How To Overcome Exercise Reluctance to Live Happier

Why Are You Resistant to Regular Exercise?

In this post we’re going to briefly explore;

·      Why you develop reluctance to exercise,

·      What benefits you could enjoy by overcoming that resistance,

·      And we’ll offer some simple ways to help your mind overcome those obstacles

leading you to a much happier, healthier and even longer life…

 

As we grow older our lives can often become more sedentary.

This less active lifestyle can be accompanied by a kind of ‘maudlin’ feeling and a reluctance to ‘exercise’ that gradually develops into a resistance to move.

 

And that is not a good sign.

 

Reduced movement equates to a reduced life.

Just think about that for a moment: there’s less breath flowing through you, less oxygenated blood, more stagnation of fluids, reduced electrical signalling in the nervous system and less joy.

Yes, there are lots of rational excuses that might slow down or even put a stop to particular movements – perhaps injury or chronic health issues. But we are creative, adaptive beings and a great movement, exercise or meditation teacher is a wonderful life-extension tool.

 

In our 50s and 60s we can’t honestly go full-out ‘Gym Bunny’ anymore in sad and futile attempts to ‘keep up’ with the 20 and 30 year olds. In fact, that’s a fantastic reason to shift to a new focus altogether – one that acknowledges and enhances who you are, where you are, and how you’d love to live.

So let’s have a quick look at some of the reasons why, as you grow older, resistance and reluctance to exercise your body increases.

 

Mindset: At my age, I’m never going to get fit anyway, so why bother?

  • Fitness means lycra shorts or leotards and sweating in a gym where others are judging you.
  • Competition: Can I lift more than him; stretch more flexibly than her; run faster than them; lunge further; jump higher? Are they competing with me?
  • I’m intimidated in group classes because everybody else is familiar with the moves so I’ll look ungainly and silly.
  • If I go out for a walk or a run I’ll be cold or get wet and that’s uncomfortable.
  • I’ll never catch up with the others who have been exercising forever …
  • I might get injured or make my current pains worse so why bother
  • I do all this work every day only to stand still – I’ll never pile on muscle or lose this stubborn weight at my age… 

 

Benefits of Regular Movement Practice or Exercise

A large study of over 30,000 participants showed that 1 hour or more of exercise per week can prevent 12% of future cases of depression. Furthermore, 30 minutes of exercise on a stationary bike reduced depression symptoms 10 and 30 minutes post-exercise. Interestingly, these results are independent of the intensity of exercise. 1

 

What is Your ‘WHY’ That is Bigger Than Your Reluctance?

Do you want to get about more, see family and friends, walk further and a little faster, feel strong and flexible, feel balanced and confident in your body, and continue to enjoy everyday life?

Then maybe there is a way to change your exercise perception to a more encouraging mindset?

For example; changing the word ‘exercise’ to ‘movement’ takes out the perception of over-effort, hard work for little result, and all of those underlying misconceptions that are causing more harm than good.

 

Do this written mental exercise and take notes so you can clearly visualise your thinking.

What are your perceptions when you consider the word, “Exercise?”

eg. grunting, sweating, _________________________________________________________

What are your perceptions when you consider the word, “Movement?”

eg. Lengthening, flexible ________________________________________________________

 

Exercise, like quality sleep, a good diet, positive family ties, social connection, can all help alleviate some of the chronic symptoms of ageing and reduce the intensity and severity of already existing conditions.

 

As exercise improves brain chemistry, stimulating nerve receptors throughout the body, and keeps the muscles supple and strong it can also massively impact your happiness and self-confidence levels. Exercise or movements bring joy, providing relief from loneliness, grief, depression, dementia and a whole range of unnecessary suffering.

 

Real Life Rewards: When you exercise or move with vigour your brain receives low-dose jolts to the reward centres where you anticipate pleasure, feel motivated and maintain optimistic outlooks. Dopamine circulation increases and more dopamine receptors are awakened leading to increased levels of joy.

 

As we age, losing 13 percent of dopamine levels in the body decreases this capacity for joy in everyday activities. However, as we exercise or move more we can regain some of those receptors and slow down further loss. Win-win! You will literally feel decades younger because your dopamine receptors have responded and increased.

Interestingly, research is now showing that these happy-highs, the “Don’t Worry – Be happy” vibes we get from exercising and moving are closely linked to the experiences provided via cannabis or marijuana or legally via CBD by our brain chemicals known as endocannabinoids.

 

We were born to move – purposefully or otherwise. When we stop, we atrophy [literally shrivel away.] So why not find your way to moving regularly and rewarding yourself with new highs, new connections and new joys? Ageing doesn’t mean stopping and waiting for the end. Moving more means more circulation, more joy, more life.   

 

‘Perhaps it’s not about getting “fit,” it’s about getting happy, having purpose, being “you,” and staying connected to others as we travel the road of ageing. And for some, it’s all about those “happy-feel-good” endorphins that mimic pleasurable feelings.’

 

You can get your amazing value regular practice in our online classes and course here – from the comfort of your own home too. Reward yourself, boost your life with purposeful, joyful movements, mindfulness and meditations…

 

Craig Trafford

Kinesiologist

Stress Management Trainer

Advanced EFT-Tapping Practitioner

 

Sources: Senior Fitness4Life, Psychiatric Times, The Joy of Movement – Kelly McGonigal

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