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Mental strength: my secret to exercising consistently (5/25)

As a personal trainer, our job is to design a exercise program to provide the best result for our clients. Sounds simple right? Well, if it were that easy I would be out of a job. There’s a lot more to it than just exercising. Not every day is going to be the same; some days you’re not up to exercising. That’s due to injuries, illness, or simply work draining you. So this is where you get tested. The easiest thing to do in fitness is quitting. Saying “NO” is easy, no one is going to stop you. People are built on routine and if you break that, it’s hard to get back into it. So in the case of exercising, once you take a break it’s going to be that much harder to get back into it. This is especially true as the break gets longer.

Anybody who has taken a long break from exercising due to being sick or injured can relate to this. Your confidence and self esteem gets low and what makes you feel good is the comfort food that you were limited on because you had exercise to discipline you. But now that you don’t have that, it’s on like donkey kong hah. Ice cream is my guilty pleasure and yes, I can eat a whole pint in one setting. Now I’m craving ice cream as I write this hah. But anyways, your true mental strength gets tested when you can’t do what you like doing. It’s like a pro athlete being sidelined for a significant injury; going to be that much harder to get back to that elite level of play. Now I am not saying that it can’t be done, but it takes a lot, I mean A LOT of mental strength. Why? Because it’s a long process. All the hard work you did undone in just weeks. Muscle atrophies quick and unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. My favorite saying, “it is what it is” (yes I know it is a cliché, but it really, it is what it is. Dang, that’s a lot of it and is used hah). Of course you’re going to be frustrated, sad, angry, etc. That’s why I always remind clients or even to myself not to take health for granted. Being active is a privilege and can be taken away just like that. Throughout my years of working with clients and patients in hospitals, physical therapy clinics, gyms, I have come across many people who are unable to exercise and it constantly reminds me of how fortunate I am to be able to do what I love; exercise.

So ask yourself this, how long do you intend on exercising? If you are like me, then you answered rest of your life. So my best advice is to find out why you started exercising in the first place. Was it because it made you feel better about yourself? Feels good? For those that get back into exercising after a break, the way I see it is you are NOT starting over, but you should pat yourself on the back because you have the mental strength to get back right where you left off because most people would have quit. Stay tuned for more next week…………………………..Kei

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