Can you Teach me to LIKE Exercise?

Per a question I received on Facebook, I thought I give a few pointers on what to do if you don’t like to exercise.

I know S, as we’ll call her, made the comment “Okay now you need to teach me to like exercise!!” more as a joke.  But since I’ve got some experience in this, both with myself and clients, I though I’d offer up a few strategies to, potentially, get you to liking exercise.

Dude, you clearly haven't read the rest of this article.

5 Ways to Teach yourself how to LIKE Exercise

1) exercise with a friend or group.  This is one of the main reasons CrossFit has become so popular – it involves group training with creates camaraderie.  And it’s important that this group or friend of yours holds you accountable and that you meet at a certain time.  By the way, studies confirm that exercising with a friend or group increases ones chance of success.

2) participate in a sport.  No offense to my homeboy Greg Liddle, but by sport I don’t mean Bowling.  I actually fully agree that bowling is a sport, but sadly it won’t do much in the way of helping you achieve your physique goals.  Instead, pick a sport that burns more Calories.  For example, tennis, basketball, boxing/kick-boxing, BMX, mountain biking, road biking, running (although it’s not my fave in terms of longevity, but I’ll save that tangent for another day), surfing, skim boarding, volleyball, golf (especially if you’re as bad as me and have to chase your balls around everywhere), or even dancing.

The point is, pick up a new sport or resurrect an old one you used to do (like I recently did with BMX).  You don’t have to be good at all, you just have to get moving!

How can you help but to have fun rollerskating!!

3) grind it out for one month.  This strategy is actually brilliant, and founded in science.  We are creatures of habit.  We don’t think about what we’re gonna do nearly as often as just doing what we’re used to.  Where do you go after work each day?  Where ever it is, you probably go out of habit.  And if you’re not in the shape you want to be in, then it’s not a very good habit for your physique, evidently.  The fix is simple, replace your old unproductive habit with a new, productive habit…like going to the gym.

The cool thing is, after about a month of going to the gym after work, you won’t even think about it any more…you’ll just go to the gym.

See how much FUN music can be?!

It’s all about creating the right HABITS!

4) treat yourself to a cool new iPod and fill that bad boy up with songs that energize you, and interesting audiobooks to entertain you during lower-intensity exercise. This tip right here has SAVED ME when it comes to fitness!

5) use the above 4 tips to stick to a sound fitness regime until you start to see the fruits of your labor.  I’m telling you – when you start seeing your body lookin’ good in the mirror, you will not even thinking about going back to your old ways!  Once you’ve been built really well, you’ll raise your standards in terms of what you’ll accept in terms of your physique’s appearance.  So get in bad ass shape just once, then you’ll be hooked…THEN working out is fun :)

Hopefully you’ll find at least a couple of these tips beneficial.

If you’ve overcome “not liking to exercise,” please share your tips down below.

Your friend in fitness,

Dr Clay

Tips for Re-finding Your Motivation

Tony Robbins often mentions how people have to get “fed up” before they are motivated enough and truly ready to make a change.  So the question is…are you fed up?

Motivation combined with Action allows you to enjoy the view from the top.
Motivation combined with Action allows you to enjoy the view from the top.

If you haven’t exercised in a while and find it tough to get going, realize that you are suffering from what we exercise science nerds call sedentary inertia.  This means that your body is essentially being governed by Newton’s First Law of Motion – a body at rest will remain at rest until acted upon by an outside force.

That means that if your body isn’t in motion, it will unfortunately want to stay that way.

However, once you (re)experience what it feels like to be active and full of life again, you will want to keep moving!  And that reminds me of the other portion of Newton’s First Law – an object in motion will remain in motion

Forget motivation!  Let’s talk ACTION!

Here’s the KEY: take action so that you get to the point where exercising (or eating right) is a HABIT – about 30 days usually does the trick.  At that point both you and your body will want to keep going!

On a slightly different note, research has shown that people do better with small changes as opposed to huge, often overwhelming changes.

If you’re just starting back, why don’t you start by walking for 30 minutes every day?  Or how about stretching for 15 minutes each night?  After about 4 weeks that will be a habit upon which you can add another good habit, like only eating dessert once per week.

Remember this: Every choice you make either takes you one step closer to your goal or one step further away.  When deciding whether to train or not to train, to eat a hamburger or grilled chicken, just remember that you can either step backwards, or you can step forward – the choice is yours.

Yours in fitness,
Dr Clay