Here’s a riddle for you:
Q: How is working out similar to going to the dentist?
A: For a lot of people, it’s like pulling teeth!
As Fozzie Bear would say, Woka, Woka!
Okay, so not that funny. But bear with me, Fozzie fans, because I can see I’ve touched a nerve.
I promise, no more dental (or bear) humor. Because this is serious: When it comes to working out, many people have difficulty getting motivated. This is something we’ve been discussing quite a bit over at TheSkiDiva.com. And with good reason, too. A lot of people would rather do anything than regularly exercise.
Consider this: According to a study done by the CDC, one in four Americans never exercise. Official guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate aerobic activity a week, plus two muscle strengthening sessions of any length.
As skiers, this makes no sense.
We should know better. I’m sure it’s what contributes to the plethora of articles after Labor Day to get in shape for ski season. But if you stay in shape all year, you’re already in shape. Plus there’s this: According to Medline.gov, exercise offers all the following benefits:
- Helps control your weight.
- Reduces your risk of heart diseases.
- Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Helps you quit smoking.
- Improves your mental health and mood.
- Helps keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.
- Strengthens your bones and muscles.
- Reduces your risk of some cancers
- Reduces your risk of falls.
- Improves your sleep.
- Improves your sexual health.
- Increases your chances of living longer.
That should be enough for motivation. But if it’s still not enough to get you off the couch, here are some things you can do to get yourself moving:
- Make an appointment to exercise. You’re more likely to do it if you have the time set aside. And don’t cancel for anything else. Make it a priority.
- Do something you enjoy. Working out doesn’t have to be boring. Make sure you include activities you can look forward to and even make you forget you’re working out — like dancing, hula hooping, or playing sports with family and friends.
- Get into your workout clothes. Once you’re dressed, it’s a lot easier to make yourself exercise.
- Give yourself a challenge to work toward. For example, if you register for a 5K, chances are better that you’ll get out and train.
- Exercise with a friend. A workout buddy holds you accountable for the time and effort you put into your workouts. And it also makes it a lot more more fun.
- Join a social networking site or online community. If you run, join a running site. Or if you swim, a site for swimming. This is a great way not only to stay motivated, but to learn more about your chosen activity. People who get this kind of online support are proven to lose up to three times more weight than people who go it alone.
- Get an app, one that tracks your progress over time. It’s motivating to see how far you’ve come.
- Try bribery. It works. If you exercise, give yourself some sort of reward. It’ll give you something to work toward.
- Don’t overdo. That can lead to injury, and that can give you another excuse not to work out. So take it easy. Start out slow, and build yourself up.
- Not knowing where to start can be a real roadblock. So if you’re not sure what to do, hire a personal trainer. They can help you develop goals and come up with a program that’s right for you.