5 ways to learn to love exercise!
Some people naturally enjoy exercise. The feeling of their body sweating, the intense breathing, the physical rush and the endorphin rush…they just love it. However, I'd like to open a dialogue for those who don't like physical activity — actually, those who hate exercise.
Over the years, I have worked with women of all shapes and sizes, and I have succeeded in transforming the most reluctant into true addicts to physical activity.
That said, going from “I hate exercise” to “I love exercise” takes work. It all starts with finding your physical and mental motivations and identifying the blocks and obstacles from the past that have created this negativity in the face of physical exercise. Motivation is hard work and too often we use it as an excuse, such as "I'm just not motivated" or "I hate exercise". When I hear one of these phrases, I know there is something deeper behind it. Just explore it.
Here are 5 ways to learn to love exercise that I recommend to my clients:
Louise Green is a world-class fitness trainer, activist and author, changing the narrative and idealistic norms of our fitness culture.
Her fitness career began in 2008 when she opened the first plus size fitness franchise, Body Exchange.
As an influential changemaker, Louise has helped thousands of plus size women find their inner athlete and love their bodies. By speaking, writing and coaching women online, she led the charge in creating a more inclusive fitness movement across the world.
Breaking the barriers of traditional fitness, Louise is the first plus size athlete to be featured in prestigious publications such as Triathlete Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, Canadian Running and Runner's World UK. Louise is the author of Big Fit Girl and a SELF Columnist.
Would you like to follow her?
First, take the time to ask yourself the question "what does fitness mean to me?" Society leads us to believe that exercise is quite strenuous. You get the banging messages of ripped abs, bulging muscles and strenuous exercise. Similar to the idealistic beauty standards of our Western culture, our physical standards are preconceived. They lead us to believe that we have to fit into a narrow mould. However, physical exercise is simply movement and can take all kinds of forms, such as dancing, gardening, walking, pickleball and aquafitness. The possibilities are limitless.2. Focus on what pleases you
Second, remember that you don't have to fall for clichés — like going to the gym, running, or doing CrossFit workouts. Focus your energy on what turns you on! When we associate exercise with a positive experience, it's easier to keep up the pace. I do triathlon and what attracts me the most is swimming. When I swim, my body gets a great workout and is almost injury-free, unlike running. For my part, I always look forward to the swimming session. And you, what motivates you?3. Explore different types of physical activity
Third, the best way to find the type of exercise that turns you on is to try several activities until you find the one(s) you enjoy the most. Studies prove that the combination of exercise and social activity tends to be more pleasing and more durable. This, however, depends on your motivational personality type. Look at every facet of who you are — your personality type and what motivates you. If you are an introverted person, you may not like working out in a group. Those who prefer solitary exercise usually choose an activity that they can do on their own and at a time that is convenient for them. It's important to try different forms of exercise that match your personality type. You must be in your element!4. Visualize your success
Fourth, eliminate the negativity around your exercise concept. Many of the women I have worked with associate physical exercise with feelings of fear or intimidation for different reasons. Many had had negative experiences in the past, others feared failure or judgment, and some had suffered injury or pain from physical activity. It can be hard to believe that these women would actually enjoy and actually enjoy exercise, and it's understandable why. So I encourage my clients to visualize their success. Visualization is a method used by many professional athletes and sports psychologists because it is actually beneficial. Take a break, lie down, close your eyes and imagine yourself having fun and excelling in a sport. Experts claim that visualization is even more effective when it appeals to all five senses. Make your visualization session a full sensory experience. Listen to the sounds around you, the birds and people clapping, smell the fresh air and the smell of freshly cut grass, imagine yourself winning a victory, crossing a finish line or achieving the perfect yoga posture and feel happiness and fulfillment. It may seem like a bit of a stretch, but this technique has proven to be a very powerful tool for some of the best athletes in the world.5. Take your time
Fifth, physical exercise is often presented as an action that gives quick results. Yet something that generates quick effects is usually not sustainable in the long run. Our fitness culture encourages a “go hard or go home” attitude, which can actually be counterproductive. In order to get the most out of physical activity and truly enjoy it, it must be viable and above all, achievable. Exercise shouldn't make you suffer for days. On the contrary, you should have a positive experience every time. Taking your time is the key to success. Making small, gradual changes in your lifestyle will make the process more fun and enjoyable and allow you to enjoy long-term results.
Ultimately, as you've seen, the further you stray from cultural fitness norms, the closer you'll get to happiness. No need to be ultra-intense or train for hours every day. A 20-minute session a few times a week may be enough to start. If you have a bad attitude towards sweating, there's probably a reason. Maybe it's time to rethink your relationship with exercise and move your way. Have fun !