I would go so far as to say that if you are training to regain your health and fitness and/or to regain a sense of confidence in how you look and feel, and are engaged in an activity that’s sole purpose is to make you sweat, then you are very likely to be unsuccessful in your endeavours.

We are too smart to do pointless exercises.

Take part in an activity that makes you better at something more meaningful than simply being able to run faster on a treadmill or ride harder on a stationary bike. Ask yourself what your activity makes you better at. Are you becoming better at life in general through participation in your chosen activity, or does it just make you perspire? Does your activity help you get rid of aches and pains, or does it create aches and pains? Does it allow you to be a more useful human in your everyday activities such as hanging washing, having more energy, putting on your shoes lifting heavy stuff, or does it just seem like mindless drudgery? Its it mentally AND physically stimulating and engaging, or is it a boring chore? Do you actually enjoy it, and want to improve at it? Is it going somewhere? Will you look back in a few months and be capable of things that you were not able to do on day one? Is there a skill component? 

Long term enjoyment, engagement, participation, and challenge are among the most important factors when it comes to getting in shape, and being healthy for life, and taking part in a sustainable and effective form of physical activity is the key factor to all of the above.

Don’t do it because everyone else is doing it. Do it because you want to, you see the benefit of it, and because you are going to learn from the process.

This article is by Ainle Ó Cairealláin MSc CSCS.

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