A few weeks ago I published a post called Stop Expecting Miracles from Exercise. It was basically about how most people have unrealistic expectations when it comes to workout programs and how we all need to re-adjust our thinking when it comes to getting our sweat on.
I received a few emails from readers asking how to re-adjust their thinking so I thought I’d throw together a list of the real reason’s why you can’t stick to an exercise program… and stop doing those things.
You call it an ‘exercise program’
Exercise should be a daily habit, like showering. You don’t put yourself on a shower program. You just do it every day because it’s gross if you don’t. Stop looking at exercise as something that you do in 6 weeks stints like a bootcamp. It has to happen several times a week, every week.
You think exercise has to be hard and painful
Total myth. At the very least you should be doing 10,000 steps every day plus 3 more intense sessions of exercise a week. That’s it. You can meet a mate and go for a walk, take your kids on a hike through a national park, do a 30 minute workout on your lunch break, join that yoga class your mate has been trying or use that amazing thing called the internet and do some at home workouts with YouTube. You don’t need to go all Gwyneth on the situation and work out until you cry. Just move a bit most days and move a bit more on every second day. Boom.
You’re expecting to end up looking like Beyonce
That’s not going to happen. You need staff, chefs, childminders, trainers and a butt load of cash to look like that. Let go of the Beyonce goal. It’s not helping anyone.
You go too hard and too fast
It’s totally unsustainable for a normal person, with a full-time job and regular person responsibilities to exercise for a full hour, every day for the rest of their lives. Don’t work yourself too hard when you start out. Baby steps are key.
You keep searching for a magic formula
I’ve tried every kind of exercise under the sun and you know what? It’s all the same shit. Literally. I can do barre classes, pump classes, boot camps, fun runs, strength training and any kind of 45-minute interval session with a weird acronym like KTX or BPG and I shit you not the results are the same. If I sweat and use my arms and legs in combination with any kind of resistance, the results are the same. By all means, try lots of different exercises (I never stop trying new stuff!) but stop looking for the Drinking Wine and Eating Cheese Summer Tone Up Program. It doesn’t exist. All exercise is exercise. They’re just dressed up differently.
You keep waiting for motivation
‘Motivation is not always going to be there, so what’s going to happen when you wake up and it’s gone? Is that game over for you? Motivation is like any emotion – it comes and goes, so if you’re going to rely on motivation to get the job done, it will let you down. And that’s the trap – motivation is an often an excuse in disguise.’
– Michelle Bridges
Bottom line? Motivation isn’t actually a thing. There’s no pill, potion or special gene that other people use to get motivated. The only thing that gets you out there and exercising is your own brain and you’re in charge of that so show it who’s boss.
You have an end goal
Losing weight for an event or trying to tone up for summer aren’t exactly brilliant reasons to exercise. If it’s freezing cold and you’re snuggled in your bed at 6am, I’m willing to bet that the thought of looking fat at a wedding in six months time isn’t going to get you springing out of bed and hitting the gym. You need to start looking at exercise as that thing you do every day that makes you feel good rather than that temporary thing you’re doing for a set amount of time.