A lot of the time when I’ve spoken to people about exercise they have often found themselves to be put off from regular physical exercise due to the pressure they put on their self mentally before they have even begun. In my experience this has come down to the following reasons:
Throughout my previous articles I have continually stressed the point of making exercise personal to you. There may be excuses lingering in your mind or apprehension about engaging in something new. This is all common place and you should realise that you are not the only one out there who may be new to a particular form of exercise and you are certainly not the only one who has unrealistic expectations of your own abilities or previous experience holding you back. To overcome these it is all about being realistic and planning a reasonable time scale to improve and most of all: having the confidence to get up and go and be a healthier person. A large proportion of people dropping out from regular exercise do so because their ability does not match expectation and you lose confidence. The lesson here is to be confident in your ability and do something you enjoy. Don’t be rushed by other people’s ideas of exercise and build your own personal way of exercising – something you enjoy and provides you with the opportunity for steady improvement and confidence.
Exercise isn’t defined by a set number of miles, times or weights. You can define exercise yourself – start off slow and go for a walk on your lunch break at work, cycle/walk/run to and from work and build this up and try something new. E.g. swimming, yoga, pilates or a spin class. There are many varying forms of exercise that are all equally beneficial and each of them provides us with a healthier lifestyle and reduces any health risks associated with sedentary behaviour. Don’t forget the simplest form of exercise: WALKING!! Start with a walk a day; build to a jog and then into a run. Take your time and enjoy yourself, there is no rush and a healthier happier life awaits you.
KEY POINT: Exercise is different for everybody and yours should be no different. Find what’s comfortable for you, be it exercising in a class, with a friend or on your own. As long as it is something you enjoy you can then start to build from that enjoyment and be confident in your own ability. Everybody’s different let’s celebrate that!
Tom Buck (Research Assistant, Rescon)