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Friday, April 30, 2010

I Hate Exercise

This is exactly what one patient said to me this week.  He had exercised in the past, but it became such a chore that he absolutely abhorred it.

I probably have several other patients who clandestinely feel the same way.  Some grit their teeth, do everything they can to get out the door and do their walk, the same walk every day, because they know they need to do it for their health.  Others with those feelings may choose not to exercise at all.

I can understand that.  If I did the same workout every day, day in day out, month after month, I'd get bored.  I'd probably quit.

My mother gets on the treadmill for an hour five days a week.  She walks at 3.5 miles per hour, or a little faster, with maybe a 2% incline while watching TV.  That's her workout.  She rarely walks outdoors.  Somehow she sticks with it, but I think that after nearly two years it's getting a little monotonous for her.

I think exercise needs to be interesting in some way.  Whether it be choosing from a few different treadmill workouts, perhaps one with an incline or another with intervals, or doing different exercises, like golf one day, bicycling another, dancing the next, and so forth, mix it up!

That's what I love about triathlon.  There are three different sports to master -- swimming, bicycling, and running.  No two days in the row have the same exercise.

What I told my exercise loathing patient:  Just get up a couple times a day and go for a short walk, even if just for a few minutes -- it'll make you feel better.  I didn't use the word "exercise", because if I did he would likely tune me out completely.  And he even agreed, he could use the stress relief of a brief walk in the middle of the day.

Exercise needs not be a chore -- make it interesting and fun and it will be easier to keep the habit.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to admit - I have certain routines including eating the same thing for breakfast every day, driving the same route to work, etc. And for me I feel better about having the same exercise routine each week. Some of us folks enjoy being a bit boring. :-)

Anonymous said...

I have picked up rowing again, but I really, really hate the erg and lifting (both necessary if you want to be competitive).

I try to force myself to do these things (I even hired a personal trainer to force me to life) but they will always be chores for me.

In fact, now that I think about it, I know I'll never be such a competitive rower that it would be worth it to me to stick with these dreadfull chores forever.

In fact, I realize that I should just give up rowing because even though I love the rowing itself, I hate everything you have to do on land to stay with the sport. -victoria

romancemama said...

I am trying to figure out what to do. All the experts say "do something you enjoy" -- there is no exercise I enjoy. I'd rather poke my eyes out with a sharp stick. I live in Fla -- it is 101 degrees with 95% humidity today. So nope, I am not walking. Is there anything I can do besides just staying fat and unhappy?