Saturday, 25 June 2011

Exercise: The Reality

After doing my daily scout for interesting articles/blogs on Sparkpeople I came across this post which really piqued my interest.

Written by a fitness trainer, she states 8 "cold, hard truths" about exercise, these being:

  1. Working out will always feel hard.
  2. Not every movement or activity counts as exercise.
  3. One workout may not undo a sedentary lifestyle.
  4. You're not burning as many calories as you think.
  5. It won't allow you to eat whatever you want.
  6. Exercise alone won't change your body.
  7. You have to do it forever.
  8. Routine is the exercise enemy.
Now if you are anything like me and have read similar articles like this for years and years there will be  nothing revelatory about those 8 points but the fact is, knowing this and living this are two different things. If I was truly taking everything into account I wouldn't be at this 15st plateau.

The most important 'truths' for me is firstly, point number 1: "Working out will always feel hard". When I'm at the gym sailing through that half an hour bike session that used to make me sweat half my body weight, I know it's time to step it up to the next level - exercise should always feel like you are exercising!

Secondly, point number 7 "You have to do it forever" is another thing that sticks out for me. Last night I spent ages looking up the new-ish home exercise DVD set - p90x. I managed to talk myself out of shelling out £100 for it as I am prone to look for the next big fad that is going to help me lose weight - I have more than enough exercise DVDs to help me shift the pounds, I just need to do them! My point is that p90x, or the similar Insanity 60-day workout, are all short-term solutions, nothing is for life. I'm still yet to find that balance of having activities that I can work into my weekly routine and can see myself doing for the long, long term. I have been thinking about getting swimming lessons (as I never really learnt to swim properly) and see if that could become part of my routine...

Finally, the last truth of "Routine is the exercise enemy" is always something I have in mind when choosing what exercise to do that day. For example, this week I started off doing half an hour of pilates every evening (whilst watching Wimbledon in the background). By the middle of the week I knew I needed to add some cardio in there so opted to do my Zumba Live DVD. As I said, I have loads of exercise DVDs - dance ones, aerobics, toning with resistance bands, pilates, zumba... so there is no excuse for me not being able to change it up. I am thinking about cancelling my gym membership but I just need that other cardio thing to replace it first - hence me thinking about swimming.

All good points to think about and more importantly - act on!

In the meantime, I am going to go an do Davina's boxercise DVD (the 30 min workout one) and then chill out in preparation for the charity Midnight walk tonight - wish me luck! :)

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