Are you a fitness-phobe? You want to commit to exercising regularly, but you are afraid of belly flopping into the deep end of the lap pool.
Exercise can feel a lot like dating. The jitters associated with engaging in a new routine or enrolling at a different gym is comparable to a first date. You purchase a new workout wardrobe because that dingy, armpit stained Hanes t-shirt isn't drawing the attention you want, and decide to join the rest of the human race by ditching those scrunchy socks that are missing from Richard Simmons' drawer. You reluctantly endure a few mediocre dates and check your phone compulsively in hopes that your friend has called with an emergency that will cut your session of suffering short. It's not long before you have terminated your eBizarroWorld account, and are back on the couch with your arm elbow deep in a box of FartTarts. When taking your vows to love, honor and cherish your health, don't be a runaway bride. Here is the key to unlocking a healthy heart.
The Habitual Date Breaker. Are you that friend that has an excuse for everything - even exercise? Perhaps the trainer you have been working with for years is no longer practicing, or the gym where everyone knew your name — your very own "Chiseled Chest Cheers" — closed it's doors for business. It is time to break up with your lame exercise excuses, slip out of your comfort zone and give yourself a physical and mental stretch. It's better to hear the tough love from me then from your doctor who wants to put you on heart medication after a few funky blood test results. You have an obligation to take care of yourself, for better or for worse. Furthermore, you need to love the body you live in. Excuses are like running next to that guy who never washes his eau de not flushed toilette gym clothes - they stink. It is time to take the first step in the direction of your dream derriere. How do you intend to fall in love with fitness if you don't put yourself in a position to prosper?
It's Not You, It's Me. You mustered up the courage to attend a not-so Zen Yoga session. Mid-class you are confronted with the sad truth that you have the flexibility of a crowbar and the maturity level of a five year old because you nervously giggle whenever the instructor says, "Om" in a disturbingly deep voice that would put Chewbacca to shame. Just know that not every class or aerobic routine will earn your affection and devotion. Sometimes it's important to dabble and date outside of your comfort zone. Nothing turns off a commit-to-be-fit-phobe quite like monotony. Switch up your routine often to keep the boredom boogiemen at bay. If you eat vanilla ice cream everyday, your cholesterol levels will go up and your love for la leche will go down. Sometimes you need to add sprinkles to the mix in order to keep your taste buds tantalized. If running is your routine of choice, constantly change the scenery of your run. Try to explore other cardio options as well in order to protect your joints from overuse injuries. For example, run three days a week and bike on the days in between. Do upper body exercises Monday and Wednesday and the rowing machine to target similar muscles on Friday.
Fit Your Fancy. As with any relationship, it is crucial to invest your time into something that is capable of fulfilling your needs. Experiment with a variety of group fitness classes and individual exercises until you meet your match. For example, if a routine that targets your abs and legs is what you long for, inquire at the gym's front desk about which classes are suitable to fit your needs. Once you find a class that hones in on your specific goals, test it out. I find most clients are ready to roll with any routine that will yield fast results. That being said, you must be patient in seeing your relationship with exercise bloom. Ease into your new exercises in order to avoid the feeling of things moving too fast. One day you are doing lunges, the next your trainer has moved into your studio apartment and has stashed her "girl" products in your medicine cabinet. Begin with a manageable exercise schedule - three times a week is a good starting point. Pledge to yourself that you will try a new class or exercise once a week. Once you find a few you enjoy, they will be added to your three sets of fifteen rep-ertoire. Continue to research exercises that will keep your interest piqued and your body guessing. Find what will motivate you to keep moving and stick with it.
Don't let your ambition to exercise croak just because you have to kiss a lot of fitness frogs.