Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Motivation and Perseverance

(I am stunned to find that this day didn't have any more hours in it than yesterday!)

Exercise is such an important part of disease prevention and health promotion that the American College of Sports Medicine is partnering with a medical group to brand and expand the concept of "Exercise is Medicine." Soon health care providers will be pressed to write exercise recommendations on prescription pads so that YOU and I will get the very important message to get moving.

Depending on where you are living just now, the weather may be an obstacle to your maintaining a regular physical activity routine, but heat, cold, rain and wind are not the only challenges we face. Sometimes our jobs, school and family pose challenges, money can as well. Those are outside things. Some times the obstacle is internal - that voice that tells you it is okay to skip one day . The day that turns into weeks..

Many websites, megazines, groups and organizations have advice on how to get active and stay active. Of course no idea is going to work for you if 1) you don't know what it is, 2) you don't like it, and 3) you don't do it.

The best thing to have is intrinsic motivation - the voice that reminds you of how important your exercise is and in the end, how much you really do enjoy the benefit from it if not the actual "doing" of it. It is okay to start with extrinsic motivation - an event, a disease, a dress - fake it till you make it your own.

If it is the weather getting you down you have options. Equipment is available at gyms, or can be purchased for the home. Walking inside is free (at malls and such). TV or Internet exercise shows can be used, some free some for pay. If you just don't like exercise, think of what it will get you and concentrate on that. Whatever you do make sure you adjust your attitude as well. For instance, if I have to run on the treadmill I play games (literaly - speed work and such) and tell myself how lucky I am to have access to a gym. If I am running outside and it is cold when I start - which makes me cranky - I tell myself how nice it is to run outside.

I have started a little mantra too> Think of what you want to be doing, walking, cycling, swimming, stepping, golfing, playing tennis etc - so your goal is to Be a _____ . "look it, feel it, believe it, become it" - Look like a golfer (wear the clothes), feel like one, believe you ARE a golfer, and before you know it - you have become one....

And let me just say - today it was 30 degrees when I went out and I passed two other people who were on an exercise walk and they were BOTH over age 70! Remember them when you think you are too tired. ( And remember that you blessed with the ability to move your body, not everyone can and if you stop moving your body, your body will stop moving.)

And then tonight, the only night that my favorite teacher teaches step aerobics, I opened my gym bag, and I FORGOT my workout clothes!!! I could have just went home, I mean I ran this morning. But I didn't, I wore the pants I had on for work, my tennis shoes, an old t shirt that was in my bag and my NOT sports bra. Too funny - great class.

Oh , I better go and pack my bag right now so I don't do the same thing for Thursday's dance class!. Good night all

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