Friday, April 23, 2010

Gym and exercise...

So it wasn't the most pleasant or brilliant entrance this morning, but on a more serious note, upon returning from the Gym, I thought I'd share a few pointers to those trying to exercise or stay fit and finding it an extreme challenge.

My mother has gained a few extra pounds over the years, well more than a few really, and has been trying to get into some sort of exercise only to find herself quit after 2 weeks or so.
"So what is the secret to keep at it?" She asked a little frustrated at the little progress she noticed.

I am no personal trainer and I am well aware of the many blogs, advice and websites that revolve around this issue but I have been constantly exercising for many years to know the little details necessary to keep it going. Well, I think I do at least.
So, what is it you ask.
First of all, I strongly believe that the key to staying motivated is constant practice. Just like speaking, you have to speak everyday else you mumble. You have to train your mind to think everyday otherwise you become a vegetable. Don't drain yourself that is, but practice. Learning a new language is the same and so on.
Well, exercising is just the same. You must practice, in other words hit the gym or that sport you enjoy.
Another key factor as I have seen during my training today that made me wonder whether I should write that or not on my way back, is posture combined with breathing.
Many people go through the routine, without paying much attention to the correct way of exercising. They just pull or push or bounce or sway. Before you hit a machine, I recommend you get a personal trainer to show you the right move. It is useless to go through the motion and get tired when you are not training the right muscle.

Second pick something you like to do. I mean if you don't fancy the gym, then by all means don't go there. You will get de-motivated soon, or start chit-chatting and forget the purpose of why you're there in the first place.
There is a huge variety of sports out there that will keep you fit just as well. I mean martial arts, swimming, biking, rock climbing for Goodness' sakes, anything that you might enjoy is better than a routine you feel are forced upon you.
My mother for instance hates the Gym and so whenever I suggest we go together, she is always postponing, procrastinating and so on.
I have noticed however, that she likes the Gazelle, so I said lay it out there and do it every day. Don't just store it somewhere expecting by miracle for it to appear before your eyes when the desire of getting in shape pops in your head.
I mean, put it out there, look at it and then jump on it. A constant practice is the key, as I said earlier, so do it every day if you must, but do it.
Most of us procrastinate and give ourselves excuses, you know what I'm talking about; oh I am tired, I don't feel like it, I have no energy, I have to go shopping or clean or whatever it is you tell yourself you want to be doing instead. Truth is, if you do not fancy it then you will never do it.
Just like they say things that are forbidden are extremely desired, the same goes for things you feel are forced on you, they are extremely repulsive.
Don't think of it as a chore, think of it as fun, thus find something you enjoy doing.

It is not easy with our burdened and fast paced life to schedule things and perform them on a daily basis but as I said the key is practice. Notice how after training for few months and seeing results some of us just stop, satisfied and then realize two weeks later that all the work was gone wasted because we did not keep up with it.
I was learning Russian a while back, on my own, and was doing very well indeed. I got comfortable in my zone and stopped reading and reviewing. Now a year later I find I am back to the beginning where the only thing I am confident saying is How are you. Geez really, after all this learning, I ask myself???
It is the same with exercising, once you stop the work is gone, or slowly going.
Sure we all get tired and have some days when the energy is indeed low. I say, go on but do it softly, and don't over exhaust yourself. Simply don't give up.
And remember everything takes time, so give it the time it needs. Don't obsess about the results and expect them to be instantaneous. It took you a while to start walking I assume just like the rest of us. So give your body the time it needs to adapt and grow, only then will you see.

So there, from a simple observation of the guy training this morning next to me, who was working out his triceps while throwing his arms up and down in a futile attempt of exercise, I thought I'd share that with you today.

  • Chosse something you enjoy doing
  • Make it fun
  • Learn the right way of doing it
  • Practice constantly
  • Be patient with results

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