There is no question that our health is an extremely important subject and should be a priority in our lives. One area where people create a barrier for themselves is the extreme NEGATIVE emotion placed on exercise. For many, exercise has been a miserable experience and often times began as a youth. Some individuals can do things physically with ease while others doing the same activity experience excruciating pain. There are many biological, mental, and physiological reasons for the way we experience pain. If we are struggling with weight issues as a youth, it is obviously harder to do physical activities and participate in sports because of the extra weight, added stress on the joints, muscles, back, and even lungs. If a person who is not struggling with weight issues were to carry 50 pound weights all day and participate in sports or other physical activities he or she would more than likely be miserable too. It would be painful, harder to breathe, uncomfortable in a chair, not much fun doing physical activities with others. They would probably want to give up, as many of us have. Your response to the pain you experienced with physical activities is completely normal. It hurts but as you grow in this endeavor to be healthier and of a lean weight the pain you experience the rest of the time will be reduced. Recognizing that going through a small amount of pain for a few minutes a day with exercise will minimize constant pain and potential large scale handicaps later. Stay focused on the bigger picture.
The time we spent with other youth could be a conditioning factor in our association with exercise. We all have been given different gifts and for some it is the ability to be athletic. Many others do not have this gift but possess countless other abilities. Unfortunately for the ones without the athletic gifts, ridicule and humiliation by class or teammates seems to accompany the inability to participate in fitness activities at a peak level. The individual receiving the humiliation usually associates another negative experience with exercise and fitness, leaving them to hate it. This feeling for many sadly is carried into adulthood.
Given the knowledge that our own self-talk can either sabotage or encourage our health choices, how can you overcome your own self-talk or past negative exercise experiences to become the healthy, happy, and high functioning person you desire and deserve to be? Here are some examples. it helps if you hand-write the answers.
Even though exercise has been painful for me in the past, I will stay aware that going through 30 minutes of “pain” today with exercise will help me minimize or even eliminate the chronic all day pain of disease and premature aging in the future. I will recognize when I am defeating myself through self-talk and change the conversation that I have with myself to how I can be successful with exercise. I will stay focused on the bigger picture.
Whenever I begin to focus on the negative experiences of the past that I have had with exercise, I will shift my energy and focus to how I can be successful with my health mission. I will read stories of other people who have overcome large obstacles to achieve big goals. I will talk to my accountability partner about how I try to talk myself out of exercise. I will focus on the strength and high functioning quality of life I will gain because of exercise.
I will find exercises that I enjoy and play my favorite playlist while doing them. I will keep the music motivational and inspiring while also understanding I am 100% responsible for everything in my life. I will prepare for success!
I will not make exercise too much of an emotional experience. I will know that it is in my best interest to exercise and I will perform all exercises in a safe and effective manner without overdoing them. I will exercise smart, accept that there is a tolerable amount of discomfort with exercise, and stay resilient with the health mission that I have.
Given the way I have treated myself over the years, I will stay thankful that I can exercise at all. I will do what I can and intentionally focus on things that I am grateful for while exercising.
I will look daily at inspirational weight loss stories and remember that anything is possible with determination. I will put materials into my mind that promote the improvement of all aspects of my life and have nonjudgmental people in my life that support and hold me accountable.
I sincerely hopes this helps you to redevelop a positive association with exercise. It is so important to stay strong! Begin as soon as possible. If you need help seek it. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
More and more research is showing the benefits of strength training as an important part of a healthy, happy, and high functioning life. Research also demonstrates the need for a plan when it comes to building strength. Many people however did not grow up in the gym or playing sports and do not know how to properly develop a strength building plan that is safe and effective. We have worked with many people who know they need to work on their strength but do not know how. Contrary to many other fitness methods, we do not believe that you have to become miserably sore to become stronger. In fact, the no pain no gain method may do more harm than good for many. Here are three keys to beginning a strength training program if you do not know how.
Work different parts of the body daily. Example:On Monday/Thursday do upper body exercises and Tuesday/Friday do lower body exercises. This will also require you to study the different machines and free weight exercises that you can safely do. The more you know the sooner you will go from beginner to intermediate. If necessary, hire a nonjudgmental trainer or ask a knowledgeable friend to help you learn the exercises properly.
Do not overdo it to start with. The introduction of strength training creates a new stressor for the brain and body. If you treat it as a gentle and wise introduction, the body will adapt in a healthy, safe way to the new stress you have chosen to put it through.
Always see it as beneficial. The way you see and process events in your life have a physiological effect on the brain and the body. This applies to strength training as well. If you see strength training as a chore, something you hate, or something you’re bad at then the body will respond with tighter muscles, less strength, and an additional stress response that is harmful to the body. Contrarily, if you see strength training as beneficial then the body will respond with a freer range of motion, faster strength gains, and you will increase your chances of sticking with it over the long term, which is the goal. Focus on your strengths, be patient, and see strength training as something that will help you.
I hope this can help someone who struggles begin a strength training program. Please know the importance of strength training for your health no matter where you are at in your life. We witness people from 20-90 changing their lives daily by developing strength. And you can too! If you need help, seek it. Strong body, strong mind! BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
Most people have suffered from things they wish they could overcome in their lives. I personally have struggled with weight, multiple addictions, depression, anxiety, and ADHD. What I am happy with is how I have responded to the hand that I was dealt and how I manage my life in a healthy manner today. What I am honored with is witnessing people overcome their own struggles with amazing resilience, determination, and open-mindedness. Please know that if you struggle with anything in your life that you wish to overcome, true change is possible. It does take a strong determination but it is worth it to become a healthy, high functioning, and confident person. Becoming open-minded to advice from experts, having strong support, and continuing when you don’t want to are a few of the keys to becoming successful. You are the only you that you have. Take care of you. Care for your health. Manage the way you respond to stress. Stay as strong as you can physically. Seek fulfillment in your life. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!
My uncle who was a mentor of mine had me ponder this, “There are three birds sitting on a wire. One of them decides to fly away, how many are left?” I said, “Two.” He responded with, “No there are three left. You can decide to fly all day long but until you take the action to flap your wings you will never fly anywhere. Everything begins with the first step.” If you have struggled to have healthy behaviors throughout your life, I understand. On the other side of the coin however is the unparalleled importance of taking care of your health. There is no more important work in the world than the work you do to maintain your health, quality of life, and strength.
“A man who suffers before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary.” —SENECA
Please take the first step to care for yourself beginning today. Take care of your strength, manage food and mood with boundaries, and do things throughout your day that fulfill you. After the first step the rest will be easier. You just have to flap your wings. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!