Why does everything have to be fun? I don’t think exercising is fun unless I am doing a weekend bike ride or a hike in the mountains, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t do it. I have read dozens of articles about motivation. Without motivation, they say, you aren’t going to stick to a program. They all focus on how to make exercise fun, but fun isn’t going to do it unless you find a way to make a commitment. A commitment requires a good old fashioned attitude adjustment.
Well you know what? Exercise isn’t always fun. Sometimes it is sheer torture. The thing is your body doesn’t really know or care if you are having fun or not. Yes, fun is important and if that it takes to get you moving, I am all for it. If you can find a faithful workout buddy (not as easy as one might suppose), work with a physical trainer (expensive and grueling), take classes (if time and scheduling allows), train for a marathon (really hard work plus takes a lot of time and commitment), or a dozen other ways to rev up your enthusiasm quota, you should go for it.
Maybe we just make it too complicated. Does it have to be that hard? Does everything have to be a competition? It is hard to keep up with the changing exercise trends without wearing yourself down. Six pack abds, killer thighs and a tight butt do not necessarily create a healthy lifestyle, not if you are just a tiny bit older anyway. The good news is that you don’t have to be a competitive athlete in order to be healthy.
You are not seeing the big picture if you still think that if you aren’t sore the day after a workout you haven’t worked hard enough. Exercise doesn’t have to hurt. You don’t even have to feel “the burn” when you are doing a routine in order to reap the benefits. Experts really do tell us, if we forget the hype and take time to listen, that you don’t have to push yourself to the extreme for good things to happen. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, but you do have to get out there and move every single day. You have to pick a routine that you can stand and just do it.
If exercise doubles as a social outlet for you by all means go to the gym or take advantage of group classes at your senior center. If you just want to get it out of the way so that you can do other things, work out at home. One way is not better than the other, and neither one has to cost you an arm and a leg. Senior Centers offer free or inexpensive classes, insurance companies often foot the cost of a gym membership, or you can rent videos from the library or build your own exercise video library.
Exercise is not endless cardio and crunches it is about your health and well- being. Think of exercising as just something you have to do, like eating breakfast or brushing your teeth.