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Fitness!  We all know we need it, we KNOW it’s good for us, but we don’t all do it!  Why is that?  What drives some people but not others?  Great questions!

Fitness can be uncomfortable

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Well, yes, it can be uncomfortable for some.  In my years of being in the fitness industry, I have heard this more times than I can count.  Literally!  I’ve heard:

“I hate to sweat!”

“I get out of breath!”

“It burns!”

All real!  All viable answers!  Let’s combat those in simple terms!

  1. Sweating is good for you! It can rid the body of toxins such as alcohol, too much sodium and even cholesterol also reducing the risks of kidney stones!  And, sweating is your body’s natural cooling system, it protects your body from overheating.
  2. Breathing hard during vigorous exercise is normal! You’re exerting yourself at a higher level than normal.  Exercises such as running at a fast pace, spin class, lifting extreme weight, and swimming laps will increase your breathing rate.  During higher levels of exercise your body needs more oxygen, therefore you begin to breath heavier.  What you want to be careful with here is not overdoing it.  You definitely don’t want to get to a place of dizziness or lightheadedness.  And, if you notice you breathe hard during normal activity, such as walking, you should consult with your physician.  However, it’s okay to feel a bit exerted during exercise.  The more you do it, the more conditioned you will get and the less heavy breathing you will have.
  3. When exercising intensely, especially a repetitive motion such as lifting weights, pedaling, etc. you may feel a burn. That burn is lactic acid.  Lactic acid is your body’s natural defense mechanism preventing permanent damage.  You don’t want to let the burn last for more than 3 minutes, but a little burn is not a bad thing.  Your muscles are just telling you, “okay, I’m feeling the workout, it’s time to take a break!”

 I don’t have the motivation

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In a previous article I discuss being honest with yourself.  Personal accountability and responsibility is extremely important when you’re trying to motivate yourself to get fit!  You can come up with all the excuses in the world, and me oh my have I heard them!  “No time!”, “Exhausted”, “I don’t know what I should be doing”, yikes that list goes on!  In my opinion, and it’s just that, an opinion, finding the motivation requires us to dig deep.  People comment to me quite often, “I don’t see how you find the motivation to fit it all in”.  Granted, owning a gym makes it really convenient to work out, but it’s more than that, I don’t always feel like it, but it’s part of my life and important to me. I don’t know why it pains me to skip a workout when someone else can easily pass it up and go directly to happy hour!  I wish I could find the true answer and bottle it up and sell it because I would be one of the wealthiest people on earth!  Owning a gym has been a big eye opener when it comes to this topic.  I can truly be a Pollyanna when it comes to fitness!  I really want to believe that all people who join a gym are going to come.  I want them to show up (maybe not a typical “business-minded” answer)!  I get it, coming every day may not be realistic, but NEVER?  Ugh!

Digging deep

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So, I challenge you, dig deep, figure out what it is that may be keeping you from achieving your fitness goals (cardio, flexibility, resistance training).  Is it really that you’re too busy or is it that you don’t want to make the time to do it?  It’s okay to admit that you may not like working out and that even though you could realistically take a ½ hour at lunch or before or after work, you just don’t want to.  It’s quite a relief and freeing when you simply admit the truth about yourself, emotions, and desires.  The hard part, and it can be quite a challenge, is to now figure out how you can begin to create changes for your health.  Forget whether you like it or not, you need it for the sake of your health.

For the Health of it

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There is a plethora of information about fitness and all the benefits related to it.  It is my firm belief that the majority of us KNOW at the very least, that fitness is important!  So, could it be that the amount of information that is out there is just too overwhelming causing frustration and causing us to just throw our hands in the air and give up?  Perhaps!  It’s important to do your research, but don’t get too caught up in it.  Here’s the facts about fitness:

  • It burns calories and therefore controls your weight.  This is an undeniable fact!  Of course, there is more involved, like nutrition (this will be addressed in a future article), but after about 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise your metabolism kicks in and you start burning those calories.  And…they don’t stop burning when you stop your exercise.  Research suggests that after a bought of vigorous physical activity, your metabolism keeps burning for hours after!  Bonus!!!
  • It boosts your mood and reduces stress!!!  There’s a great article by the Mayo Clinic describing this in more detail, but to sum it up, it increases endorphins (feel good chemicals from your brain) and reduces other chemicals that can cause depression.  Plus, let’s face it, when you work out, and I’ve heard it time and time again, you always feel better that you did it!
  • It helps combat various diseases.  Regular exercise increases your good cholesterol (HDL) while decreasing your bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides!  It increases blood flow, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.  It also controls or decreases your risk for other health concerns like Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, some forms of cancer and depression.
  • It increases energy.  Exercise gets the blood and oxygen flowing through your body and tissues.  This in turn improves the function of your heart and lungs providing more energy throughout the day.
  • It helps you sleep better.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, as little as 10 minutes of physical activity can improve your sleep.  It also reduces the risk of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
  • And….it CAN be FUN!  I sound like a broken record, but once you discover what it is you enjoy and you couple it with your favorite tunes, I’m telling you, you might actually find yourself wanting to get on that workout gear and get your fitness on!

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