How I stuck with exercise for life.
If you don’t live in a cave and are interested in health, fitness, longevity, looking and feeling good for many years ahead, you know by now, that exercise is getting more and more popular, it’s getting more and more publicity, more and more research is coming out about the benefits of exercise. Scientists still don’t know exactly how a simple act of moving our bodies in different ways creates all these miraculous “side-effects” — strength, smartness, better mood, youthfulness and longer life, more energy, metabolic health, strong bones, cell rejuvenation — it goes much further than looking better, feeling better and having stronger muscles, fitting into clothes you love, never having to change the size for a bigger one.
I started exercising at the age of 6 or so. My father used to work as a physical training teacher, and as long as I can remember myself, I was training, first with him, then I joined athletics club at school, a dance school, then a gym later, then I was teaching fitness classes and doing personal training throughout my university years, running with a friend in the mornings, rain or shine, going to dance classes. Then I got certified as a personal trainer and started training people, teaching more fitness classes — I was always around movement, people who moved, events, classes.
And now, that I think of it, I stuck with exercise till this day, because I have always been using 3 strategies, that are proven by research to be the most effective ones for sticking with exercise, and any habit actually.
What are those 3 strategies to stick with exercise for life?
Make it non-negotiable.
There was never a question for me before a workout, should I go? Should I sleep in? Should I cancel my workout and instead watch TV or go to a party? It was a sure thing on my schedule written in my subconscious and my planner the day before. Wake up, go and train — run, gym, group workout, dance class, yoga. Sometimes workouts would happen in the middle of the day or at night, sometimes longer sometimes shorter — specifics would change, movement would stay.
The best time to use this strategy is of course the morning. Wake up 30 minutes earlier, put away your alarm so you have to get up, if you want it to stop, wash your face with some cold water, drink huge glass of water — you are up and ready to go! Even better, prepare your workout gear and workout routine the day before, plan every single detail in your head — make thinking unnecessary and obsolete.
Wake up, get up, dress up — MOVE!
No decision making.
Make it sociable.
Get a friend to do your workout with, join a workout group, join a class you love — get together with motivated people, who make it to a workout rain or shine (or-30 C run in Siberia after some serious snow).
Because when your motivation goes down (and it will) those people, friends, training partners, a class crowd — would pull you up by being there and sticking with it, and even better, if you have someone waiting for you to train together — you’ll feel guilty not to show up without a good enough reason. Besides it’s a great way to connect with like-minded people on a positive note, doing something good for yourself, socializing — humans are social creatures, socializing with positive energy makes us feel amazing, makes our life more meaningful. Plus supporting each other, overcoming physical challenges — it builds communities, deep connections and friendships, teams like nothing else!
For me, at first it was my father I trained with, went skiing or rollerblading with, went jogging or hiking with, playing Ping-Pong or tennis with.
Then it was athletics group we competed with, dance group we performed with, fitness groups where we supported each other, friends, teammates, University buddies I trained with or was trained by, coaches, clients I trained, gym communities, where we would get together for events and to support each other on our transformational journey, preparing for events, overcoming injures.
Make it competitive.
“People who were in the competitive groups went to 90% more classes, than those who weren’t, regardless of person’s sex or personality”
Showed one research conducted in the University of Pennsylvania.
I guess it’s our survival of the fittest installed in us by mother nature? To evolve better and faster?
Not sure, but I can tell, that when I was working out with my father, my friends, my running buddies, my athletics team, dancers, gym friends — no matter what, even though I’m not that competitive at all, I’d push myself harder every single time I was around other people, working out, even in the gym working out alone, there are still people I interact with, friends, people I help with advice, trainers and coaches, people training, who give me advice — people who are working on their shit. And even though we are all at different levels, seeing them pushing themselves through obstacles of the mind and body, getting better, getting after it no matter what — it all made me, makes me reach for better results, for more inspiring goals, aim higher and get after it harder, than I’d do by myself, in isolation.
I don’t know what it is, but being in an environment, when everyone works on physical self-improvement always made me do better than I’d do otherwise.
And if I was on a team? Competing against another team? We’d work our asses harder than ever surprising ourselves!
Comparing my results with one friend — food diaries, results, work out journals — it’s always been a huge motivator too. Not because you want to be better than everyone, but because they can — it means you can do better too!
It seems like, what I’ve been doing unconsciously, because life set it out for me this was:
MAKE IT NON-NEGOTIABLE
MAKE IT SOCIABLE
MAKE IT COMPETITIVE
It all turned out to be the best strategies to stick with exercise for life — the best thing one can do for health, great energy, great mood, youthfulness for many years ahead!
Researches show, that even obese people live longer and healthier, when they exercise moderately consistently, changing nothing else.
Use my strategies.
Stick with exercise for life.
Live an awesome life that inspires you!
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health
MAKE IT NON-NEGOTIABLE.
MAKE IT SOCIABLE.
MAKE IT COMPETITIVE.
And here is an extra Bite of Health.
Why you should listen (to learn) –
“Avoiding all stress isn’t the answer to fighting aging; it’s about building resiliency to environmental stress.”
— Rhonda Patrick
Rhonda Patrick, PhD, (@foundmyfitness) is an American biochemist and scientist. She first appeared on this podcast back in episode twelve, and whether you want to extend life, inexpensively buy a stem cell “insurance policy,” or guard against cancer, Rhonda has valuable insights and recommendations.
In this episode, Rhonda tackles some of your most requested topics, including:
- Best practices for fasting (and who struggles most with time-restricted feedings)
- What blood tests are most important to analyze for overall health
- The “minimum effective dose” for the benefits of sauna
- Heat vs. cold exposure, and how they should be used effectively
- Most effective smart drugs
- The latest fat loss research
- And much, much more
Rhonda is known for her studies of the mechanistic link between vitamin D and serotonin production, research that may have important implications for the understanding of autism and other disorders, and for her popular podcast, Found My Fitness.
Dr. Patrick also conducts clinical trials, performed aging research at Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and did graduate research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she focused on cancer, mitochondrial metabolism, and apoptosis.