They say the longest journey begins with a single step. That may be so but that first step in an exercise program after you have been, shall we say, idle for a while. Not having exercised in a while especially when the weather is miserable and cold makes it hard to get back, to state it mildly. Many people wonder why is it so hard to get back into the habit of regular exercise again and how did they ever enjoy exercise on a regular basis. And even more important is the question of how is it possible to get back in the habit of exercising regularly?
To help answer the first question of why is it so hard to get back into the habit, we first understand that when our muscles, heart and lungs and other body systems go extended times without exercise our systems and bodies simply aren’t being used and they slowly become weak and lose their capacity to function well. This leads to the inability to perform challenging movements and tasks that the different systems (cardio-respiratory, musculature, flexibility, joints, etc.) need to do in order to be active again. The pain, discomfort, and exertion makes it difficult to start exercising again. Also, we’ve become accustomed to the routine that we’ve done whether it’s watching t.v., over eating, playing video games, reading, etc. that we feel those things are more fun than the gruesome ordeal and discipline of getting back into shape.
How do we get back into the habit and joy of exercise? Here are a few hints to try. Plan out your exercise program. Try not to overdo it as you lay out your new exercise program. Take it easy and make it an enjoyable experience as you start to get into shape again. Make your exercise as much a priority as work and other habits you love to do. Then, you must exercise when all those other opportunities give you a reason to skip out. This is where only you can make it happen. In these times you have to focus on how good you will feel -mentally and physically- in a couple of weeks. Plus after exercise, there is a rush of the good feel hormone called endorphin that will make you enjoy having finally gotten up and moving around.