“Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate.” ~Charles Schulz
“I have never thought of participating in sports just for the sake of doing it for exercise or as a means to lose weight. And I’ve never taken up a sport just because it was a social fad. I really enjoy playing. It is a vital part of my life.” ~Dinah Shore
Many of us have used exercise as a way to try to lose weight or to become more attractive, or to enhance our sense of self-worth, or simply because we think we should. And, as a result, many of us have become “exercise resistant.”
Most people view this “exercise resistance” as a behavioral problem or worse, a character flaw. The cures proposed for this resistance — education, motivation, and other behavioral strategies — tend to backfire and make the resistance stronger. We then wonder why we can’t get moving, and we end up feeling worse about ourselves. To become joyfully active, we need to move away from these supposed cures, away from the “shoulds” and “have to’s.”
We are more likely to become active if we are doing something we truly enjoy. Imagine how you might feel if, rather than exercising to lose weight or shape your body, you began exercising simply because it feels good? Or because it gives you more energy? Or for the sense of self-mastery that can come from physical activity? Or simply because it is fun?!
Making a “move” toward fun activity (we like to call it “play”) instead of forcing yourself to exercise is the easiest way to be joyfully active for the rest of your life.
Tip: Begin to explore movement that you would truly enjoy doing. Try some activities with the goal of simply having fun. Sit on a bench at a playground, notice the laughter, feel the energy.
Affirming Statement: “I am joyfully active.”
Nutrition therapists Amy Tuttle, RD, LCSW and Karin Kratina, RD, PhD provide no-diet articles and resources including “Stay Attuned: The E-zine for Nourishing Connections” at their Nourishing Connections website.