Thursday, October 9, 2008

3 YES, This Is What I've Been Saying All Along!


For a brief moment, let's just ignore the fact that I haven't blogged about my last few runs like I usually do --the more important thing right now is that they're still getting done! ;-) -- & instead let's turn our focus to something I've been advocating on this blog for a very long time.

So what is this "something" that I've been yammering on & on about?

Simply put, it's the joy of running & working out! And by joy, I mean both "ectastic enthusiasm/happy anticipation" & "the absence of pain." ;-)

As many of you already know, the big eternal catchphrases of this blog (especially lately!) have been "moderation," "the 10% rule," "interval training," & "common sense."

And apparently I am not alone in my thinking, as this particular approach to fitness is spreading like wildfire & captivating the attention of many other people around the blogosphere. Lately I've seen articles like this spring up everywhere -- most recently, at Jeff Galloway's blog.

Whereas there once were many people crazily gung-ho about their fitness routines who then quickly lost motivation & petered out, now these same people seem to have finally learned their lessons & are now realizing the benefits of gradually building fitness over time for lasting conditioning/health benefits & sustained motivation.

Hallelujah! Finally people are beginning to see that those so-called "quick fixes" & "quick results" are nothing short of a "quick route to unecessary pain & injury"! Those dangerously quick results are often achieved at great cost to one's well-being. How much better it is to plan smartly & realistically & approach each day's workout one step at a time, focusing on our progress & celebrating each milestone along the way. That way, we are giving ourselves every opportunity to succeed!

I'm sure we probably have the ever-popular Couch to 5K interval training program to thank, in part, for this sweeping change in public perception. Through this program, so many people have actively experienced how effective gradual interval training can be!

In some cases, this shift in attitude is most likely due to the maturation process itself: the hard-earned wisdom of adulthood has at long last replaced the impatience of youth. ;-) After all, many marathoners are age 30 & above. ;-)

The other important part of this enlightened attitude has to do with an overall shift in perception about exercise itself. People are starting to realize that exercise doesn't have to hurt & yes, oh my goodness, it can actually be fun!

Now I realize that there are many people who still think of exercise as work. However, I suggest that if you feel this way, that you might want to re-examine that sentiment, & carefully reconsider what prior experiences might've led to those conclusions. But it's probably not a good idea to focus on the "why's" of that aspect for too long. For once you realize what led you to those thoughts, maybe you could then consider the equal possibility that exercise -- the right physical activity for the right person, mind you -- can be a sublime experience, & that this way of exercising & thinking about exercising is well within the realm of possibility. After all, "exercise" is just another word for "moving your body."

Well, when it's phrased like that, it doesn't seem so bad now, does it?! 8-)

Exercise can be fun, joyous even! When we are open to that possibility, it sure changes our attitude, and fast!

And might I suggest that if you don't think exercise can be fun, then maybe you're doing the wrong exercise. ;-)

Not everyone's cut out for every sport or activity, so if running's not your thing, that's perfectly fine. Take your pick & find something fun that you truly enjoy!

So once you start taking that first step -- & you don't have to think much further than "OK, I'll just lace up my sneakers, go out the door, & see what I feel like doing...." -- you'll be surprised at what you can do.

Those first few steps can jumpstart something really incredible. It's a beautiful journey just waiting to happen....

Maybe you'll want to set some small goals & track your progress, or maybe you'd just rather pick a workout program & focus on completing it. Whatever works for you!

And then, when you start seeing your progress, you'll want to keep going! It's so incredibly motivating!

The process of reaching new milestones then transforms into something else, as your mind & body slowly begin to readjust to new possibilities.


Andrew is getting fit said...

One thing I've learnt is that this philosophy is the key to keeping the weight off as well.

Wendy said...

This is a great post! I need to find a way to integrate exercise into life with baby and find the joy in it!

cyberpenguin said...

Yes, that's very true! Good point.

Thanks! How about this for an idea: Maybe you can take the baby out for a stroll? That way, you can have fun with your daughter & squeeze in your workout too! Also, if you want to make your strolls more of a social experience, check out Stroller Strides. One of my friends participates in this group in her area & really enjoys it. Hope these suggestions help & good luck with renewing your exercise program!

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