Lifetime Fitness is about defying the temporary role that exercise can have in your life.
In order to better do that I believe that there are several steps you can take to offer yourself a successful chance at getting in shape and staying in shape for life.
Motivation plays an important part concerning how long you will work toward getting yourself physically fit. And in the beginning most of us do not plan on quitting.
In fact we try very hard not to quit. But keeping the ambition to stay in shape can often be a very difficult task.
And it doesn’t take long before we find ourselves getting bored with what we’re doing.
In my opinion the problem never had to do with lack of ambition and determination.
Instead by taking a very close look at the elements of exercise, it is not very difficult to see why so many of us have such a hard time staying with it in order to achieve lifetime fitness.
The problem starts at the beginning.
Quite often we’re not interested in the idea of exercising. Notice I say the idea of exercising. That means we’re bored with exercising before we’ve even started.
And even though we feel this way we give it a shot anyway and try it, but it doesn’t take long before doing it even becomes difficult.
And pretty soon we’re feeling more like it’s something we have to do rather than something we want to do.
I believe the real downfall has to do with us trying to exercise rather than find an activity that we would like to do that incorporates exercise in it.
Since exercise is a chore for so many of us and activities are something we like to do naturally, they offer us the perfect way to lose weight, stay in shape, and achieve lifetime fitness while we enjoy ourselves.
But let me mention… although I regard lifetime fitness activities very highly it doesn’t mean that I’m against exercising. Exercise is not ineffective for everyone. It does work for some people simply because they view exercise like so many of us view fun activities.
So if you happen to be one of those few people that do enjoy exercise in its raw form and you have no problems sticking with it on a long-term basis then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t exercise.
But if you don’t have a good relationship with exercising then you’ll have a very difficult time making it stick. Because really…
How long do you stay with something you don’t like doing?
Not for very long.
By now you could be asking yourself what is considered a lifetime fitness activity and what is considered exercise. And perhaps you’ll be wondering what the differences are.
Actually the differences aren’t very difficult to detect. As I said above exercise is in its raw form. You simply do them to get specific results.
Push-ups, sit-ups, weight lifting, and jumping jacks are all considered exercises.
There’s no specific creative enjoyment involved in any of these routines. They are just what they are- routines that will get you in shape.
On the other hand lifetime fitness activities have more to offer. You do not only receive the benefit of getting in shape, you also enjoy yourself, learn new things about the activity that you’re doing, have the ability to meet new people, and more.
Dancing, swimming, soccer, and jump roping are all considered lifetime fitness activities. To clarify even more, lifetime fitness activities are most easily defined as what you would consider to be a sport or recreation.
But before I get too far ahead of myself let me say that in a specific environment, such as exercising at a club where interaction takes place, exercise can offer most of the benefits that lifetime fitness activities offer.
And for some people exercise can offer all of the benefits.
If exercise offers you all of these benefits then there is no reason why you shouldn’t exercise. But if it only offers you most of the benefits and not all, then it may be missing the most important benefit. The benefit that will make all of the difference in the world and that is enjoyment.
You must absolutely, no questions asked, enjoy yourself and enjoy doing the exercise.
If you are missing that very essential ingredient then your exercise routine won’t last for very long. And the same goes with your lifetime fitness activity.
You have to enjoy it otherwise it will not remain consistent in your life. And consistency is the important key to lifetime fitness.
Where there’s enthusiasm and joy there’s consistency.
Also before we go any further it’s important to mention that some routines can be seen as an exercise or an activity depending on the person.
How you feel about it will only make the difference. Walking and jogging are two very good examples.
Some of us see walking as an activity and others see it as an exercise. Same goes with jogging. I think either of those two routines could be debatable.
So the only important thing to notate is how YOU view it and how YOU feel about the types of routines if they are something you are considering doing.
What I now need to mention is an important reasoning behind why exercise does not stay consistent in most of our lives. I spoke earlier about how we view it but the elements behind how we view it are important to notate.
For many of us exercising contains tags and rules. And within those tags and rules exists the element of condemnation and fear.
Let me give you an example.
