How too much enthusiasm and inspiration can lead to health fitness drudgery.

 


by STEFAN ANGHELI, editor

Sadly, too often I see people full of enthusiasm and hope, fail to achieve their health fitness goals. These are almost the same individuals who only months ago walked into a gym with more enthusiasm than Maradona at a Colombian party and with as much aspiration to succeed than Gandhi at an English convention. But what happened in the meantime that made these individuals quit?

I can answer this question unfortunately from first hand experience. Having excitedly decided to take up running about three years ago, I went to a running track nearby my house. Remembering how fit I was years ago (back in my high school days) and how relatively small the track distance was compared to what I was used to, I was determined to finish the entire track. Yes, I did finish running the entire track, but later I hoped I didn't. I never ran again for about a year. Why?

Struggling to finish the distance and hoping to make this workout a major success, I worked myself to death. Instead of running conveying messages of health and energy, it was clear to me at the time that running caused headaches and lethargy. It was no wonder I never ran again. I think one of the main causes of fitness failure is that these newcomers to the fitness circles failed to condition positive emotions relating to their fitness experience. Instead they condition feelings of negativity through tiredness, pain and relatively small results. Turning feelings of enthusiasm and hope into ones of pain and frustration is apparently an easy task. But how?

You see the beginner will walk into the gym with his new Nikes, water bottle and towel ready at his disposal, full of excitement and hope. Sounds good so far. The story sours when this individual will inevitably try every machine in sight, perform a monster two-hour session, and go to their limit the very first time.
What they fail to realize is that it took them years of neglecting their health through inactivity and bad food choices to feel and look that way. It's going to take some time before you see satisfactory results.

Remember you are not going to lose any fat or gain any muscle in this first visit, or even in your fifth visit for that matter. Fitness is a long-term progression; it's a lifestyle. You must first condition your brain to link positive emotions to your health fitness experience. You must first condition your brain to think that exercising is the best, most fun thing to do in the world. Much better than sitting on the couch watching the box with your favorite brand chips. This is especially crucial at the beginning of your fitness program.

You've heard of the saying that 'first impressions last' well nothing could be closer to the truth when it comes to your health fitness program. The beginning of your fitness program is the time when your brain makes up its mind and associates pleasure or pain with this activity. So you have to prove yourself right. "I told you this was going to be energizing and fun", you must say to yourself after walking away from the gym.

Some people exercise with the mentality that exercise is boring and an exhausting stress, and what do you know, it is. They push themselves too far, too early and inevitably end up quitting exercising soon after. They believe that exercise must be hard and the harder it is the better. They reassure this every time they finish a workout; conditioning the exercise is too hard response. If you ask a marathon runner what he thinks of running a marathon, without even thinking it he'll tell you he loves it. He really enjoys what he does and so should you.

In order to have health fitness become a part of your life, you must enjoy that activity to the fullest. Your early goal at the gym is to have an immense amount of fun with least discomfort and condition the habit by positive reinforcement. Your goal should be to condition yourself to go to the gym regularly and there's no easier way than to do that than by simply having fun.

At the beginning just getting to the workout should spell success. Whether you walk for ten minutes or more is a bonus. Some of the things you can do to have more fun is to listen to your favorite music, read your favorite magazine while mildly working out. The key word is 'mildly'. Health fitness should be a long-term lifestyle change. Your body and mind will love you for it.

Remember love what you do. It's your love for health fitness that will inevitably give you the greatest results, not slavery to it. What do you think?

Stefan Angheli
Editor healthfitness.com.au

 


Instead of running conveying messages of health and energy, it was clear to me at the time that running caused headaches and lethargy. It was no wonder I never ran again.
I think one of the main causes of fitness failure is that these newcomers to the fitness circles failed to condition positive emotions relating to their fitness experience.

Remember you are not going to lose any fat or gain any muscle in the first visit to the gym, or even in your fifth visit for that matter.
Fitness is a long-term progression; it's a lifestyle.
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