I was asked recently if I will exercise when I am on holiday, which reminded me of some work I did a few years ago on why people don’t exercise. The most common reason given was they don’t find exercise fun or enjoyable which got me thinking, a lot of articles about exercise promise that if you just find something you enjoy doing that exercise will be easy.
I do not agree with this for two reasons.
- Some people will never find exercise fun and enjoyable. There, I said it.
Just like I will never find cleaning a loo fun and enjoyable but I still do it otherwise – eurgh. Exercise is just something that should be done, a bit like brushing your teeth, which I am sure you do twice a day just because it’s something you have always done. We brush our teeth for long-term benefits that they won’t get cavaties or fall out. We need to exercise for the long-term benefits.
2. For the most benefits then different types of exercise need to be done and the summary of the government guidelines can be found here
The second reason given for why people don’t exercise was lack of motivation. Motivation is temporary, it’s a feeling that comes and goes and shouldn’t be relied on to get you to exercise either.
What does work? Habit and I am not going to lie, it takes work to make something a habit (whilst you may remember brushing your teeth since you were small your parents will probably remember the fights they had to go through to get you to brush your teeth!).
What is my favourite top tip about making something a habit? Well I like the James Clear approach – attach it to something that is already a habit – do you come down every morning and put the kettle on? Well whilst the kettle is boiling do some circulation boosting – march on the spot, circle your shoulders and your ankles, do a few heel raises.
So – will I exercise on holiday? Yes, just like I will be brushing my teeth (however I will not be cleaning the loo).