Why Do We Make Exercise So Hard?
By Mary Ann Wilson, RN
This summer, I had an opportunity to actually do Sit and Be Fit at home as it aired on our local public television station, KSPS-TV, in Spokane, WA. Everyone in my office knew not to disturb me from 11:30 to noon! It was a fun experience sitting there following all the instructions coming from the TV. I found I was smiling back at myself and enjoying every minute. The time went by quickly and after each workout I felt so much better than I did at the beginning of the program. It was time well spent, even though there always seemed to be a hundred other things calling to be done. It reminded me of what Sit and Be Fit has taught me. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard to bring benefits!
Over the summer, I also found myself in lots of different conversations with people who mentioned how difficult it is to start exercising and stay with it. This got me wondering, “Why do we have the tendency to make exercise SO hard that it becomes a barrier?” Here’s what I think…
1) We are our own worst enemy when we expect to get into shape overnight! We tend to go overboard doing more repetitions than necessary, using heavier weights or bands than we ought to, etc. Then, we commit the worst mistake of all. We ignore the signals our body is giving when it tells us we are overdoing it. This approach leads to frustration and often times to giving up.
2) We underestimate the power of taking small bits of time here and there, throughout the day, to practice easy exercises. Doing one to five minutes a day of something (practicing good posture, breathing deep and wide, standing up and sitting down) is better than doing nothing! In fact, according to the newest research out of England, just fidgeting alone may counteract the adverse effects of prolonged sitting. So, if you can do nothing else, just fidget!
There are so many excellent little ways to weave functional fitness exercises into your life. It is my deepest desire to encourage you to embrace movement and an active lifestyle. Exercise is a simple, cost-free, prevention practice and a great remedy to address little aches and pains. You are in a powerful position to make positive choices that will help you get the most out of your life!