Monday, September 24, 2007

So you don't like exercise?

One of the biggest barriers to tackling weight loss for me was that I just hate exercise. Ill-fated attempts in the past at jogging or aerobics didn't last long. The only exercise I've ever been able to keep up long term was the few that I actually enjoy. So here are a few thoughts to help get you thinking about getting a bit more active.

* Once again, baby steps

One reason exercise is so unappealing is that we don't have the energy for it. The good news is that as we get more active, our energy level and ability to exercise without collapsing improves rapidly. The first times doing it may well be a struggle, but trust me, it gets better. When I started playing ball again after years of near total inactivity, I was sore for four full days after playing for a few hours. The next time out, I was only sore for three days! Next was two, and before long one day. After a few weeks, playing without overdoing didn't leave me feeling sore the next day, but instead, feeling kinda good. If a total coach potato bearing an extra fifty pounds can get over the hump in a month, so can you. Just remember not to overdo it, and not to give up.

* So little time

The second huge reason for not exercising was that I felt I didn't have any free time available for it. That's another reason to do something you enjoy, and for starting small. For me the time ended up coming out of time playing computer games; for many people it comes out of the slice of life given over to TV viewing. Doing even moderate exercise with an exercise ball or resistance bands while watching TV is a good start.

* But I don't like treadmills

Neither do I! When sedentary people think about 'exercise' they usually think of things they don't like. Instead, consider just how many different things are available for someone trying to get just a little more active. Team sports: Basketball, volleyball, frisbee. Solo or with a friend: Aerobics, tennis, ping pong, badminton, tae bo. There's also a lot of activity not usually considered 'exercise' but that gets you moving. Drumming, gardening, dancing, to name a few. Find something that you find satisfying, and do it.

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