Saturday, January 22, 2011

Not Another EFT Tapping for Exercise Motivation Part 1: The Dreaded Gym

The "E-Word." Physical activity. Move your body time. Fitness. Those are the synonyms of the dreaded word that makes many people scream: exercise.

So why, oh why, do people dread exercise? Maybe they are doggone tired - too tired to move their bodies and drive their apples to the gym. They want to catch their favorite television show (often with a bag of chips) or local news commentary, no matter how much someone they view as a health nut coaxes them to do the E-Word. Or maybe they had a long, grueling day at work or school and want to plop down on the futon to watch a music documentary hosted by someone with a British accent. (That was me, in my preteens and teens, thus I got myself obese along with poor diet.)

But the ground zero of exercise hatred is the fitness center.

There are myriad (and I mean myriad, as in things-about-the-gym-I-hate) reasons why a place where people obviously take physical activity to heart can spur the inner hatred towards it. Obviously, many of them have to find themselves as T-shirt and baggy shorts (or sweats, if cool or cold outside) clad people among the fittest, skimpily-clad peers. For the ladies, fatter ones often experience low-self-esteem when they see them work out in tank tops and tight-fitting jazz pants. For the men, they often yearn for those ripped muscles and sleeveless shirts that show them off.

Many fatter people envy at fit people with tight clothing at the gym. That really discourages them as they wear sweats and other baggy clothing. (Photo by Ed Yourdon)
There are  a lot of fitness components they have to face, whether in class or on the floor with those machines. (Body composition is way too obvious to describe for so many exercise haters.) A lot of them are based on fostering cardiovascular fitness - which makes the heart able to pump oxygen to the blood when moving. The exercise in the class for that component is aerobics. A lot of people who are clearly overweight and have to drag themselves to the gym have to either dread being short of breath or being considerably slower as they keep pace with their thinner classmates.

Then, there are the floor exercises, which focus on muscular strength and endurance. For a lot of those people who are used to being inactive, they have weaker core muscles (abs, lower back, hips, and buttocks). Try having them do a full plank and they would just give up before that minute is up.

While all exercises require people to clinch the core muscles, the other ones that strengthen it are troublesome. One of the troubling ones is the bicycle crunch. You lie on the floor, place your hands lightly under your head, and try to touch the alternate knee to your shoulder in that exercise. Oftentimes, fat people use their elbow to touch the knee alternatively. Alongside the strain on the neck and back, that demonstrates a weak contraction of the obliques and the inclination to give up on that exercise.

Those are two health-based components of fitness that many overweight and obese people lack in: muscular endurance and strength, especially those of the core muscles.

Finally, there are stretching exercises. Many people who are fat in the gym can't touch their toes because their ranges of motion are limited than those in, say, camisoles and bike shorts. Touching the toes requires the last fitness component: flexibility.

The downward-facing dog - it's a yoga pose that requires flexibility. (photo by lulemon athletica)
There's no need to dread the gym to make you exercise. A simple way to exercise is to walk around the block, at a brisk pace. It costs less than a membership in a venue with fit bodies  and you don't need a car to drag yourself! If you can't help but go to the gym to exercise, find some exercise motivation. It can be simple as saying that you can do it.

Part 2
Part 3

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