmill, swim laps, do an aerobics class, anything that keeps you from feeling bored or tired of the routine.

Remember, the ONLY thing that needs to be routine is exercising your body. How you do that is up to you and your creativity.

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