Exercising is not what most people like to do. I know that might be shocking to hear from an exercise enthusiast. But I know it's true. (even though it hurts my heart)
Now this next statement might shock you more….several times last week I had to talk myself into working out. I kept waking up with a million excuses for what I should be doing instead of my workout. I let myself slack off the first day thinking maybe I was just tired. But when I woke up on Tuesday with the same excuses I had a serious conversation with myself.
I figured out that the program I’m doing is too intense for me. I’m constantly trying new types of exercises and/or new exercise programs.
Currently, I’m trying a version of yoga. Think holding your body up through a variety of continuous movements NOT relaxing stretches type of yoga. The program is absolutely amazing! But it’s incredibly hard. It is hard on my arm, abdominal muscle and legs and hard on my endurance. I’ve loved the results up to this point. I am more flexible and I’m getting stronger blah blah blah….so why was I having to talk myself into doing it????
The intensity was way too high for me. I struggle to finish the number of sets/ rep. It takes me FOREVER to recover from each circuit which makes the workout take longer than I have time for in the morning.
So during my “serious” conversation with myself I had to remind myself. It’s more important for me to get up and do something. It’s not as important for me to go ALL OUT every morning. It is not necessary for me to constantly be a puddle on the floor for my body to see changes.
My life, like many mom’s, is very full with family and work. It is hard to set aside time and energy for a workout. I fully understand and appreciate that my physical health is important. BUT the intensity of my workout shouldn’t be so high that I forgo my workout all together.
I realized that the idea of having to force myself to push hard enough to finish the full program as its written was overwhelming me. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it so I didn’t want to waste my time trying.
This is the same conversation I have with my clients. So many people start an exercise program that for one reason is too hard for them.
They could have difficulty with:
Most people associate being overwhelmed by an exercise program to only be for people new to exercising. But it can happen to anyone trying a new program or routine.
Anyone can try a new exercise program and get injured, or feel anxious/ intimidated by the difficulty of the program.
And exercise intensity is important. If you’re lifting weights and you're not struggling to lift the weight at the end of the set, then you're not getting the full benefit of lifting that weight. If you're doing a cardio exercise and you can have a full conversation with difficulty then you are not getting the full benefit from the exercise.
Frequency is important. Ideally we should be doing some form of exercise everyday.
HOWEVER, if the program is so intense that you’re hurting yourself or if you dread going. Then that program is too intense for you.
Many exercise programs now are built around the idea of HIIT (high intensity interval training). This is an amazing training style for the 20-30 year old population. It has been found to improve muscle and cardiovascular strength.
If you’re 40 + years old that style might be causing your body to break down due to normal hormonal changes. At 40 years old estrogen and testosterone levels start to decline. In terms of exercise, what that means is your muscles need longer to recover.
That's right! You don’t have to workout to the point of being a puddle on the floor to get the amazing benefits of exercising. In fact if you workout in the “fat burning” zone (breathing hard enough to have difficulty saying a full sentence) that’s ideal for your health benefits.
And it's not necessary to workout at that level every day. Spending time stretching and recovering is also important. So for frequency of exercise..”exercise” can be stretching, lifting weights, cardio, and or spending the day cleaning.
Staying active throughout your life is very important for your mental, emotional and physical health. However, picking an exercise program that makes you feel overwhelmed physically or emotionally is not needed.
Staying active should be fun and should be adding joy to your life. If you’re always tired or overwhelmed by your workout program that’s an issue.
The real trick is finding something that you enjoy, that challenges you, that encourages you, that empowers you to continue on your health journey.
If you feel overwhelmed by the exercise programs you’ve tried in the past and you’d like a more personalized exercise program click button below to set up a phone consultation with me. I can create an exercise program specifically for you taking into consideration any chronic injuries, your health goals, time restraints and equipment preferences. Simply click the link and fill out the form that allows you to pick your preferred call time. I look forward to hearing from you.
WE HELP ACTIVE ADULTS OVERCOME THEIR ACHES AND PAINS TO GET THEM BACK TO THEIR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES WITHOUT MEDICATION, INJECTIONS OR SURGERIES.
Dr. Molly McDonald