Exercise? I don’t feel like it.

The more we research the benefits of exercise, the more we realize it’s the miracle drug we’re all looking for.  Most know this already.  Almost daily we read about it’s benefits.

In a recent article about exercise from the Mayo Clinic,( here)   they tout these benefits:

Helps control weight

Combats diseases and conditions

Improves mood

Boosts Energy

Promotes better sleep

Puts the spark back in your sex life

Exercise can be fun

 

If there were a pill we could take that did all those things, who wouldn’t take it?

 

So, it makes you wonder: what keeps us from exercising?  Apparently, knowing it’s good for us – knowing that it will improve our lives – is not enough to actually get us up and moving.

Here’s the answer…

We don’t exercise because: It takes energy.  It takes prioritizing. It takes commitment. It takes time.  But most of all, it takes motivation.  Most of us wait until “we feel like it”.

 

So, lacking the motivation to exercise is actually the root of the problem.

 

Just do it.  Nike’s famous slogan is really the perfect thing to remember.  It confronts the problem of lack of motivation by dismissing any thought about the exercise you’re about to engage in.  What it’s really saying is, “Don’t think about how busy you are, how tired you are, or how you just don’t feel like it, exercise anyway.

 

Here’s another thing to consider:  Motivation follows action.  The mistake most people make is to wait until they feel like exercising to actually do it.  

 

That’s why I want people to know this:

 

We’re all looking for the same thing.  Some people go home from a hard day’s work and crack open a beer, some sit on the couch and play X-box, and some go right to the gym or take a walk.

 

When we feel depleted, we look for some way to feel good again.  What we’re actually seeking is some activity or substance that will release Dopamine into our system.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.  So, the guy who comes home and binge-watches his favorite program gets a big ole dose of dopamine.  And the woman who meets her friends at the local bar for a drink or two gets a healthy serving of dopamine with her wine.  Coming home to play your new X-box game – lots of dopamine. And the person who heads straight to the gym? Same thing.

 

Here’s the difference though, the people in the first three examples are sedentary.  They feel the frustrations of the day drift away without any effort at all. That’s why most people make these choices instead of going to the gym, or running around the block.

 

But remember the list from the Mayo Clinic article?  Here it is again:

Helps control weight

Combats diseases and conditions

Improves mood

Boosts Energy

Promotes better sleep

Puts the spark back in your sex life

Exercise can be fun

 

It’s obvious to see that none of the sedentary choices that release Dopamine have a positive effect on anything in this list.  You feel better in the short term only.

 

If you need some guidance about how to get started with exercise, there’s info all over the internet.  For an easy way to think about the necessary components of an exercise program, read my article about The 6 things you need to do to have a healthy body.

 

But more importantly, remember this:

Since motivation follows action, exercise first.  You’ll soon feel like exercising.homer on treadmill Exercise? I dont feel like it.

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