Why Insanity Doesn't Work
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. -Rita Mae Brown
It's called physical activity, but you and I both know our ability to stick to exercising regularly is all in our heads. Beyond doing the same workout for months and expecting an ever-stronger, fitter you, have you found yourself playing out the same scenario in your head about why you're working out? Here we give you insight on how to avoid insanity when it comes to exercise.
Must Burn More Calories
We're all familiar with 'crazy talk' about exercise. Unfortunately, us calorie counters may be the biggest violators of the "must burn more calories" mentality. We know our bodies will adapt to the same exercise routine after 6 to 8 weeks, we're aware that our boredom of said routine will rise up around two weeks, and yet we don't want to let go of the calorie speech. While calorie counting works for food, it's officially crazy to choose a certain exercise to progressively burn more calories. The numbers you can find are only calorie estimates anyway. When you think to yourself, am I burning enough calories, counter that with this: you will get out of whatever exercise you do what you put into it. You could lose your mind trying hot yoga, spinning classes, and intense boot camps purely to burn more calories. To stay consistent as a lifestyle, you'll have to continually think of different ways to challenge your body - and that may mean taking that long walk is a better bet than that hour-long spin class. It's a daily challenge to choose exercise, and sometimes that means doing something that just keeps you moving.
Must Change My Workout
So you've decided that it's time to try something new. Maybe you've finally got the nerve to use the pilates ball, or you're up for some box jumps instead of jumping jacks. You don't have to go out and buy a 90-day workout program or try a new gym to avoid a plateau. Extreme change happens gradually, so don't get caught up trying to outdo yourself every 6 to 8 weeks to change things up. Adding one new exercise to your strength training routine, picking up a tennis game or two, or adding 10 more minutes a couple of days a week all count as change. If you continually push yourself to the extreme, the pressure will break you. Especially after the huge weight loss numbers start to slow, the last thing you need is to try and trump every workout you do. Slow and steady wins the race. Plan small changes each week, so that you eventually change the face of your workout routine without too much heavy lifting.
Must Have Fun
Some people obsess about working out to lose pounds and then after the weight is gone, the excitement wears off and all of a sudden that becomes a reason not to workout. From "I'm tired" to "I don't have time," we make disconnected reasons to the real truth: we don't think we're going to enjoy our workout. Inconveniences abound in our lives, from babies, to boyfriends, to training for a new job, but we don't throw in the towel and say I don't have time. Instead we make allowances and do the best we can with what we have. News flash: Every workout is not going to be as fun and exhilarating as it was when you first started. This is not a reason not to do it. If you can own that, you'll keep yourself from getting so down on your workout plan and instead get motivated about making it more fun when you can.
Bottom Line - You're Not Crazy
The takeaway is simple, don't put too much pressure on yourself with high expectations and lofty fitness goals that don't apply to your life. You're not in the business of making good TV, where there always has to be an interesting plot, or some triumphant finish line photo. It's insanity to believe that everyday is going to be picture perfect, or that every workout is going to make complete sense from every angle. Stop spinning your mental wheels about every intricate detail of exercise. Get up and move. Staying healthy is a journey, not a destination.
What self-talk do you use to keep you motivated about exercise?
NOTE: For those expecting a review of the popular Insanity Workout series, stay tuned for it next Sunday!