Blog May 28th
|Sportive Plus Blog|
Tuesday, May 28th 2019- by Louise Green
5 ways You Can Learn to Love Exercise!
For some people, they inherently love the feeling of sweating, breathing heavily, the physical push and endorphin rush – they simply love to exercise. However, I want to open a dialogue for those people who don’t love exercise, in-fact they hate it.
Over many years, I have worked with women of all shapes and sizes and turned even the most loathing exerciser into an exercise lover.
The transformation from exercise loather to lover does take some work. It’s important to find out what physically and mentally motivates a person and to also identify past blocks and barriers that were creating negative thoughts around exercise. Motivation is a difficult task and we often throw it around lightly like, “I’m just not motivated” or “I hate exercise” but when I hear these statements I know there’s much more to the story that hasn’t been explored.
Here are some strategies I work on with clients:
Louise Green, trainer, author, advocate, athlete
Louise Green is a global plus-size fitness coach, fitness activist and author changing the narrative and idealistic standards of our fitness culture.
Louise is the Author of Big Fit Girl and a Columnist at SELF Magazine
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1. Re-frame What Fitness Is to You
Maybe it’s time to re-think what fitness means to you? Our typical societal message surrounding fitness is pretty “hard-core”. Fitness messaging and imagery often displays ripped abs, bulging muscles and intense exercise. Just like our western culture’s idealist beauty standards, we also have preconceived fitness standards that lead people to believe that they need to fit inside a narrow-box. Fitness is simply movement and it can come in all kinds of varieties such as dance, garden work, walking, Pickle Ball and water aerobics, the possibilities are truly endless.
2. Pay Close Attention to What Excites You
Remember, you don’t have to fall into the trap of doing what is typical in fitness culture like going to the gym, running or CrossFit style workouts. Pay close attention to what excites you! When we associate a positive experience with fitness it will be more likely to stick. I am a triathlete and what I find myself most drawn to is the swim component. My body gets a great workout and there’s no impact like there is with running. I know for me, I will also look forward to the swim session the most. What do you look forward to?
3. Exploring Different Types of Movement
The best way to find your fitness “fit” is to explore a variety of activities until you find something you enjoy. Studies show that movement that has a social element to the activity tends to be more enjoyable and sustainable but that will depend on your motivational personality type. It’s important to honour all parts of you, what personality type you are, what motivates you. If you are an introvert, you might not enjoy a group fitness class. Soloist exercisers will typically be drawn to things they can do on their own at a time that works for them. It’s important to explore movement that fits your personality type. There’s no need to try to fit a square peg into a round hole!
4. Visualize and see your Success
Many of the women I have worked had been facing an acute fear and intimidation around exercise, this can be for several reasons.
Either, they’ve had negative fitness experiences in the past, they fear failure, judgement or fitness has proven to bring injury and pain. These experiences can make it hard to believe that they could be successful and actually enjoy exercise, understandably so. I encourage my clients to visualize success. Visualization is used by many professional athletes and sports psychologists because it’s so powerful. Take a moment, lie down, close your eyes and visualize yourself enjoying and excelling at exercise. Experts say that visualizing is most effective when you can bring in all the five senses. Try your visualizing session as a full sensory experience. Listen the sounds around you, birds, people cheering, smell the fresh air, cut grass, see yourself in full victory mode, crossing a finish line or striking the perfect yoga pose, feel your happiness and accomplishment. It may seem a bit out there but it has proven to be a very powerful tool to some of the world’s most successful athletes.
5. Take it Intentionally Slow
Fitness is often presented as something that delivers quick results. Anything that offers quick results usually isn’t something that can be sustained for the long-term. Our fitness culture encourages a “go hard or go home” attitude which can back fire for a lot of people. In order to enjoy fitness and really start to love it, it has to be sustainable and more importantly, attainable. It has to be something that doesn’t leave you in pain for days and delivers a positive experience, every time. Taking it intentionally slow is the name of the game. Slow incremental changes to your lifestyle will be what makes it fun, enjoyable and something you can do for the long-term.
As you can see, stepping out of the cultural norm when it comes to fitness is where you can find what you really enjoy. It doesn’t have to be hard-core, or take hours of your day, it can be 20 minutes a few times a week and build up from there. If you have a negative mindset around sweating, there’s probably a reason for it but perhaps now is the time to re-frame your relationship with fitness and move on your terms. It can be fun!