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A large percentage of people who begin an exercise program eventually stop it. Their program gets interrupted by illness, injury, the holidays, or when they are starting a family. It can be an on and off again affair, and when we are in an off period there is inevitably a lot of negative talk and doubt over whether we will ever exercise again. This can lead to frustration, a lack of results, and ultimately our health can suffer the consequences.

Your exercise program should not be about creating stress; it should be about fun and fitness.

One of the skills that is most valuable for people who are “regular exercisers” is their ability to bounce back. They have repeatedly practiced recovering from periods of exercise interruption and successfully resumed their program. They become confident that no matter what, they can resume exercise and this confidence is part of building a passion for exercise. The passion is so strong that when they’re not exercising, they crave it like a cold drink on a hot day. This becomes one of the most useful skills when your goal is to make exercise a permanent part of your life. The days of guilt, laziness or feelings of self-doubt are replaced by a feeling of control, self-confidence and knowing I’m in the driver’s seat.

An exercise program that fits you is one of the most important pieces to becoming consistent. Exercise is like clothing; it’s important to have your own style of dress.

To help find your ideal exercise program that will build self-confidence and regular exercise success, ask yourself several questions:

1. Does your fitness program match your fitness goal?

What do you want from exercise? If you want health and wellness you don’t need to train like a pro athlete, but if you’re aiming to compete in a marathon the focus of exercise would be very different. Matching your program to your goal is very important.

2. Are you training one part of your body or training your whole person?

Most people become very focused on one system whether it’s building muscles or improving their cardiovascular system. The Ornish Program teaches us a balanced approach to health and wellness, and the same goes for the fitness element of the spectrum. It provides us with the most benefit to have a balanced approach with fitness to get maximum benefit.

3. Does your training schedule fit your busy schedule?

Often the most consistent exercisers have the most daunting schedules. The days of using a busy schedule as an excuse have passed. If your job, children, or responsibilities make training difficult, then plan around them. If you don’t have time for two hours at the gym, then exercise at home. If it’s too boring at home, then find a with whom friend to work out. Your exercise program should not be about creating stress; it should be about fun and fitness. Make it easy on yourself and find the path of least resistance.

4. Does your training program carry over into your daily life?

Unless you are a piano mover, you don’t need a heavy weight-lifting program (unless you enjoy it). Unless you’re a triathlete, you don’t need to push your endurance to the point of joint damage (unless it feeds your soul).

Instead of proving anything to anyone, decide on what is important to you, for now and for your future, and train for that. The more your training program improves how you think, feel and move in your daily life, the more likely you’ll be able to stick with it.

What’s your most powerful tool in bouncing from an exercise slump?

Contributed by

Phil Hardesty
Exercise Physiologist

Have a healthy, happy and fit week!!

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