Don't Hate Exercise!

Don't Hate Exercise!
Photo by Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times

You may find this hard to believe, but despite my career choice as a personal trainer - I don’t regard workouts as a joy. I enjoy playing soccer. Workouts used to be a necessary evil to maintain my soccer career, now they are mostly just evil. Don’t get me wrong, I still like exercise - it just wouldn’t my top choice for a Saturday night. We all have our ups and downs and staying motivated is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your exercise regime. So if you find yourself in a slump here are a few ways get get back in the game.

Go Mental
You’ve got to condition your mind to like physical exercise. Professional athletes use visualization techniques to practice their skills. You can use this technique to “practice” your exercise. Imagine yourself going to the gym, running in the park, biking, swimming, (or whatever it is you like to do for exercise) - seeing some friends, and having fun, and getting results. Think about how good you will feel after your workout. The more you visualize a productive exercise scenario, the more it will come to fruition.

Get Into It
If you are into art, popular culture, food, wine, whatever - you seek out these channels in the media. Do the same for exercise. What you read and watch can influence you more than you think. You don’t have to run out and buy a stack of magazines, but check out a website, or add some fitness people to your Twitter (@joshakru) or Facebook. Click a few links (read this blog). Join an online group. Take some group classes at your local gym. It won’t take much to make a few relationships and change your perception on exercise before you know it.

Start Small
Don’t try to do it overnight. Maybe you ran the Chicago Marathon a few years ago. You're not gonna get back out there and run a marathon tomorrow. To be successful you’ll have to develop a fitness habit. You can begin with simple sport activities that you know you’ll enjoy, then take it to the gym with some friends. Whatever you do, maintain a regular schedule for at least one month - you’d be surprised how fast it will turn routine.

Stick with it long enough to make some physical changes. It won’t take long to feel and look better and it will get easier to do more and more. And maybe.... just maybe might start to enjoy exercise after all!

Josha Krueger is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, an AFPA Sports Nutrition Consultant, and owner of Kru Strength + Fitness.

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