Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This article is from the Mayo Clinic and I thought it was appropriate for people who have a hard time getting motivated to exercise.
Talk yourself through your workout
TheSpec.com - healthfitness - Talk yourself through your workout
New York Times News Service
(Jul 28, 2009)
Having a hard time getting yourself to the gym?
You're not alone. According to Kyle Jenks, a New York wellness specialist, gym retention rates are notoriously low.
In fact, the national average is about 6 per cent, meaning 94 per cent of clients drop their memberships after just one month.
People can work up the enthusiasm to go to the gym for the first month, but without real motivation, that enthusiasm wanes, and people return to old habits.
"That means they can drag themselves in the door, but then they are just a bit lost about how to break through plateaus and stay motivated," Jenks says.
"It's so easy to get someone hyped up about exercise, but once they start getting into the work of it, that's when they fall off," says Vinny Cruz, a fitness trainer in Bethlehem, N.Y.
Staying motivated is the key to staying on track, and experts say positive self-talk can be a powerful tool for getting the workout you want and getting over that first-month hump.
Here are some tips for talking yourself through your workout:
* Reason with yourself: People argue that they don't have enough time, but the fact is, to get in shape, you have to make the time to exercise.
Jenks asks his clients to commit to spending five to eight hours a week at the gym, and he says this can sound like a lot to beginners.
But, he points out that there are 168 hours in a week, and so, really, eight hours isn't a huge chunk of time, he says.
Look at how much time you spend on other activities, tally up the benefits of those activities, and then compare that with exercise.
"Exercise is a commitment and a lifestyle change, but it's one that reaps numerous rewards," he says.
* Remind yourself why you do it: Everyone has different motivations for getting in shape, but most often clients are looking for overall improved health.
"These days people are well-aware of what poor health can do to cut their lifespan," Jenks says.
But what are the underlying reasons you want to be healthier? Perhaps you want to have more energy at work or be more active with your children.
Base your fitness goals on issues that matter to you personally, and as you work out, connect your progress with those goals.
Each time you exercise, tell yourself you are getting closer to those goals.
Take a long-term view of your health, Cruz advises. Your health doesn't have a quick solution, it demands long-term plans and a commitment.
* Accent the positive, eliminate the negative: Guilt doesn't work, instead focus on the positive feelings you get from working out, Jenks says.
Remind yourself how you good you felt the last time you hit the elliptical machine or spent an extra five minutes on the stair climber. "Focusing on what you have done instead of what you haven't done is much more effective," Jenks says.
* Change your tactics as you progress: It's easy to get stuck in a fitness rut. If you're feeling bored with your routine, or not progressing the way you used to, change things up.
"The more fit you get, the more you have to do to see a change," Jenks says. This plateau can be discouraging for even the most committed gym clients.
Overcome your frustration by seeking help with your workout from a personal trainer, or incorporate new modalities like classes or free weights into your routine.
Increase the frequency of your workouts or the duration, and soon you'll start to see new improvements, he advises.
HOW TO STAY ON TRACK
* Set goals. Start with simple goals and then progress to longer- range goals. Remember to make goals realistic and achievable.
* Think variety. Alternate walking or biking with swimming or a low-impact aerobics class.
* Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Schedule workouts as you would any other important activity.
* Put it on paper. Chart your progress and accomplishments.
* Have fun. You're more likely to stick with an exercise program if you're having fun.
* If you're not enjoying your workouts, try something different -- join a volleyball or softball league, take ballroom dancing.
Friday, July 24, 2009
It's been rainy and in the mid 60s to low 70s all week and I just can't seem to drag my sorry butt out of bed at 5 a.m. to exercise so consequently, I haven't.
And, besides that, I'm kind of bored with my exercise DVDs. Usually in the summer, I walk before work but when it's dark and rainy, that's just not happening.
I've ordered 4 new exercise DVDs from Collage Video so hopefully, they'll be here soon and maybe that will motivate me.
Of course warmth and sunshine would do a lot to motivate me, too, so if the weather wanted to cooperate, that would be awesome!
I'm on vacation the first two weeks of August and I've been telling people that if it's not warm and sunny here, I might just have to go somewhere it is!
Frankly, I find this summer's weather terribly depressing... Sigh...
Monday, July 13, 2009
I was back to work today after 7 days vacation which was mostly spent doing some day trips and lots of reading.
We visited a friend in Turkey Point on July 1st.
And, we hosted a BBQ on July 4th and it DIDN'T RAIN! Thank God! That's always the big worry since practically everyone in DH's family is allergic to our house cat.
And, I had a dentist appointment on the 7th. After which, DH and I went to Toronto to the AGO where they were showing a Surreal exhibit and our favourite painting was a wonderful oil by Salvador Dali called Apparition of Face and Fruit Dish On A Beach. Here's a link of it but it really doesn't do it justice:
We bought a print of it and are having it framed.
On July 8th, DH and I went to Stratford and saw the matinée performance of The Importance of Being Earnest, which was quite funny and very well done and then had dinner at an Italian cooking school afterwards but the food wasn't great, which is always a little bit of a disappointment.
On July 10th, I took my dad to a local potter's place and we bought $500 worth of pieces for my cousin's wedding in August (they're from him, DH and me, my sister and her family) and then we had a lovely lunch in the attached café. We both had quiche and he had a garlic and potato soup and I had the mixed greens and for dessert, he had Earl Grey tea and a slice of raspberry/rhubarb pie and I had strawberry and vanilla ice cream crêpes with Chai tea and it was so yummy.
