When I talk to people about exercise, just the word is often met with a sigh. It seems like this huge thing weighing us down. Ugh, I wish I had the time. I’m too heavy to exercise. I need someone to push me. I’m too lazy to exercise.
The word exercise literally means to train or to practice. It is like anything else that enriches our lives—taking up a new hobby, learning a musical instrument, reading a book. We take time to do these activities because we want some part of our life to be better, easier, or more fun. Exercise is simply taking time to give your body the strength, stamina, and mobility to enjoy life with a bit more ease. When designed well, it also gives your brain what it needs to be more focused, calm, creative, and optimistic.
Sounds great, but what if your experience with exercise has only given you more pain, fatigue, and disappointment? I find there are two main factors that turn exercise from a life-enriching activity to a life-draining activity. One is the misconceptions about how to exercise. The second is using an athletic approach when just trying to be healthy and well.
The body makes sense. When we move it in the way it was designed, exercise leaves us feeling better physical and mentally, right away. String together bouts of this kind of exercise and you discover fitness you can live with!
To excel in a sport and have that competitive edge, exercise training needs to be very specific, each detail needs to be considered and controlled. To be healthier, feel and live better, be more content with ourselves, even to lose weight, exercise does not need to be complicated. If exercise seems complicated and hard, you are probably doing athletic training.
Life is complicated enough. Exercise based on misconceptions and misdirected goals complicates it further. Exercising in the way your body was designed, for the goals you want, simplifies it.