When you hear the words exercise or work out do they fill you with a sense of dread? Is exercise always on your “to do list” but some how it never makes it to the top of the list?
You are not alone.
We often meet women, either on our retreats or in private practice, who tell us that they just don’t have enough time to exercise, or that they just flat out don’t want to. Some women tell us that in the past they had managed to lose weight by following a diet alone not be exercising, they counted calories, or grams of fat, it worked then, but since then it never seems to get the same result. They approach us at The Body Retreat hoping to find a new diet that will allow them to lose weight and not need to exercise. Thats not what we are about at The Body Retreat. All our events are based on 4 elements, Behaviour, Nutrition, Exercise and R&R and a balance in all four areas is needed to optimise health for life. We are not about quick fix weight loss at The Body Retreat, so there is no miracle diet here.
Funnily enough though, the NHS refers to exercise as “the miracle cure we have always had, but neglected to take” that is because research has proven that regular exercise reduces your risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes by up to 50%. For women it is also important for bone health and for reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Exercise is also incredibly important for mental health as it prompts the release of dopamine, endorphins, norepinephrine and serotonin.
However, despite the evidence to support the benefits of exercise, for some women, it can still languish at the bottom of the to do list. Despite their best intentions some women just don’t want to work out, don’t want to run or join a gym. And that makes perfect sense. We naturally move towards the things we want or desire and move away from things that will cause us pain or discomfort, we are biologically designed to do this, this is how we have evolved and survived. Lets be honest, who is going to make time to do something they hate?
So, how do you get the great health benefits of exercise if you are really turned off by it? Can you really make exercise something you love to do not need to do?
Well lets start with the terminology, when you hear the word exercise or working out, what images come to mind, is it sweaty gym bunnies on spin bikes, or perhaps its beefy boys lifting weights at the gym, or maybe even lycra clad ladies on impossibly thin bicycles. If those images leave you cold then you are not alone. The important thing here is to find what fits for you, and most importantly to do something that you enjoy, something that you find a pleasure, then you will truly make time to take part rather than find time to make excuse not to.
How do you find out what you might enjoy doing? First, ask yourself some questions. Ask yourself if you want to be indoors or would you prefer to be outside, do you want to join a group or team or do you prefer to be alone. Next start by googling what’s available near you, looking for exercise classes or specialist gyms or groups. Most will be delighted to answer any questions you may have and even offer a free initial visit to see what you make of the environment, people and the event itself. You might consider attending a residential retreat where you can sample a wide range of activities for yourself. At The Body Retreat we offer a wide range of events to suit all lifestyles and activity levels. For example our Dance & Tone Weekend offers a wide range of dance classes such as Fitsetps, Zumba, Ballet Conditioning, Bokwa to name but a few mixed with walking and toning class like pilates, yoga and even kettlebelltone. In this way you can discover for yourself what you might like to take up permanently. But most importantly the muscle we exercise the most at our retreat are your facial muscles as we guarantee that you will have a great time, you will laugh, a lot.
Our TOP 3 TIPS for women to move from Enduring to Enjoying Exercise
1. Fake it Till you Make it.
If you have lead a very sedentary lifestyle in recent years then any new activity or exercise plan that you begin to follow will seem a little difficult at first, its bound to as you discover muscles that you haven’t used for a while or perhaps didn’t know even existed 🙂 But don’t give up, what you tell yourself has a tremendous influence over how you feel, so rather that tell yourself how sore you are feeling and how bad that is, turn it on its head and tell yourself instead how good it feels to have used your muscles and that how each time you use them they will get stronger and stronger. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel.
2. Go Shopping.
This may seem very superficial, but having new shiny bright trainers, a new sport bra that holds everything up and in the right position or even a new colourful t-shirt can give you the most amazing boost and make the overall experience a better one. So treat yourself to a few new items and you will lift your motivation to get out there and use them.
3. Phone a friend.
More specifically phone a friend and ask them to join you. Having a date set with a friend to go to a class or out for a jog or whatever activity you choose can mean that you are more likely to get up and go than if it is just a date in your own diary. You are doing the exercise for yourself but why not make it fun, have a catch up, support each other. While at the same time every time you go you make the habit of going stronger and stronger and before you know it… you enjoy it.. you look forward to going.
Whatever the reason to exercise, wether that be to lose weight, to shape up, to improve your health or to protect your body for life, there are numerous reasons to be more active in life. So perhaps it’s time to stop accepting the excuse of “I don’t have time to….” and instead make the time to find something you really enjoy doing. Time that could well be the best investment you can make for your health and wellbeing.