Friday's 5 Fitness Tips: Exercise for all the Wrong Reasons!
I can’t be called a fitness guru. I don’t count calories. I don’t know what my VO2 max is, and I don’t run races. But if you get to dress up as a chicken or trudge through mud, I’ll consider entering. Why? That sounds like fun to me, and I might make a few friends, which is a benefit that goes well beyond toned muscles and athletic prowess.
And it turns out, if you want to stay fit that’s the exact formula.
Studies indicate that long-term exercisers highly value the non-tangible benefits of exercise, such as the mood lift and the chance to see old pals and meet new people. Depending on what’s happening in your life, you can adjust your exercise routine to suit your physical and emotional needs, and you’ll feel better. You’ll probably look better too, but that’s not the point. I’ve honed this down to five key principles for staying motivated, but, to me, it’s more about staying happy.
3. Stay Strong. I couldn’t do a pull-up for most of my adult life, but when I started climbing I belted one out in a month. Climbing is a puzzle that I get to solve with my body, which is why I push harder than I would at a regular gym. It’s an intellectual and a physical challenge. Find a strength-training routine that appeals to your mind, and your body will follow along.
4. Switch It Up. Once a year, try a new sport, either one you’ve discovered yourself or one introduced by a friend. That’s how I started yoga and snowboarding, which led to a deep appreciation of Colorado winter weekends. When I learn, I am entertained–it’s as simple as that. Speaking of which…
In general, exercising should lift you up physically and psychologically. If it doesn’t, maybe you’re doing the wrong sport. Try a different one. Consider that high achievers push themselves, because they enjoy the hard work and aren’t afraid of failure. So find an activity that you truly love, and you’ll stick with it.
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