Over the last couple of weeks the world has had the opportunity to see the athletes participating in the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. I have enjoyed watching all the great performances and cheering my own country’s Canadian athletes on their quest for the gold. While Canada doesn’t steal the show during the summer Olympics we do fairly well in those sports where cold, snow and ice are involved. As we like to tweet - #wearewinter.
These Olympians train hard for four years to get a shot at standing on the podium. It takes commitment, determination, drive and a strong support team. Although very few of us will become Olympians we still need the commitment, determination, drive and strong support to stick to and reach our own more modest fitness goals. Sometimes these goals may in fact feel Olympian in nature.
For those of us whose full time job is not dedicated to sport, we must be realistic in creating our exercise schedule. We need to leave enough time for our responsibilities to family, friends, and work or education commitments and balance these with times for leisure activities and relaxation. By taking all these factors into account when you decide your exercise schedule you will have a better chance of sticking to it.
Individuals starting a fitness program are making a big change. They are trying to alter deep seated habits. This is extremely difficult to do. For those of us happily riding the fitness train we might have trouble identifying with why starting to, and sticking with a program is so difficult. We have a positive addiction to exercise. We love the feeling of movement, the heat of our body, the sweat. For those who haven’t formed this habit it can seem like another task to complete in an already packed and stressful day. Instructors need to be remember that just getting to class can be a big achievement for those just starting along with all their other time demands. Make them especially welcome and comfortable.
Forming the positive addiction to exercise takes time and along the way a new participant’s commitment can waiver. Initially they have to find the energy and mind-set to get started. Once they defeat that obstacle they may lose enthusiasm after a few weeks. A great way to overcome these obstacles is to participate in group exercise like a Spinning® class. When you join forces with a group that has already formed the exercise habit you will have physiological support from a group sharing a common goal. Knowing there is a group expecting you to show up to class can lift you up and get you going on those days when enthusiasm waivers. Scheduling your exercise sessions will also help keep you on track. Just as you do your other commitments, put your training time in your calendar, set a reminder and keep the appointment. Exercise is one addiction you want to form and keep for life!
Come join the ride!