Ask a Trainer: I hate exercise

What are some things you can do to change that?

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  • | 8:32 a.m. July 16, 2015
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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So you don’t want to be a bodybuilder or a fitness competitor? You’re not aiming to walk the runway at Park Avenue Fashion Week? Six-pack abs sound nice, but a six pack of Budweiser sounds better. “Better make that Bud Light. I’m getting healthier this year. But, I hate exercise!”

If this sounds like you, you’re like 80 percent of the adults in Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2013 that only 20 percent of adults in Florida meet the aerobic and muscle strengthening guidelines. So it seems that there are a lot of your neighbors that also don’t like exercise. The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans outlines that we should be doing 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week, coupled with two or more days per week of muscle strengthening activities that engage every muscle of the body. And furthermore, blah blah blah…. Have I lost you with all of the technical stuff? Maybe you’re still reading here, but instead of retaining this information you’re just thinking, “But I still hate exercise!”

OK, OK. What are some things you can do to change that? One thing is to reframe the context of exercise. We already determined that you don’t want to be a bodybuilder, fitness competitor or runway model, right? But fill in the blank here: “Exercise sucks, but sucks more.” Cardiovascular disease? (The leading cause of death in the U.S.) Stress? High cholesterol? Diabetes? Being overweight? Inability to sleep? I vote that they’re all worse than exercise!

Exercise, along with a healthy diet, can correct or drastically decrease the chances of all of those. Would you rather get in a little exercise several times per week or sit with a doctor awaiting news that you hope “isn’t that bad”?

What if by getting in some exercise you could decrease your chances of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, lower your stress and cholesterol levels, lose weight and (not or) sleep better? This is where the announcer says, “But wait, there’s more! If you act now, you can also increase your energy and positivity levels and improve your sex life! But, that’s not all! Exercise can be fun!”

“Exercise fun?! Now you’ve gone too far,” you’re thinking.

Stop setting yourself up for failure with the unrealistic expectations of tanned perfect bodies you see on the 3 a.m. infomercials. They’re selling you the dream, not the reality! Consider the real benefits of exercise and a healthy nutritional lifestyle and the weight (emotional and physical) will come off.

Exercise doesn’t have to be huffing away on a hamster wheel or going for a new personal best on the bench press. We live in such a beautiful area that it’s almost irresponsible not to get out and enjoy it! Have you walked or biked around Lake Sybelia in Maitland lately? Have you walked down Park Avenue (at a more brisk than window shopping pace) or around Central Park before all of the hustle and bustle?

Have you found a gym where you’re welcomed by name and isn’t intimidating? More boutique-style fitness facilities with a personal approach and helpful staff are popping up in our area. Many of our members at Anytime Fitness, Winter Park call us the “‘Cheers’ of gyms.” (Shameless plug, I know.) But finding friends to exercise with is a great way to keep you accountable and you’d be surprised how you can lose track of time during a workout when you’re chatting away! Friends + Fitness = Fun!

Most importantly, make fitness fun by trying new activities and finding out what you most enjoy that gets your heart rate up and challenges your muscles several times per week. If you need help or want suggestions, email us for a complimentary fitness consultation at [email protected].

Turn the “I hate exercise” into “I heart exercise!”

Patrick McGaha Jr., member experience manager at Anytime Fitness, Winter Park, is dedicated to building a welcoming environment in the club, conducive to helping members and clients reach their health fitness goals. To get your fitness and nutrition related questions answered by a certified personal trainer, or for a free personal training session, call us at 321-972-5833 or email [email protected].