Exercise- How To Maybe Not Hate It So Much

Working out can be a daunting task. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning the mere idea of getting off the couch to make myself food seems like an insurmountable task; and that’s before I factor in my achy joints that think I’m 40 years older than I really am. I really can’t blame anyone who doesn’t exercise; sometimes it’s really no fun at all. But when you are reaching for a goal sometimes you have to do things you don’t necessary want to do. But how on earth do you get started?

The first step is to actually get started.

It probably won’t be fun… you’ll probably want to punch the instructor of whatever exercise DVD you choose to do (I’m talking to you Jillian Michaels); you’ll probably want to shorten your runs because “you’re just not feeling it today”; you’ll probably want to reward yourself with an extra day off to celebrate the fact that you worked out a few days in a row.

The next step is to not stop working out.

I’ve found that scheduling a day off (I do Sunday’s) is enough of a rest. The only other time I’ll skip a workout is if I’m sick or injured. Don’t let me steer you wrong, it’s not the end of the world to skip a workout providing you can get back in your routine. But if you are just starting out you might benefit from sucking it up and doing your workouts even when you don’t want to. I had to do this for a couple months. The result was that it became such a habit that I began to dread my workouts less and less… it’s just that thing I do in the mornings now… it’s second nature. Now I’m at a point where I have no clue how I ever didn’t work out. I wish this feeling upon everyone on the planet… because it’s awesome. I can’t lie and say I never skipped workouts, but I do it less and less now. In fact I haven’t skipped a work out for over a month now (an accomplishment I am overly proud of).

The art of fine-tuning your workout– listen to your body.

Anyone that tells you that you NEED to work out for hours upon hours a day and burn x amount of calories in order to be fit is, quite frankly, a ding-bat. Part of making a healthy life-style work for you is listening to your body and knowing your limits. If I spent 4 hours a day exercising I’d probably get in shape a lot faster, but I’d probably also be miserable and tired and my DVR would overfloweth with late night melodramas. On the other side of the coin, if someone loves spending time at the gym and working out 4 hours a day, as long as they are properly fueling those workouts there is nothing wrong with that either. You have to find out what works for you and your schedule.

With this idea also comes knowing when you NEED to rest. Are you about to puke? Maybe take a breather there, buddy. Just feeling lazy and want to stop so you can watch Letterman? Get your ass back on that weight bench and quite whining. It’s also important to know the difference between muscle soreness and muscle pain. Soreness = good (as long as it’s not lasting FOREVER) pain = bad. It might take a while for you to figure out a routine and schedule that works for you and your body while still allowing for ample DVR time. But once you figure it out everything gets easier.

Push yourself daily

I’m the first to admit there are days where I pull back a little so that I don’t want to die, but can still say I did my workout. But the truth is that in order to improve, you have to push yourself. If you do the same run everyday at the same speed for the same amount of time, all you are going to do is become more efficient and doing that same run everyday at the same speed for the same amount of time. Try running faster. Try running up a hill. Try intervals (this is what I do.. it helps with the feeling that death is coming for me that I get when I run).

The same goes for lifting. Lifting the same amount of weight every workout will only do so much. But increase that weight every few workouts and your muscles will scream.. and screaming is good.. it’s means they are getting stronger.

And most of all…

Have fun! If you are doing something you hate… chances are you are less likely to do it. So find something you enjoy doing so that your workouts become less of a chore. But don’t limit yourself. I use to HATE running. But now… I only slightly dislike it… change can happen, my friends

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On Being Awesome

 

It might be true that Barney Stinson is a womanizing and absurd fictional character, but he has a point.

How often do you put yourself down? How often to you make yourself feel worthless for this, that and the other reason? A lot, right?

Well, stop it.

There’s something to be said where knowing where your faults lie. It can come in handy in all sorts of situations: from the workplace to the impending zombie apocalypse (“I’m not skilled in jamming an axe into a person’s head.. you do that …and maybe I should loot that HoHo factory instead.. win win”) It’s our tendency to dwell in those faults and shortcomings and can be the problem.

Why do we focus on the negative?

To be honest, I don’t have the answer to that question. The true answer to that probably differs slightly from person to person but I have a feeling it centers around the idea of unrealistic expectations for ourselves and inaccurate views of others. I’m willing to do bet everything I own that there is not a single person in this world that has it all figured out. I think the closest you can get to having it all figured out is realizing that you will never have it all figured out and accepting where you are at any given point in life. But rather than realizing this, we look at others and see something going well for them and instantly we think “this person… they know what they are doing.. their life must be perfect.. why can’t my life be perfect”. And in our endless pursuit of “the perfect life” we get some bumps and bruises (literally and figuratively). But when we try with all our might and we still can’t reach perfection… we blame ourselves.

Let’s be fair. There are instances where you should blame yourself for things…. like if you try to commit fraud and then get pissy because you end up in jail. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when you feel like you are a waste of space because of whatever reason. I’m talking about when you feel like you don’t matter. I’m talking about when you feel like giving up because you aren’t perfect. I think we focus on these things because we don’t know what else to focus on. Our thought is that if we can’t blame someone else… we have to blame ourselves.

You don’t have to be perfect

The truth is… it’s silly to blame yourself for not being perfect. No one is perfectThe sooner you can accept the fact that you will never become some sort of outlandish example of perfection, the better off you will be.

Are you working towards bettering yourself? If you are, then good. You’re on the right path. If you’re not…. now seems like a great time to start. Because that is all we can do…. work each day to better ourselves both mentally and physically. So you might mess up from time to time. The world is not going to end because you screwed up. I promise you.. it won’t. All you have to do is pick yourself up and keep trying. And if you do that.. you are the closest thing that I can think of to being perfect: willing to acknowledge mistakes, learning from them, and working towards a better life.

Now… back to Barney Stinson

You might be asking yourself at this point: how can I possibly continue to pick myself up after each failure? after each humiliation? after each let down? The answer is because you are awesome… and awesome people don’t let the world stand in their way. So when something happens to you that is less than “perfect”… be awesome and allow yourself to move past it. It might take some time. It might be painful to keep going… but no one said being awesome was easy.