Yesterday I had a powerful conversation with one of our members at LSFW.
For context, objectively she’s been totally nailing it – attending 2+ times per week, getting stronger, and working hard.
The challenge for her, as it is for many people, is managing her mindset.
Her biggest obstacle was “I feel like I should like exercise more”, and because of that her attendance had slipped a little bit lately.
I see this on both sides of the coin.
On one hand, I wish everyone liked everything they did, and I understand how much harder things are when we don’t enjoy them.
If I could wave a magic wand, I’d make it so we only ever did things we enjoyed.
On the other hand, if you’re not consistently strength training 2-3x/wk, especially if you are over 40, you’re missing out on years of quality of life.
We all know strength training builds muscle and helps make everyday life easier. There’s also overwhelming evidence that strength training helps bone density, ligament strength, and even nervous system function as we age. Plus, when done intelligently like we do at LSFW, it helps reduce aches and pains, makes you more resilient to injury in the future, and improves hormone function, including insulin regulation.
It’s the closest thing we’ve got to the magic pill, and is the best investment you can make in getting the most out of your years.
I imagine if you went searching for the fountain of youth, instead of a tropical pond surrounded by gorgeous trees and waterfalls, you’d actually find a gym ;). Image – Wikipedia
The framework I have adopted, which resonated with this member when I shared it, is there are 3 areas of life that we need to manage, regardless of our enjoyment:
I would rather spend every dollar I make on awesome things and experiences, but I know that setting some aside for my future is important. Even though I don’t like it, I always add to my investments every month. Making this a habit now will make my later years much easier.
I also love my family, but sometimes our 10 year old, Liam, is a pain in the ass, and every single day with my wife Katja isn’t sunshine and rainbows. I don’t love having to set and enforce boundaries with Liam, and I don’t always love the effort that a loving relationship takes. It’s the effort we put in that makes the relationships incredible in the long run.
And same with health. I don’t have the same passion for my personal workouts as I did when I was 17, and I know that by strength training anyways I’ll continue to be healthy and capable to get the most out of life as I age.
Now, none of this is law. I am sure there are people who don’t take care of their health, don’t invest for their future, and don’t work on their relationships.
And some of them are probably pretty happy.
But I imagine they’re the exception, not the rule.
In David Bach’s book The Millionaire Next Door he has the guidelines of putting 10% of your paycheck into investments. Once you make it automatic, you don’t even miss that money from your bank each month.
If you invest 2-3 hours per week (which is only ~2% of a week) to make the rest of your life better, is that worth it to you?
If so, the question isn’t “how do I like this more?”.
It’s “how do I make this automatic so I do it even if I don’t love it?”.
LSFW is the Guelph’s personal training studio for people who don’t like gyms, and every time when someone gets started with us, once they book recurring appointments and make it automatic, a few months later they surprise themselves with how much they like it.
Ironically, the way to enjoy exercise more is to do it anyway, and give yourself the chance to be pleasantly surprised.
Once you get through the ruts you’ll be glad you persevered, will have the health and fitness to show for it, and will probably like exercise a lot more than you think you do.
Do you feel caught in a rut? Contact us to see how we can help get you back on track with your fitness journey.