Nike got it exactly right when they launched their Just Do It slogan way back in 1988. Just three words that sum up the how and what of exercise. Just get off the sofa and move your body, because too much sitting is bad for your health. Simple.
Exercise is not some grand destination for which to pack our bags, cancel everything else and make extensive travel arrangements. It’s a step-by-step journey. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Exercise is waking up each morning and deciding, “What am I going to do today to be active?” And then doing it.
There is a difference between overthinking and planning. A little bit of planning can mean the difference between a workout that happens versus a workout that is missed. Busy schedules, childcare, appropriate training methods and injury prevention are some of the factors to be considered. Planning can help overcome the many excuses and barriers that stray us from exercise. Yet at the same time, we must avoid the trap of overthinking. Reading about exercise isn’t exercise. Watching YouTube videos about exercise isn’t exercise. Thinking of reasons why we can’t exercise is often more exhausting than exercise. Sometimes we need to turn our brains off and let our bodies take over.
It’s a sneaky human nature strategy to avoid commitment for risk of failure. If we don’t commit to something, we can’t fail at it. Right? Wrong. Avoiding exercise is actually a commitment to inactivity. Committing to inactivity is a terrible idea. With this you are potentially committing to unfavorable outcomes such as low energy, weight issues, disease and more. Movement is an essential part of daily life, like brushing our teeth and emptying the dishwasher. It’s something we do, because it feels great, and we value the results.
- For example, (1) I want to go for a brisk 3km walk on Thursday morning. (2) To do this, I’m going to set my alarm 30 minutes early, put on my shoes and head out the door.
- For example, (1) I want to go with my friend to an outdoor bootcamp on Saturday morning. (2) To do this, I’m going to re-arrange my schedule slightly so that I am available.
Like anything, the world of exercise can get intricate and overwhelming. It could be your academic pursuit and lifelong work. It can also be a mere brisk 3km walk on Thursday morning. For the passionate exercise connoisseur who wants more, more, more, the possibilities of advanced training methods and gadgets are endless. For others, simply exhale and simplify. If you’ve got a body, or even just part of a functioning body, you can exercise. Think less, move more.