How many times have you tried to start getting fit and in response to your quest you hear “find something you enjoy?” While it can be annoying to always hear this, it’s the truth. Who wants to spend time moving and sweating while doing something they dislike? Frankly, you won’t do it or sustain it if you don’t enjoy the activity you’re engaged in.
It could take a little while to find the one thing that you really like to do. For me it’s more than one thing, but my predominant thing is biking or Spinning. While I do mountain bike and road bike, I Spin at least two days a week year round. Finding my “what” took a little time. See, I started when I was in my 40’s. I was actually 48 when I decided to go for certification so that I could be a Spinning instructor.
Too late? I think not.
After Spinning for a while, and teaching university faculty and staff, I discovered through my Spin students that many of them also participate in TRX. I had not heard of it and decided to try it. That was two years ago. The combination of cardio and strength in Spinning with the all over body strengthening of TRX has been wonderful. I believe I am stronger on the bike as a result. I found my “what!”
Here are some ideas on how you can find your what:
- Try different things. Experiment with lots of things before deciding yes or no (and try them more than once). Try them at different times of the day as well. Sometimes we are better in the morning or evening depending on the exercise and our schedules.
- Suspend fear. You may have always wanted to try something but for some reason feel it is too hard or you don’t want to look like the newbie. Everyone was a newbie at some point. If the class (or gym) is a good one, the instructor will ask you to come early to make sure you get what you need before starting, and others will greet and include you with open arms. Don’t quit trying to do the activity if the environment isn’t right. Change the environment!
- Be kind to yourself. Especially if you are just starting out and haven’t been doing a lot of activity at all. Set a goal, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach it in the timeframe you feel you should. The goal could be as simple as doing some sort of exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.
- Surf the web. If you are shy about exercising in public, try looking up some free workouts and trying them at home! When the weather is bad or I’m bored with my “usual,” I go to my favorite YouTube channel and try some of the workouts there. I may feel like Yoga one day and upper body strength another. I get to pick the workout, the time of day and how long I want to do it. (Need accountability? Invite a friend/neighbor to join you.)
Finding your what really isn’t hard. We tend to get in our own way a lot of the time with excuses for not moving. Maybe examining your WHY is an exercise you should consider.
Joy Gianakura is a spin instructor, mother of two twenty-somethings, a University Administrator and a wellness advocate who believes that we all have some control over the quality of our lives.