Although I’m personally not big on New Year’s resolutions, I do recognize the symbolic importance of beginning anew every January first. For many folks, this means starting or restarting an exercise program and, hopefully, sustaining it throughout the year. However – as we all have seen or even experienced firsthand – that promising early-January buzz usually wears off and, long before the birds are chirping again in the spring, you’ve fallen off the wagon.
Now, no doubt, there can be a myriad of mental obstacles contributing to this, including fundamental identity issues, lifestyle “addictions,” and a host of other things. But these aside, I’ve noticed one often overlooked element to the whole process: if you don’t enjoy the exercise you’re doing AND some of the specific ways you’re doing it, you will not sustain it beyond the initial blast of New Year’s inspired self-talk.
When someone decides to start exercising again, they will usually do one of two things:
1) They resort to what they’ve done in the past and dust off that Total Gym down in the basement, lace up the ol’ running shoes or head into the health club where they’ve been an “absentee” member for the last year.
2) They do something that seems new, fresh and effective, like join a gym, sign up for a yoga class, or buy something from an infomercial.
Any of these things could work. But there’s seldom much thought given to how much they will actually get off on doing the program. So it’s not so much about what’s the best exercise, as it is, what’s the best exercise for you? Here’s where Cracking the Exercise Code comes into play.
In addition to the three basic exercise modalities – resistance, cardio and flexibility training – there are approximately nine other elements to consider that concern the how, where and what of working out. These elements include details like whom (if anyone) you might be training with, if you’ll train indoors or outside, and whether you will listen to your iPod, watch the tube or just enjoy the solitude while you work out.
I call the specific, preferred combination of these elements your personal exercise code, and the importance of knowing it cannot be overstated. Making one or two adjustments in your regimen based on understanding your personal code can mean the difference between giving up after three weeks and continuing exercise as part of an indefinite lifestyle component.
And now the good news: for just $29.95, I’ll give you all the specifics for …
Tomorrow, I’ll give you all the specifics for figuring out your personal Exercise Code. Why? Because I want all of you motherfuckers out there to engage in some kind of exercise in ‘09 if you’re not already. Never mind that you’ll tighten up, look better and all of that. This is a given. More importantly, as you stay aboard the “Exercise Express,” you will also feel great, be infinitely healthier and enjoy a longer, better quality of life. And that’s what it’s all about around here.
So, in the meantime, try thinking beyond the exercise activity itself, and more about what some of the ideal conditions and circumstances surrounding the activity might be.