I often talk about habit when it comes to exercise and pretty much all things health. It is after all where we need to get to if we want success. If you do something like exercise enough, you will impact your life in a positive way long term, which is the goal right?
Maybe some of us have kind of dabbled in health and fitness. Perhaps you jumped in to ‘The Amazing Watermelon Diet of the Stars’ from the weekly mag, or you took up a routine because ‘Pilates is the answer to that flat belly you’ve always dreamt of’ was a great segment on the prime time ‘health show’. Or perhaps it was the ‘Go hard or go home’ flyer of the ubiquitous 6 week challenge at the local gym that hooked you in. All these things we probably okay until it didn’t do what it was supposed to do or it was unsustainable or it simply just finished.
The problem is these little ‘hacks’ are usually nothing more than temporary distractions that never seem to stick because they are in fact just distractions that over promise and under deliver.
I believe it all goes back one of two things that most people lack the ability to do. I know that sounds harsh, that bit about ‘most’, but look around you and add up how many people you know who are regular exercisers, like have been doing it for many years without ever really stopping? I reckon there won’t be a lot. One thing that is usually lacking is the ability to mentally make the case for exercise so compelling that you simply couldn’t exist satisfactorily without it. This takes critical thinking, which I believe is scarce. There are perhaps many reasons for this, in this day and age which I won’t get in to here, but the facts are that if one thinks about and researches the benefits of regular exercise, one will inevitably come to the inescapable conclusion that it is a ‘must do’. Hence the birth of the new habit.
The second ability which could help it get done too, is perhaps the opposite to the first and it is a simple ‘trust it and do it’ kind of thing. We all know exercising can be uncomfortable at times and hard, which is of course a big part of why people stop and start or never start. But the true ‘trust it’ kind of person doesn’t need to deliberate or debate, they just accept it because an authority that resonates with them convinced them easily and the old ‘Nike’ behavioural command of ‘Just do it’ kicks in.
The fact is that both of these approaches lead to the road that is habit and a life time commitment to the one thing that can have the biggest impact on your life bar nothing. Perhaps spiritual enlightenment could be considered a higher calling and I am not going to debate that one either, and in fact am happy to say, may be does it trump it. It is still pretty good to be number 2. But besides that, I would argue that the spiritually enlightened make up a large proportion of those who really get the exercise thing anyway, so it’s kind of 2 for 1 package deal.
The video above is a quick (well in tik tok terms, it isn’t quick! Don’t worry it’s actually on You Tube) summary of a whole body strength training program. This could just be the ticket for the start of a new habit for you. As far as a one size fits all thing (which I don’t really recommend), the routine I describe and demonstrate has a basic ‘primal movement pattern’ structure. The ‘shape’ of the routine could in the end be considered universally useful if not every exercise one you should do. The specific exercises can be changed, but if you want to move well with muscles that don’t atrophy, then you could do worse than follow it. Disclaimer: These exercises may or may not be appropriate to you individually depending on your personal circumstances. Seek professional advice first for sure.
I would be happy for any feedback.