A Word to the ‘Whys’ Exercise is a gift

It’s uncanny. Almost every time I decide to take it easy in an easy chair and watch TV, invariably a news story pops up about another study touting the benefits of exercise to protect us from disease, trim our waistlines and add years to our lives. 

But exercising can be a challenge. Daily tasks, stress, relationships and a lack of time can all stand in the way.

If you struggle to make exercise a regular part of your life, you might consider rethinking how you view it. First, ask yourself why you are exercising.

Are you getting physical because your doctor told you to or because you “should” lose weight?

In her book, “No Sweat,” researcher Michelle Segar, Ph.D., identifies these “whys” as abstract, clinical, future-oriented and guilt-fueled. In short, they tend to turn exercise into a chore.

The wrong “whys” may get us moving, but our motivation eventually fades, often leading us to quit. If we start exercising again but still practice the wrong “whys,” we are destined to fail.

Instead, try viewing exercise as a gift, something that’s meaningful and relevant now. Say, “I get to, I want to, I choose to exercise.”

View it not as a future reward, but recognize the immediate gifts – a feeling of accomplishment, enhanced energy and glow. 

When we enjoy how we feel during physical activity, we want to repeat it.

 

Jackie Lusson,
Corporate director of sales for Sun Health Senior Living 

623-236-3767 or information@sunhealthsl.org

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