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5 Steps to Loving Exercise

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5 Steps to Loving Exercise

By (@writergdw), Experience Life

They say that love can move mountains. Well, if you discover an activity that you love, it can convince you to move more, too — even if you’ve never enjoyed exercise in the past.

When it comes to careers, relationships and hobbies, most of us understand that if we’re going to stick with something and get good at it, we need to have some passion for it. Yet few people apply this concept to their fitness pursuits: Instead, they slog through routines that bore or frustrate them when they could be enjoying fun, active pastimes that engage their bodies and minds, and stoke their spirits.

“I think most people define exercise far too narrowly,” says fitness instructor Tim Haft, MA, CPT, whose specialty is helping people find their fitness passions. “People assume that enjoyment is irrelevant, and that exercise is like medicine — you just have to grin and bear it,” the former New York University career counselor explains. As a result, he notes, people rule out fun activities that in fact are probably ideal exercise for them.

For the Fun of It

“Maybe in the past you loved gardening, playing outdoors or riding your bike,” says Michelle Cleere, PhD, an exercise and sports psychologist who helps clients overcome anxiety, burnout and other obstacles to reach their fitness goals. All those hobbies, she says, count as exercise if you do them deliberately and at an intensity that gets your heart rate up and your muscles working. “It’s easy to overlook fun activities because you don’t consider them fitness related,” she adds.

“Say you go out for a run, and you find it painful and boring,” says Charlotte Hilton Andersen, author of The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything (Clerisy Press, 2011). “You’ll assume you hate exercise because you hate running.”

This, she asserts, is the mistake many people make when it comes to fitness: People assume they dislike all exercise because they haven’t found that one thing that really inspires them. And that’s a shame, says Andersen, because “life is too short to hate what you’re doing.”

Of course, if finding the perfect exercise match was easy, everybody would have done it by now. Typically, it requires both self-reflection and experimentation. We enlisted the help of sports psychologists, physiologists, personal trainers, life coaches and other experts to develop the five guiding questions that follow, as well as a downloadable flowchart.

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Megan, selected from Experience Life

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

142 comments

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10:08AM PDT on Aug 28, 2012

Very good article , thanx for sharing Megan.

1:14PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:14PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:13PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:12PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:12PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:11PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

1:11PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for article.

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Back here again as both the Daily Actions were things that I have done before. There are so many varieties of exercise that one can find several to suit one's mood and outdoors really is my preference when the weather gets warm!

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

The obstacles to fitness, well it depends-was going to Tai Chi and it began at nine in the morning, now scheduled at eleven which is more my style but then got to going to bed anywhere from four to seven in the morning and getting up to drive out of town-well that was difficult and ended up not going anymore. There are videos one can watch and do this while on the computer but it is pleasant to with other people, so much more room than my apartment which does not have much in the way of free space.

Love to walk but have not gotten out much but now that the weather has drastically improved and one is not freezing out there and the grass is green with blossoms coming out on the trees it is certainly more conducive to walking by the river at the park.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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