Say you’ve made up your mind to get in shape and lose weight. And you’ve decided upon an exercise routine. You plan to exercise 5 times a week for 40 minutes. You do very well for about 3 weeks then the following week you only exercise 4 days that week. You feel bad about slacking and feel you’re slipping, so you promise yourself that you will make up for that loss the week after, but in spite of all of that determination you do even less exercise the week after.
You exercise for only 3 days.
Now you’re really upset with yourself. You can’t understand what’s going on. Why can’t you stick with it? You feel depressed, upset… like you’re never going to lose weight.
So what was the problem? What was causing the issue?
One very obvious reason is that you did not enjoy what you were doing. And if you did enjoy it in the beginning you took all of the enjoyment you had for it away by creating a controlled environment.
This controlled environment had to be perfect. If you did not keep with the perfect numbers you felt that you would not succeed.
Mentally you were already battling with the voice that was telling you that your routine wasn’t going to last. And through that fear the only way you could prove to yourself that it would last and that you could stick with it was by doing everything perfectly.
It’s that bad voice that so many of us hear that eventually hinders us from creating a better reality for ourselves. That’s why I suggest lifetime fitness activities. They help us escape that type of mental loop-cycle setup.
When we engage ourselves in lifetime fitness activities it helps us let our toxic mental guards down and we’re just doing something that we enjoy doing, rather than thinking about the physical benefits we receive from it. We instead concentrate on the fun we have, the people we meet, and all of the pure pleasure we get from it.
Exercise unfortunately creates a very tense environment for many of us and being tense is the last thing that we need to feel when we’re trying to get in shape.
It is very vital to be relaxed about the entire situation in order to break out of those mental habits that keep us from lifetime fitness.
Quite often we feel that motivation is what is keeping us from seeing things through. When it really has to do with the emotions that we have behind what motivates us.
The voices, the fear, the enjoyment.
We need an activity that will give us enjoyment so that we will not concentrate on the voices that create the fear of failing within us.
We need to redirect our concentration so that exercise is the indirect target rather than the direct target. And by making it indirect we receive the benefits of exercise without the mental stress of failing.
Motivation isn’t a difficult thing to have when you’re choosing the right atmosphere for yourself.
In most cases if you run into a motivation problem then the real problem won’t be your motivation. It will be something beneath the surface.
Let’s speak hypothetically. Say you’ve found a lifetime fitness activity and you’ve enjoyed doing it for about 8 months now. But suddenly you find you’re no longer enjoying it. There could only be several reasons why you are no longer enjoying it…
o Your spirit just might be trying to tell you that your current lifetime fitness activity no longer interests you and it’s time for you to seek out a different lifetime fitness activity.
o It could be that you need to take a break from it for awhile. Like anything in our lives repetitive things can get a little boring and we need to take some time off before we get interested in them again.
o It could be that you’re starting to view the lifetime fitness activity like an exercise routine. And the best way to deal with that would be to take some time off, get away from the activity for a couple of days. That downtime could be anything from meditating to going to the park and enjoying the scenery. Whatever it is, it should be something that offers you mental relaxation so you can remind yourself that relaxing within your activity is what helps you enjoy it, and it’s what helps you obtain the other indirect benefits.
Like mentioned above, don’t ever obligate yourself to do a lifetime fitness activity to the point in which it becomes destructive. Otherwise your obligation will destroy your intentions and instead of pursuing this activity you’ll find yourself disliking it. And eventually you will not want to do it.
You don’t have to always do your lifetime fitness activity. Only when you feel like it. Of course, sometimes you will have to give yourself a slight kick to get in the mood. But disciplining yourself is different from pressuring yourself.
Give yourself permission to do the activity whenever you feel like it to a logical degree. But don’t let yourself get away with being lazy.
When you give yourself permission to do it whenever you feel like it you give yourself the permission to enjoy it.
Enjoying it leads you to wanting to do more of it.
The goal is to get you to stay fit for life. Small consistent work-outs help you get healthy but large inconsistent work-outs don’t last long enough to make much of an impression. You want a consistent gradual change in your life not an inconsistent obligation that will fail.
It is a common fact that some days you won’t have much energy. Others days you’ll have the energy of five people. Some days your interest will not be there and other days it will be all you want to do.
So relax, take it easy, and enjoy yourself.
There should be no reason why you can’t get fit and have fun at the same time!
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