Today we’re exploring newness in fitness. The idea of introducing something new can make us uncomfortable and cause resistance (on the other hand, it could be exciting). When I was a non-exercising slug, I was always trying to think of new things to ‘add’ to my non-existent fitness routine, especially around age 30 when I started gaining weight and was desperate to figure out how to stop that trend. At that time, I’d been transferred from California to the Mid-West area, and I bought a beautiful purple peugeot bike to entice myself to start taking bike rides into nearby towns. But I was a pretty terrible biker and it wasn’t that much fun so that didn’t last long. Then I thought I should make myself go down to the community pool and do laps, but it was a chore and boring so I only did that a handful of times. Result: Most of my 3-year assignment in dreary Cleveland was spent in unhappy inactivity. Life Lesson Learned: If it isn’t ‘fun’ it’s very unlikely to become a habit.
Since then, thank goodness, I found that aerobics classes and group exercise were ‘fun’ (to me) — and ever since, for way more years than I care to say, working out has been at the top of my priority list and basically I’m obsessed with everything ‘fitness’. Fitness classes, fitness clothes, staying fit — all these things meet my definition of ‘fun.’
However, I’ve been a little baffled as to how to get excited with an addition to my fitness regimen that I mentioned a few weeks back — I said I wanted to increase my hiking. I’ve told myself that I should go hiking in a nearby urban park– this wouldn’t even require preparation or getting in my car, and I tried to envision that it would be ‘fun’. But, instead, many excuses materialized, with me convincing myself that the trail might be dreary and I might encounter menacing people. Thus, I stayed inside. Shades of Cleveland.
But let’s really examine what’s going on here, instead of beating myself up for not being able to add something new to my workouts. When I think about it, I prefer working out around other people, indoors. The only hiking I like is with someone else or a small group. No surprise that I couldn’t motivate myself to go hiking solo.
Getting motivated to add something new to your workout routine seems to be a matter of finding activities that really resonate, and definitely takes some introspection and self-exploration. Of course, when you find something ‘fun’ — don’t hold back . . . just go for it . . . make it an instant habit!
For now, I’ll stick to my routine of going to the gym almost daily, and feel good about it — that’s about the best I can do, with each and every workout being fairly unique and thus ‘new’.
[Img.Src: Bicyclist, Swimmer, Group Exercise]