Quick question - Name a four letter word starting with the letter a that is the “product of a workout”. If you are a fan of crossword puzzles I’m sure you’ve seen this one before. The answer? Why it’s ache, of course. No challenge there, but I think this gives us a little insight into the perceptions of many people, and possibly explains why they have such a difficult time with exercising in general.
Motivation is largely a matter of weighing the size and attraction of your goal against the effort and discomfort required to achieve it. Much of this occurs on the subconscious level which may require the formation of positive habits to work. But what if your initial assumptions themselves are incorrect? How can this change the whole equation, and nip your rosy expectations right in the bud?
The negative aspects of working out, with all its conjurations of sweaty, stinking, toiling, gasping, and straining, and the resultant fatigue and soreness – are all clearly perpetuated by non-practitioners; this is not what regular adherents experience at all. The reality is actually just the opposite.
Why do non-exercisers cling to this misbelief? Certainly not because of the information they receive from the experts. The media may be another story however. I feel that the true underlying reason is because some people never are able to continue a program long enough to experience the positive results of it. In the beginning, as your body is adapting to this new form of stress there will probably be a degree of soreness experienced as you bring these dormant muscles to life. This is only clearly noticeable in the very early stages however- usually for a couple weeks, or when you are deliberately undergoing extreme training for some competitive event. (Of course that has it’s own rewards.)
Ask any lifelong exerciser how their routine makes them feel. You might be surprized. Myself, though sometimes I may not feel like attacking the weights or the road, I proceed to do it anyway. I don’t do it so much for health, to avoid diseases, or even so that I look better, though that is a factor also of course The reason I work out is because of the way it makes me feel. I like the youthful strength, sturdiness and raw elemental energy it never fails to impart. And especially now that after attaining a considerable age (56) I look forward to the way it erases the aches and pains and stiffness of aging. In short – exactly the opposite of what that crossword expert predicted!
So if you hold a strong negative vision of yourself in a grueling painful program, try to take these words to heart and remember that after those few short weeks you will begin to feel better than you can ever remember feeling. Thats the reality of what an exercise program provides. It truly is addictive!
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