I read a lot of articles about fitness – it’s all part of the unfit/trying to get fit/failing to get fit blogger job description. Recently, I ran across an article in Mind Body Green that stuck out from the crowd. Michael Taylor, co-founder at Strala Yoga in New York, is encouraging us to change the way we exercise – but looking at it differently and drilling down to the right motivators.
Mike says, “The truth is, for a whole lot of people, exercise is time to deal with what already happened. It’s time to burn those calories, and fix what they did wrong. In this case, exercise is a corrective action. ” This really hit home for me. A lot of times, my motivation is to burn off bad food choices I’ve made – and as I read on, I began to understand why it’s important to do our best to ditch this approach.
He asks us a couple great questions:
What Kind Of Exerciser Are You?
- Top athletes – the folks you watch on TV
- Happy mover – “For some other people, exercise feels great. From start to finish, it’s your happy time, hitting the road, the pool, or climbing that mountain. It sets your entire day up to go a whole lot better. It sets your entire life up to go a whole lot better.”
- Calorie killer – “You know what? Exercise doesn’t feel good at all. In fact, let’s be honest. Who gets on a bike that doesn’t go anywhere, for fun? A whole lot of people hitting the gym machines are there to burn it up.”
I fall somewhere in-between happy mover and calorie killer (leaning a little more towards the latter.) It really depends on what I’m doing. I go to barre class or yoga for fun, I lace up my running shoes or strap on my spinning shoes to be a calorie killer. Where do you fall? And what does this mean for your motivation?
I have bad news for us calorie killers. Well actually, Mike has some bad news. “There’s no way we can undo the calories we consume with the calories we burn through exercise. There is no way exercise can make up for a bad diet. It’s just not possible. One muffin kills an eternity on the stationary bike. It’s why calorie-burning will never add up in our favor.” Wamp wamp.
So what’s a girl to do? Forget calories and focus on the way we feel! More specifically, how do you feel when you are exercising? Do you hate running, but think it’s the quickest way to get the body you want? If it doesn’t feel good, find another way! Find something you love and it will work! Mike says that by focusing on what you love, and “what makes you feel good, you can’t help but become your own best health care provider.” This will also move you into the happy mover category (although I can’t promise anything about the top athlete thing…)
So for me, I’m going to focus more on wine walks with friends & barre class and less on forcing myself to run around the block (sorry Bocephus!)