“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.” ~Charles Schulz
“I have never thought of participating in sports just for the sake of doing it for exercise or as a means to lose weight. And I've never taken up a sport just because it was a social fad. I really enjoy playing. It is a vital part of my life.”
Many of us have used exercise as a way to lose weight or shape the body, or to enhance our sense of self-worth, or simply because we think we should. It's not fun, and we don't think it is supposed to be.
You may think you are lazy or have a character flaw, and need to force yourself to get to the gym. But what if you have actually become "exercise resistant?" All that lack of fun, and watching the scale go no where may mean you have lost interest in physical activity, and instead hang out on the couch.
Meanwhile, no doubt you've heard the cures for this so-called laziness: more education, a trainer, get to the gym before work, and more. But it seems these "cures" tend to backfire and make the resistance stronger. You then wonder why you can’t get moving, and end up feeling worse about yourself.
But we were all born with a desire to move - to stretch, and explore and hop and chase whatever meets our fancy. How can you get back to that?
Rather than focus on “shoulds” and “have to’s,” you are more likely to become active if you are doing something you truly enjoy. Imagine how you might feel if, rather than exercising to lose weight or shape your body, you began exercising simply because it feels good? Or because it gives you more energy? Or for the sense of self-mastery that can come from physical activity? Or simply because it is fun?!
Making a move toward fun activity instead of forcing yourself to exercise is the easiest way to be joyfully active for the rest of your life.
Take some time to think about what you like to do (and forget counting laps or measuring your heart rate). Like to shop? What about a weekly "recon" mission to walk the mall? Like to garden? Put together a few raised vegetable plots and tend to them every other day. Like to catch up on gossip? Find a similarly inclined friend and meet weekly for walks at the park or downtown.
You are limited only by your imagination. What about the local trampoline park? Play frisbee with your kids, or the dog? Walk a neighbor's dog who is having difficulty doing it themselves.
Forget the rules. Start having fun!
About Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LDN, SEP
Karin can help you escape food and body angst and learn to manage your eating and weight naturally. Visit www.EatingWisdom.com for free handouts, online courses and more tips on mindful, intuitive eating and healing disordered eating.
© 2018 Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, LD/N