One thing every legitimate weight loss coach will tell you is that in order to be successful you have to move your body. Not only does exercise boost your metabolism and help burn calories, it also helps you develop and maintain a connection between your body and your emotional states. So what do you do when you hate to exercise?
Your connection with your body is the key to maintaining and healthy body and mind. In fact, one might say that it is required for life. Think about it. One of the cardinal signs of life is movement. If you’re not moving, people start holding mirrors to your face to make sure you’re still alive.
No matter how much you claim to hate to exercise (and I hear this a lot from clients), part of you actually wants to move. Imagine that you are sitting in a chair (better yet, go ahead and sit down). Now imagine that you are absolutely forbidden to move – no twitching, no squirming, no pacing. Just hold completely still. How long did you last before you reached a hand up to your face, turned your head, or bounced a leg up and down? How long until your body (and mind) actually CRAVED movement? My guess is, not long.
Our bodies were designed to move. We’re built for it. Otherwise why would we have all these joints, tendons, and muscles taking up space and requiring fuel?
So how do you get from “I hate to exercise” to a committed habit of moving your body everyday?
First, change how you think about exercise.
Forget everything you know about working out – that includes calorie counting and the “no pain no gain” mentality. In fact, forget entirely about exercising with a weight loss goal in mind. Think of exercise as an excuse to spend time connecting with your body. It is the ultimate me-time. Where else in life are you not only given permission, but encouraged, to spend a chunk of time focused entirely on how you’re feeling (physically and emotionally), how you’re changing (for the better), and how you’re contributing to your life? The ability to move is a gift. Embracing that ability is how you honor yourself (body and soul).
Next, commit to an impossible to miss goal.
Go ahead – make it ridiculously easy. I often tell clients to start with 30 seconds of exercise a day. That’s right. 30 seconds.That doesn’t sound like too much to take on, does it? Even if you really truly hate to exercise you can do it for 30 seconds, right? Heck, you can do anything for 30 seconds.
Which might leave you wondering how 30 seconds of daily exercise is going to help at all…
I have a marital arts friend who says the hardest thing about getting to Black Belt is getting off the couch. I bet you’ve had that experience. You know that the hardest part of getting some exercise isn’t the walking, or the jogging, the biking, or the weight lifting. The hardest part is putting on your tennis shoes and getting started. 99 times out of 100 once you set foot on the treadmill or pick up that first dumbbell you’ll stay at it longer than 30 seconds. That’s because the hard part about exercising is breaking through the excuses – “I’m tired.” “I think I might be coming down with something.” “I don’t have time.” “I have to get dinner started.” It’s too cold.” “It’s too hot.” And on and on and on.
30 seconds won’t land you in the emergency room if you really are coming down with the flu. It doesn’t require an hour commitment, so you’ll still have time to make that dinner. And you can spend 30 seconds in just about any kind of weather and emerge unscathed.
But committing to 30 seconds every day and following through will shift the way you see yourself. The part of you that craves movement will feel listened to. You will learn to beat back excuses and move forward. Your self-confidence will grow, and you will teach yourself and those around you that your priorities matter. You will teach yourself that you matter.
So, go ahead, make an appointment with yourself. Seriously. Write it down in the same place you track every other important can’t miss event. Then follow through. It’s only 30 seconds. You can all give yourself a 30 second gift, can’t you? After all, what do you have to lose?
Please got to the comments area and let me know how you overcome a hate to exercise mentality. What do you do to beat back the excuses and get you sweat on?