All too often in my practice, I hear my clients telling me that they absolutely hate exercising! This makes me sad because the benefits of physical activity are far reaching. Aside from those we may commonly think of, such as a healthy body weight and less risk for disease, other benefits include:
- Increased energy
- Improved digestion
- Proper elimination (ie, no more constipation!)
- A balanced mood
And the list goes on and on. I know that at times when I’ve gotten really busy and sacrificed my exercise routine for a while, I really felt the effects! Luckily, I feel I’ve been blessed to be one of those people who enjoy exercise, so it’s not hard for me to keep up a good routine.
Today, I’d like to share the top 3 reasons I’ve noticed why people hate exercise, and let you know what to do about it so that you can become one of those people who enjoy exercise too!
Reason #1: You are deconditioned
If you haven’t worked out in a long time, or have only worked out sporadically in the past, it is likely that your body is deconditioned. This means the muscles are weak, and some may have atrophied, and your respiratory fitness may not be in good condition.
I remember working with a client who was very troubled by the fact that some muscles had atrophied in her glutes and legs, and she wasn’t able to do things she used to do in the past, including certain yoga moves. I told her not to worry, that this condition is usually easy to reverse with a good exercise routine and proper nutrition.
That’s the good news, however, the bad news is that those first few workouts may seem a lot tougher as a result of your poor conditioning. Your heart has to work harder, and your brain has to create new neural pathways in order to learn new movement patterns, so you may feel a bit awkward in the beginning. Plus, you are using muscles that are weak and asking them to do more, so it’s probably going to feel pretty uncomfortable.
Luckily, I have more good news – this stage is only temporary. That’s right, if you stick to your routine, and keep exercising, this goes away, and it usually doesn’t take that long. Depending on your previous experience and other factors, it may only last for the first session or two.
My advice – hang in there and don’t give up so quickly!
Reason #2: You are depleted
Imagine this scenario – you wake up super early after getting to bed a little too late the night before; you’re exhausted but you have to get the kids ready for school, then rush off to work; you work a long, stressful day, pounding coffees to get through, probably eating things you shouldn’t be for quick energy, both of which only further zap your energy levels and deplete your adrenal glands.
Sad story, but I have a feeling that many of you don’t have to imagine it because this about sums up your life. Am I right?
If so, here’s the deal – I personally, would hate ANYTHING you asked me to do if I was chronically exhausted and mentally and physically depleted.
And I speak from experience – there have been times in my life when I’ve suffered from terrible periods of insomnia, one time it lasted well over 6 months! I felt absolutely defeated – I was tired, cranky, stressed, and my body wasn’t functioning well.
So for those of you who feel this way, my advice – it’s a good idea to address the underlying cause of the stress that is driving this, BEFORE pushing yourself to schlep to the gym.
Now, this is where it can get a little bit tricky, because exercise can certainly be a good form of stress relief. But when you are in a hyper-depleted state, it’s important not to overdo it. In these cases, it’s best to do something gentle that will help calm your nervous system, rather than agitate it.
Examples include a relaxing yoga or stretching class, a walk in nature, or if you enjoy some other activity such as swimming or biking, doing these things not too intensely, but with the intent of being really present and allowing the body and mind to unwind during the process.
I see some people who are exhausted go to the gym and do intense cardio or weight lifting – this is not helping them, it’s only further depleting them.
Be kind to yourself – address the reason for your exhaustion, whether there’s some lifestyle changes that need to be made, or a shift on perspective to help manage stress, and save the intensity for when you are feeling more balanced.
Reason #3: You’re doing it wrong
Ok, so “doing it wrong” can mean a few things:
- You’re performing the actual movements incorrectly, which can lead to discomfort and injury
- You’re doing activities or movements that are just not well suited for you, or
- You are doing the same things over and over again, causing boredom and lack of results
Personally, I almost never do cardio at a gym. Every once in a while I’ll do some sprints on the treadmill, but other than that, it just seems so unnatural to me to be pushing along a machine to get my heart rate up. I prefer activities such as trail running, hiking, dancing, yoga, martial arts, etc.
I listen to what my body wants, and sometimes it just wants me to put on the music and start dancing around my house!
I also cycle my workouts according to my body’s needs. Sometimes I lift heavy, but other times I just use my own body weight. I let the cycles be determined by – the moon cycle, the season, and just how I’m feeling in general. I also take breaks when my body needs it. When I come back, my body is well rested and recovered, and I am even stronger than before!
I don’t dictate what I do based on a pre-determined schedule, rather I’ve learned to be really tuned into my body and its needs. I make sure to incorporate lots of mobility training, as well as strength training so that I don’t get stiff.
I know this may sound like a lot, but once you have it down, it really doesn’t take all that much time. And I stay flexible in my approach – if I am super busy with work on a particular day, I will adjust my routine accordingly rather than getting frustrated that I only have 30 min or so. In those situations I can do something at home and save the driving time to the gym. Or I’ll pump up the intensity as long as I am feeling strong in order to make the most out of those 30 minutes.
As a beginner, I know it might seem daunting or overwhelming to even think about this. That’s where I come in – with experience as a personal trainer, yoga instructor, and Ayurvedic practitioner, I can help guide you on how to listen to your body and its needs, how to execute with proper form, and how to learn which movements are right for you.
Because we are all unique and a “one-size-fits-all” type of program is just not gonna cut it!
The beauty of incorporating my background in holistic healing with personal training is that I can really help people understand their bodies and how they fluctuate throughout different cycles and seasons.
I show my clients how to bring presence and full awareness to their movements and I explain the benefits it has on the areas they are looking to improve, whether it be:
- Fat loss
- Recovering from an injury
- Eliminating back pain
- Alleviating stress
- Putting on lean muscle
Often, when one understands how what they are doing is benefiting them on not only a physical level, but on many levels, it becomes so much more enjoyable.
For example, I work with a lot of men who want to put on lean muscle mass, and as they start seeing results, they become more confident, more outgoing, and this affects their performance at work, their relationships, and the overall quality of their life. It’s amazing!
So if you are interested in exploring how I might be able to support you, whether you are local to the Rockland/Bergen area, or through Skype/Facetime, don’t hesitate to reach out.
I make house calls for local clients, as I find the gym to often be too loud and distracting when someone is learning, and I offer customized programs and online support for remote sessions.
So regardless of whether you’d like the support of a dedicated coach, or you want to do it on your own, I hope these tips have been helpful, and I hope they inspire you to take action to bring more health and happiness into your life!SHARE THIS
How to 10x your Energy, Focus & Productivity