Feel barriers to exercising? Dive in to read which exercise is the best for you, especially if it feels overwhelming.
“Which exercise should I do?” So many times, I have encountered this question within myself and my clients. And, this question has its validity because we all have limited time and will to walk, strength training, Yoga, meditation, swimming, etc. So, in this post, I will try to address this question-please share with me your thoughts about exercising.
For me, I was opposed to lifting weights and always thought, ‘they are not for me.’ However, I loved Yoga and walking, so I started with those. Eventually, found myself getting stronger and enjoying my exercise routine. Then very gradually began lifting weights and loved that too. Slower transitions can boost your confidence and help lay down a foundation that can last!
1. The Social Pressure to Exercise – Don’t Compare
Sometimes, when we browse social media and look at our friends, acquaintances, or even people we don’t know posting exercise videos, it can lead to self-doubts around exercising. The doubts can span from our ability to the best form of exercise. And, these doubts are normal to have as long as they don’t become a reason to procrastinate to exercise.
So, the first piece to staying active is not to compare ourselves with others. I understand that it is easier said than done but is paramount for our health.
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2. Low Intensity Exercises do Help!
Strength training is powerful, and lifting weights is shown to reduce inflammation in our bodies. Having said that, if you are starting and facing barriers to exercising, it is essential to start with what you like. So, if strength training feels intimidating, let’s acknowledge it and begin with the exercise you love and can do consistently.
In the small town of Okinawa in Japan [reference: Ikigai, 2017], where centenarians (people who live over 100 years) live, their regular form of exercise is walking, gardening, etc. – all low-intensity exercises but done consistently.
3. Sustaining your Exercise Routine
A few of us like low-intensity exercises, and it brings calm. A few of us might prefer sweating it out and lifting weights 2-3 times a week. Others swear by Yoga. What you like is governed by your age, past exercise routine(s), stage of life, anxiety levels, and more! Therefore, one exercise cannot fit all, especially when you are starting.
The key is, to begin with, what you are comfortable with, and your body will respond to it and become stronger. Then, once you have a specific routine and time carved out, it is okay; in fact, please branch out and push yourself.
Therefore, please start with the exercise that you love doing. Once it gets into a habit, you will have the strength, discipline, and motivation to do other ones – and we can certainly discuss those. Until then, please let not exercising be intimidating – choose the ones that you will do Consistently.
Would you please let me know what your favorite exercise is?