Why do the majority of people make decisions to get in shape never achieve their goals? Why does a new study state, the bulk of Americans are obese? Why is it, your workouts do not work out? This time around we'll explore why injecting "love" into your exercise program is essential to success.
I must simplify the issue and the reason most people lack success getting into shape is because they have to work out! To most, the routine of running, weight lifting or aerobics feel like a chore at best and at worst the 7th circle of Hell! Ask yourself this; if working out feels like punishment, why would any sane individual want to engage in such irrational activity? Yet every day we see people sweating in the gym or dragging themselves out at midnight to run miles in the blistering cold. Why is this? Is it because these people are insane? In most cases the answer is, "No!" but still, most Americans will end up sitting on their couch watching TV than exercise. Why? It's because subconsciously their brains view working out as an undesirable activity.
The reasons behind this are numerous but let's focus on just a few. One of the most debilitating justifications for "not liking" exercise is routines are too difficult. Your body is not ready for the kind of exertion you're putting it through. You should never finish a workout and never want to do it again because it is much too easy to become distracted and find excuses not to. If you're doing something you do not enjoy, it will not interest you and if you're not interested in it, no matter how good your intentions, you'll always quit. Your brain is designed to minimizeize effort. The effort of most workouts tend to be perceived by the brain as pain and pain is perceived as threat. Your mind will always make the attempt to protect you from threatening situations unless there's a more attractive reward to be gained. So the "trick" is to override your brain's natural response.
There are hundreds of ways to achieve this, from self-hypnosis or just simply lying to yourself but once if you do not create a habit out of your routine these methods will fail as well. The most effective way to achieve your fitness goals is to truly love your workout. OK, I know what you're saying, "How can I love something I hate?" But there are ways and here are a few.
Listen to music, easy right? But it works! Put on some energetic tunes and rock out your workout! Or if you want to accomplish something, download an educational pod cast. Tell yourself out loud, you love your workout. Smile while you exercise. Your body will react to the physical stimulus your brain's feeding it. Wear clothes you perceive as "cool". You'll be surprised how your body responds to putting on a workout outfit that you like. Talk about your workouts. It's good motivation for you and can serve as inspiration for others. Schedule challenging activities you enjoy that you know will hurt if you do not get prepared for it like skiing, running a 10 K or joining a sports team. These activities dangle a carrot in front of you and help motivate you through difficult workouts. Hold off on a purchase or a trip that you've been looking forward to until a specific mile stone is achieved.
There's also the effect that the health benefits of working out can provide you. It's a bad idea to focus on gaining muscle or losing fat because these goals can take time, throwing you off your focus. But the great sleep you'll get after a hard workout or the improved mental attitude you can end up with can be great things to focus on rather than the reduction in cholesterol, the heart health or the lower risk of diabetes. Remember, start off slow, or change your routine and make it fun. Any exercise you do will add up, so it does not always have to be something grueling. Playing soccer, basketball or swimming can do you just as much good and keep you from losing interest.