Improved health and wellness, a longer life, and looking better naked are all great reasons for working out. However, exercise can seem like such a chore, especially when the other chores in your life leave you without any energy for exercise and fun.
People are busy animals. Our days are filled with chores and tasks that keep us constantly occupied leaving us with little time and energy for fun. We’re so busy, we rarely have time to do the things we really want to do, because we only have time for the things we need to do. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
Animals are made to be mobile, but they don’t burn energy for no reason. If they don’t have to move, they will tend to relax and save energy. Animals use their energy for purposeful things like hunting, defending themselves, and procreation. It’s within our animal instincts to be as efficient as possible and to conserve energy when there isn’t a good reason for moving.
Convenience, the art of eliminating needless work and wasted time, makes us unconsciously look for any unnecessary movement in every action we take. Hence the remote control, Clap-on, and drive-in fast food.
If you have to move, there had better be a damn good reason for it, otherwise, you’ll feel like you’re wasting that precious caloric energy that you have been hoarding for some reason.
It’s very hard to get motivated to move for something that’s unfulfilling.
When you were a kid, you didn’t mind moving at all. You had energy for days, even though playing and running were often discouraged. If you played any sports, moving didn’t feel like a chore, because you weren’t thinking of it as a workout. It was a game, it was your passion, and you enjoyed it. It was competitive but fun at the same time. Your mind never wandered when you played games; you were very much in the moment.
But now that you’ve grown up and you don’t play games anymore, your workout is serious business. You took the fun and passion out of moving by associating it with serious goals like weight loss and health. You no longer exercise because you enjoy it, you exercise because you feel like it’s something you have to do.
To drag themselves through a workout, most people will distract themselves with T.V., music, or a book. They purposely ignore the dreadful task at hand and focus on something more entertaining. While training, people often think to themselves “When is this going to be over?” They spend hours training their minds to wander while wishing their time on the treadmill would go faster.
In my opinion, getting through an experience more quickly through distraction and ignorance is a terrible mental/motor pattern to repeat on a daily basis. Wishing the next moment will get here sooner is no way to go through life. No wonder why more people are being diagnosed with A.D.D. everyday.
Exercise, with it’s negative stigma as being difficult and inconvenient, became movement for the sake of increasing the amount of movement in your life. In other words, you exercise just to burn more calories. Exercise with the sole intent of producing fatigue and exhaustion. Difficulty for the sake of being difficult (Crossfit). You turned yourself into Sisyphus, tirelessly pushing a boulder up a hill performing the same action for all eternity.
Your motivation for moving is now fueled by the desire to look better and feel better. Improved health and fitness used to be byproducts of your participation in sports and games. Now, they’re the sole reason for exercise.
However, while playing or practicing sports and games, the real goal behind the movement was to get better at a skill, and then to test your skill against your peers. So you practiced that skill several times over and over in order to improve. You might not have even counted your reps because you didn’t care how many you did, you only cared how much you improved. You had a passion, a good reason for moving because you were learning skills and improving your abilities. Now that’s a thought pattern worth repeating.
Being totally conscience of your actions, staying in the moment, and concentrating on performing the task as best as you can, is the best way to get the most out of your workouts, as well as life itself. This TED speaker argues that being in the moment is essential to happiness.
So give yourself a good reason to move and try to enjoy your motion. Learn a new skill like stand up paddle surfing or join a gym or local sports league. Find a passion that gets you moving.
My passion is Mixed Martial Arts. I believe there is no other sport that requires as much attention and conscience thought than martial arts. It is one of the most fulfilling skills to learn and is one of the funnest and most functional workouts you can find.