This is an interesting one because it is one of those habits I have not had to think about a lot personally. I always have gained great pleasure out of exercising throughout my life and on the rare occasions I have felt that I didn’t want to exercise I asked myself the question as to why?
Usually it has been that I have overdone things and needed a rest – particularly when I was competing in Olympic Weightlifting when I over trained on occasions. On those occasions it was necessary to rest as I was exercising up to 4 hours a day and 6 days a week! I had very specific goals in mind, so it was easier to keep on track. But when you have no specific goals in mind or when they are vague, then keeping your exercise habit is a lot harder.
Most importantly you must enjoy what you’re doing. People often choose an exercise program for the wrong reasons. Just because your friends exercise in a gym, swim, bike on run is not the right reason to exercise in the mode you choose. It definitely helps to have people to exercise with whose company you enjoy, but this is not the finite reason for your choice. Your own pleasure exercising in the mode of your choosing is more important in maintaining your exercise habit.
Also the reason that exercising is good for your health, although an important consideration, is too vague. As I said earlier, have very specific goals in mind…such as reaching a certain goal in both performance and physical measurements. To me personally it was performance levels that were paramount – my mantra was “It’s not what you look like, it’s what you do with it that’s important.” But I realize that it is not the most important reason to exercise for other people.
So choose goals that suit your needs and choose the right program that will take you there. So the right program is another important aspect of maintaining your exercise habit. These goals and the mode of exercise may change throughout the different phases of your life.
But the most important reason to exercise – and this is mostly completely overlooked by people in my profession is the feeling of self worth in continuing your exercise habit! Some people say that this ‘disease of the mind’ is the thing that holds people back from achieving their full potential – whether it is in physical or any other part of life?
Even with people who achieve great things in certain parts of their lives, they may not be happy or feel fulfilled in all parts. If you now ask the question as to whether this is possible then you are at the start of achieving this state of mind. The only thing holding you back is your lack of self belief and self worth. This is the key to achieving levels of performance that you may not have thought possible initially.
This subject would take a chapter of a book to fully explain, but think about these ideas for long term compliance to exercising throughout your life.