There are some things I find hard to understand. For example, I don’t understand why some people are not animal lovers. Similarly with exercise – I find it difficult to relate to the notion of not enjoying exercise. However, last week, when I decided to take a week off to recover from a pretty intense block of training, I must admit to being extremely happy with the notion of turning the alarm clock off and rolling over and enjoying some extra sleep.
Now that I’ve rested and recovered, I’ve been quite keen to get back into the swing of things. Firstly there was the opportunity to teach RPM yesterday morning which turned out to be a real thumper and then this morning Emma, the Lucydog and I went for a run which felt so much better than the previous two occasions. I even ran up most of the hills and had to encourage Miss Lucy to make the return visit up the hill. Needless to say, she was completely tuckered out and spent most of the day sleeping as did I – I was hit with an uncharacteristic migraine! Ugh! Tomorrow, I’m hitting RIDE with John and weights with Emma and really looking forward to it!
The moral of the story is that if you have been training hard and feeling less than enthused, then taking recovery periods is a great way of rekindling the exercise loving fires.
If you haven’t done much exercise before and you’re just beginning to find your way, my advice is as follows.
- Start small – establishing a regular pattern of walking is just as worthwhile as tackling an Ironman triathlon! You see, from walking, comes running – and then if running feels good, possibly cycling and swimming too.
- Be prepared to try a range of activities before you find what you enjoy. Be open to different things – I was really surprised that I enjoyed Zumba, even though it’s not my first choice for an exercise session.
- Expect not to enjoy everything. There are some styles of workout I simply don’t enjoy. You’ll probably never see me in a CX Works class ( not great if you’ve got core issues) or Body Attack (my joints are getting too old for jumping around). However, if I had never tried them, I wouldn’t know my preferences!
- Invest in a good trainer/coach in the areas you want to pursue. I really enjoyed working with Ray (boxing) and Lisa (weightlifting)
- Start young if you can – I’ve got one of my little Lucys coming to Cycle class these days – she’s my number one sidekick and educates me about what music I need to use – and she keeps coming back because she loves a good beat! I’m hoping the exercise habit stays with her for life, but it’s obviously up to her
- Choose to see the positives in establishing an exercise routine. Exercise shouldn’t be just about weight loss, looks or maintaining control – it’s about enjoyment, release and being at one with your body, your spirit and with nature.
It’s time for me to get my kit together ready for an early morning start. I often have my best thoughts of the day before the sun comes up!
What advice would you give to others to help them to learn to love exercise?