Why is it some people seem to be addicted to their training regime and yet others shiver at the thought of exercise?
Apparently only 6% of us exercise on a regular basis. This surprises me with the vast amount of information through government funded posters and TV adverts we have encouraging us to exercise. So what makes some people hooked and some people never get over an initial hurdle.
From my own experience and through training others I think the difference is simply a few weeks! I strongly believe that a little bit of consistency for about a month is enough to change someone from an exercise hater to someone who regards it as a worthwhile and productive cause.
Exercise has a number of benefits that I would simply put into two categories as well being and appearance. Well being representing the improvements in health and energy and appearance describing the positive changes in lowering body fat and building lean tissue. Both of these are usually visable after about 3 weeks into an exercise program ( presuming the individual is following a suitable program). If an individual does not make it to this mark then they will be left feeling like the exercise is a waste of time. I have seen new members to the gym come for about 2 weeks almost everyday and then never seen again, perhaps until new year. This is a shame because I feel just a bit more consistency would have allowed them to regard the training as enjoyable and productive.
So i have highlighted that it takes a bit of time to reap the benefits of exercise but i feel there is another reason why beginners give up so easily: Exercise hurts! Yes exercise is a stress to the body using up valuable resources, damaging muscle fibres and leaving us feeling sore and worn out. However given time the body will become stronger and fitter meaning exercise seems like less of a chore and actually rewarding. The stress part is largely eliminated leaving the positive effects on seretonin levels. The trainee is far less sore after the exercise as the body can now cope with the initial stress of activity. Set goals now seem achieveable and the body is toning muscles to handle added work levels.
Another point to note is something I have found with clients who have had training breaks, even as short as a couple of weeks. They will often complain of things aching a bit more, but literally a session or two later things are back to normal. It suggests that returning to exercise also presents a small hurdle but easy to overcome than the first time around. It is though bodies are more sensitive to pressure, pain and lactic acid when they have not trained for a while.
In summary if you are someone who dislikes exercise then simply give it another go and see it through, the rewards will happen! Push through that 2-3 week hump and come out the other side with a more rewarding life. This is the same advice for someone who has been a regular trainer before but feels they are far away from their previous fitness. Get started and it will become easy and rewarding in no time.