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Exercise Perception

June 8, 2010

Movement, muscle burn, fatigue, increased heart rate, heavy breathing, exertion, sweat… all words that some people negatively associate with Exercise.  Hmm, but couldn’t they also be associated with a positive experience…  Whoa!  Wait a minute, not going there.  Anyway, my point is that our perception of Exercise needs to change!

Start with 1 simple suggestion:

Pick an activity that you Enjoy!  If you like to be social, pick group activities, like team sports, fitness classes, etc. Personally, I LOVE beach volleyball!  It is fabulous exercise, outside in the sun, with friends.   I work hard, and don’t even blink when 3 hours have flown by and I’m drenched in sweat, sand, and dirt.  Ahhh, the shower  is my own little reward after a workout like that.

Note:  Exercise recommendations have changed and continue to do so.  One recent study suggests that women should exercise 1 hour per day at the equivalent intensity as walking for that hour.  To convert those recommendations to other activities, I would recommend looking at the caloric expenditure of each activity.  Here is a handy calculator to determine calories burned during various activities.

Granted, there will be days that you just don’t feel like exercising.  I have those days too.  It then becomes a mental challenge.  Here are a few things that I typically mull over to convince myself that going to the gym is a better idea than sitting on my butt.

1. Motivation: I want to do well at an upcoming volleyball tournament- that means jump higher, move faster, and have better endurance.  Sitting on my butt will not get me there.

2. Positive mental feedback: I know from past experience that once I go to the gym and complete the workout, it’s a given that I will feel better then if I had sat on my butt.

3. If all else fails, I force myself into the car, drive to the gym and rely on a) peer pressure/ forced social motivation, b) a group class with a set time, or c) a quick workout with a sauna/steam reward.  Whatever it takes!

Be Well!

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