Why Most People
Here's What to Do About It!
By David Meinz, MS, RD,
You know you
should, you know it's good for you and you feel better
when you do it so why don't most people put fitness
into their lifestyle? It's my experience that
most don't integrate activity into their routine for
#1 It's Inconvenient.
As a speaker I travel a lot, and
when I get into a hotel or back home late, the last
thing I feel like doing is rushing to a gym and waiting
in line for a piece of equipment that may or may not
work. If you're typical, your lifestyle doesn't allow
you a lot of free time.
You've probably said it yourself,
"I would exercise if I could only find the
Here's how I solved that problem.
First, I did away with the inconvenience. I bought a
piece of equipment (a Schwinn Air-dyne exercise bike)
and brought it home. Now, even if it's eight-thirty
at night, I can fit fitness in at my convenience. No
more going to the gym, changing clothes, and trying
to fit into their schedule. That one step has made all
the difference in integrating activity into my lifestyle
In addition, I discovered that
I can never find time, I need to schedule
the time. Every Sunday, I look in my day timer for the
week and schedule 3 slots for exercise. If someone calls
and wants to meet with me at one of those times I simply
explain that I have an "appointment." You
don't have to tell people what you're doing at that
time any more than you need to explain the rest of your
All good intentions aside, if you don't plan
for activity, other very legitimate needs will crowd
it out. Saturday is going to come around anyway. But
by scheduling, you chalk up another week when you integrated
positive, productive fitness into your life rather than
once again being "too busy."
#2 It's Boring.
I'm in the business of promoting
good health. Even as much as I believe in the concept
of Health & Peak Performance, I still didn't look
forward to the drudgery of getting on my exercise bike
for 20-30 minutes. Talk about dull!
I believe that in this sensory overloaded
society of ours sweating and grunting for a half-hour
doesn't appeal to too many people. Even reminding myself
how good this was for me didn't do it. What we need
to do is get our minds off of the monotony of
what I do now. First, I set my bike right in
front of the television. Now that worked well for a
while, but the commercials quickly put my mind back
on the boredom. Instead, I now rent or tape a movie
but not just any movie it needs to be one with
lots of action. Explosions, plenty of car chases and
Schwarzenegger always helps, too. The movie "Speed"
is a great example. I start exercising, turn on the
movie and my 39 minute session is finished before I
know it. There's nothing magical about 39 minutes, that's
just where I've worked up to.
Your exercise session will either
seem like an eternity or go by in a snap - depending
on where your attention is.
And here's the important point. When
my exercise session is over, I turn the movie off and
I don't watch it again until I get back on the bike.
As a result, I now have a built-in incentive to
exercise again because I want to see how the movie turns
out! Most movies are about 100-120 minutes long, and
I get about 3 or 4 exercise sessions from each one.
This system works great for me. If
you've been having trouble "getting motivated"
to exercise, address the two reasons most people don't
and you'll dramatically increase your chances for integrating
successful fitness into your lifestyle.
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