I was only extremely achy on July 9th and yesterday so that wasn't too bad.
The weather is definitely not hot summer weather and I really missed that during this vacation. I usually swim quite a bit in the summer but I only swam twice during the whole time I was off.
I hope my vacation in August is hotter.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Don't you wish there was a pill you could swallow and instantly you'd be motivated to tackle the project gathering dust on your desk? Or one you could ingest after dinner that would make you grab your keys, jump in the car and head for the gym? You can wish, pray, and hope but as long as you look for motivation outside of yourself, you'll be searching. Why? Because motivation is something that happens inside you that gets you to take action.
Keep in mind this "action" needn't be anything as lofty as becoming the C.E.O. of a major corporation. It could be something as simple as taking a class to increase career satisfaction, spending more time with your children away from the TV, beginning an exercise program or choosing to replace your candy bar with a power bar in the late afternoon.
You'll never get started if you don't believe what you want to achieve is possible. For example, a salesperson won't make the call if he thinks he won't make the sale. A worker won't ask her supervisor for summer flex-time if she thinks the idea will get rejected. Believing creates the initial spark that gets you going.
Everyone is motivated by different factors, so don't expect the same reasons to work for you as they do your friend. You have to figure out what motivates you. Some people sign up for daily blurbs that get emailed to them. These one or two lines become the mantra of the day and put a bounce in their step as they walk out the door, ready to go forth and conquer - whether that's in the board room making a fabulous presentation or in the grocery store, making wise choices. We all need that extra push sometimes.
Some find that keeping a journal on their goals is helpful - that way they can go back and look at what had come before. Seeing how much you've already accomplished is particularly helpful for people fighting addictions or trying to lose weight. A written reminder of the personal struggle you've gone through can be potent. When you find yourself lagging enthusiasm, re-read your prior entries and then write a paragraph reminding yourself of why you chose to take action in the first place.
Visualizing your final outcome and the manner in which you would like to live when you succeed is another way. You can go a step further and keep a cork board with pictures of your ideal life pinned to it. This visualization board is a major motivating factor if kept in a place where you will see it several times a day. Speaking from experience, this helped me lose those extra 50 lbs. I saw a picture in a magazine of a woman's body that was healthy and fabulous. I cut my face out and put it on that body. Seeing me looking that fantastic, and focusing on the feelings that image created many times throughout my day was a powerful inducement. Focusing on your wants is very influential. It becomes a driving force - a matter of want power becoming will power. I want it, I will have it.
Every morning upon waking I encourage you to just lie in bed for a few moments while you're still in a sleepy state (powerful time to influence your subconscious) and see yourself accomplishing your goal. How does it look? More importantly, how does it feel? This emotional connection is the catalyst to ignite your internal motivation and keep it fired up throughout the day. Think it. Feel it. Live it.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Yesterday, we went to Turkey Point on Lake Erie to visit with a friend who was at a cottage there. Now, this friend is actually DH's friend; he works with her but lately she and I talk more (online) than he does with her in real life because they both work at GM and she's been laid off since February and isn't going back to work until October but she and I are friends on Facebook together so we chat fairly regularly online.
And, it was supposed to rain yesterday but it didn't so we sat outside and socialised with her and her family for a few hours but we didn't go to the beach because it was coolish and we had dressed for cool, rainy weather not hot, beachy weather.
And, now we're preparing for our annual BBQ on Saturday. We always host a BBQ the first Saturday we're both off for summer holidays and this year, it falls on the 4th. DH has been on vacation since last Saturday and I just started my vacation yesterday.
It's usually family and our neighbours who come to our BBQ but this year, NO ONE from my family is coming because EVERYONE is away! My dad, 3rd younger sister and her 12-year old son are in France at cooking school. My 4th youngest sister and her DH and 2 kids (11 & 8) are currently in Venice but they started in France and next they're going to Tuscany (they're touring France, Italy and Greece for the month of July), my 2nd younger sister and her DH and 3 sons (17, 15 and 10) are in Poland for two weeks visiting with his family (he grew up there) and my second youngest sister and her family are visiting with her DH's family in Bayfield, Ontario (on Lake Huron).
So, the only people coming are DH's sister (her DH is working and her two kids are at camp (15) and the boyfriend's cottage (17). But DH's sister is bringing her dog (frankly, I'd rather have the kids but I wasn't asked). And, DH's brother and his girlfriend are also coming. DH's brother is flying home from Japan the night before so I hope he's okay. DH's cousin is also coming and the cousin and the brother are planning on camping in our backyard the night of BBQ. And, DH's aunt and uncle are also coming.
And, we've invited some of our neighbours. The only ones we haven't invited are the ones with the evil dog. I like Lynne but I hate her dog. He's loud and I'm afraid that he's going to bite one of us someday.
I'm making low-fat potato salad and a salsa, cream cheese and shredded cheese dip. And, we're cooking hamburgers, sausages, and portobello burgers.
And, the main thing I'm hoping for about Saturday is that it doesn't rain and that I'm not sore.
And, then Tuesday, I have a dentist appointment !
And, Wednesday, DH and I are going to Stratford to see The Importance of Being Earnest and other than that, I have no plans.
I just hope that it gets warm enough to swim sometime and that I feel well enough to maybe play bridge one night with my poor partner, whom I haven't played bridge with since May 8th!
Get An Email Alert Each Time BKWERM Posts