I don’t like gyms.
I don’t like running.
I don’t like paying for yoga.
Crossfit looks intimidating.
I equate the treadmill with being stuck in a dead-end job. Pure torture.
My list of what I don’t like when it comes to working out is pretty long, and I always have a thousand excuses before I’ll commit to it.
I know the long-term risks: increased odds of heart disease, osteoporosis, and dementia. And the short-term implications suck too: less energy, less focus, less productivity, worse sleep, increased crankiness, etc.
So I have to focus on what I do like: tennis, rowing, yoga and pilates in a classroom setting (when I find a price I’m willing to pay), lifting simple weights, and wearing yoga pants. Gosh darn it, why do they have to be so comfortable?
So why don’t I work out more?
Simply, it’s not part of my belief system yet that it’s necessary for me. There’s a part of me that is working against my own wellbeing and I know it. Yet I haven’t quite made any drastic shifts to get more working out in. When I work out, I feel much better and know I’m fighting my odds of living into an old age with the lifestyle I want. And I’m used to my natural (high) energy.
According the scientists, a mere 11 minutes of exercising would lift our moods and metabolic rates. For basic heart, lung, and strength health we all need 30 minutes of exercise (getting my hearts and lungs pumping) five days of week.
Not only do we need to work out, we need healthy foods that come from close to the earth: fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc. These are mental and physical nourishment.
So why don’t you work out more and eat better?
We don’t need to revisit obesity rates, cancer rates, heart disease rates, etc. in this country for me to presume/assume/guess that you’re not probably taking care of your body in the best way. So what’s stopping us?
Part of it’s inertia, right? It’s easier and comforting to curl up on the couch and stay there for several hours. On that couch we anesthetize our stress and worry with ice cream, chips, a few glasses of wine, 17 episodes of Games of Thrones in a row. I get it.
Secondly, we know what it feels like to stay stuck in stress, overwhelm, and feeling displeased with our bodies. Working out relieves all of those things and puts us in a better mood. Some of us can be scared to experience different emotions (usually at a very unconscious level).
It takes courage to move toward something new. And while being tired can be a great excuse to not exercise, it is often the best time! Our bodies are hollering for a wake up call and exercise can be just the (healthy) jolt you need.
I didn’t want this post to be about the statistics and figures around American unhealthiness. You can find those on your own, and, frankly, they won’t lead you toward action.
Individually we need to figure out our own purpose to working out and how we define healthy. Only you can do that work. Sometimes we need a ginormous wake up call, like a parent being diagnosed with diabetes, to motivate us. And sometimes we get so frustrated with the 3 p.m. slump that we want to change it because it’s adversely affecting how we’re doing good in the world. You must learn to own, for yourself, the emotion and belief that you deserve a body that you feel good in AND serves your life’s purpose. Someone preaching at you doesn’t do it.
Clearly I have no room to give advice here. But I can help you get curious about your own health and discover the many benefits of physical wellness. I’ll be working on it too.
Find physical wellness through these 6 questions.
Print these questions and take 20 minutes to honestly answer them.
- When you are at your healthiest, what do you notice about your physical and emotional wellbeing?
- What do you need to give up in order to become more healthy?
- Over the course of a typical week, how do you notice your energy and focus fluctuating throughout the day?
- How can you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet?
- What is the best food habit you could create that would really ramp up your energy?
- What are all the ways you could incorporate more physical movement into each day?
While I was writing this post today, I couldn’t get this song out of my head. As a way to jumpstart your exercise, have a little dance party to the song. You’ll thank me later!