I Hate Exercise

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When it comes to energy, life reminds me of the TV advert starring the Duracell Bunny. When I was a youngster I used up most of my energy playing football. I remember being 14-years of age and I would play for the under 14’s team on a Saturday morning, the under 16’s team on a Saturday afternoon and the adult’s team on the Sunday morning. I loved every second of every match and had the energy to accomplish even more. But alas even a Duracell bunny will run out of batteries at some point in time.

Fitness. If it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body – Cher

My batteries started to run out when I reached the age of 18. Daily jaunts to the football field were replaced by sessions on the Sega Megadrive as I became addicted to Resident Evil and the Tomb Raider sagas. I also started to smoke and was drinking heavily as well. Football, the hobby I used to love so much, started to become something I loathed. I loathed it because I could not get around the pitch like I used to. Younger and fitter players were running rings around me and I couldn’t handle it. The 90-minute experience was wracked with pain. I could handle the aching limbs but on times I thought my head was going to pop because of the build up of pressure. Suddenly, an experience that used to be filled with joy and love, was replaced by fear, anxiety and pain.

Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.  ~Edward Stanley

Instead of facing up to the pain, I ignored it. I have exercised very rarely in the past 19-years because each time I thought about it I hated it. When you consider that I am the guy who successfully quit smoking and drinking by changing the way that I think, then it is a travesty that I cannot do the same for exercise. I tried to think about having a heart attack, being fat and even dying – but it was not use – I was an exercising procrastinator. I would plan to go for a run and then as soon as I saw that it was raining outside I would convince myself to stay in. I would arrange to play football with my friends and then tell myself to do something more important at the last minute.

I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.  ~Marsha Doble

But this year I can feel a change in me. It’s gradual, but slowly and surely the neurons in my brain are firing up and are being re-wired. I am approaching 40-years of age and I think this has a lot to do with it. I am reading with increasingly regularity about people, my age, suffering from heart attacks and debilitating illness. Suddenly, the negative thoughts I unsuccessfully tried to associate with a lack of exercise, some years ago, are started to take shape and rework my mind. I have people who rely on my health such as my girlfriend, my son and my family, and so I have to make sure I remain fit and healthy for them. I also have a responsibility for my life purpose.

How can I achieve everything I want to achieve if I am dead?

I am your archetypical lazy person and yet I have managed to work some exercise into my life. Exercise, that despite being lazy, is actually very easy to fit into my schedule and no longer causes me any pain at all. If you are a fitness fanatic then this post is not for you. If you hate exercise, are lazy and procrastinate, but realise you need to do something to spread a little blood around your body then this will be right up your street.

1. Gain Fitness

This is a great app that can be found on the iphone and you don’t have to pay a penny to download it. My girlfriend recommended it to me and it is a very simple way of doing at least 20-minutes of exercise each day. For the procrastinators out there I would strongly suggest turning it on in the morning before your brain realises what you are doing. The Gain Fitness app allows you to choose a selection of simple exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home. No running in the rain, or embarrassing trips to the gym, where you cannot figure out how to use the equipment or find yourself lifting weights next to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2. Tribesports

Tribesports is an amazing little discovery. It is a social network for people who like to keep fit and I found my way there after seeing it advertised on a friends Facebook wall. The great thing about Tribesports is it contains hundreds of different physical exercise challenges. I started with the first challenge which was to do 100 crunches per day for 14-days. When I took this challenge something remarkable happened. Firstly, when I started I couldn’t even do twenty crunches, let alone one hundred, but now I can do them relatively easy. But the miraculous thing is I actually got used to doing them and enjoyed the experience. I would look at my belly in the mirror and it would look less flabby and that filled me with enjoyment and inspiration. Doing 100 crunches has became a daily ritual alongside mental exercises such as the Thinking Journal. My latest challenge is the 5-minute plank and it is really difficult. Each day I am going a few seconds deeper and will eventually crack it. I believe as I accomplish each challenge they will become part of my daily ritual until I am exercising regularly and enjoying it.

3. Find Something You Do Enjoy

I good friend of mine is making waves in the UK with his amazing work for males who are suffering from Post Natal Depression. Please check out the blog post I wrote about him and also his great site at Father Reaching Out. I wanted to meet up with him to draw on some of his experiences to share with this site. I remembered we used to play table tennis as children and so we met up to have a game and talk about helping people. I had not played for years but everything came back to me and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I talked to a great friend, learned a lot and exercised with a smile on my face!

Inspiration

I actually got the inspiration to write this blog post from the poker room in Montesino, Vienna, Austria just last night. There is a poker player called Sorel Mizzi and this week I have noticed that he is looking a lot thinner. I have seen him eat pre-prepared food and then last night during a break in the game he walked over to a corner of the room and started doing push ups. It was good to see the dedication and hard work as it paid of in a change in his form.

This got me thinking about my own life and the slow but recent changes I have felt in my own mind when it comes to exercise. It really isn’t that simple to just tell yourself to go out and exercise. But if you find – the will and the way – your mind will help you do more by associating good positive vibes with it. You just need to search for the right way to get your blood flowing and these tips are three simple ways that helped me.

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