Its the time of year where very large numbers of Americans decide to take up an exercise program, join a gym, etc.
Exercise Psychology is a PhD degree program at many of our country’s universities. There are several research journals dedicated solely to this subject.
Some applied info from the last 30 years……
Most people that begin an exercise program will quit within about 3 weeks. To stick with a program it helps to have the brain programming, a.k.a. self-image of an exerciser.
It takes about 3 weeks to significantly change one’s self-image. When exercising becomes who you are rather than just something you do, you will stick with it long term.
Until you see yourself as an exerciser, until you adopt the self-image
of an exerciser, it takes an investment of self-discipline and
dedication to your fitness/weight loss goal to utilize intrinsic
motivation to get you through the first 3 weeks.
This time frame is where you’ll need to repeatedly overcome sabotage attemtps by one’s current brain programming.
The further away your self-image is from that of an exerciser, the greater will be the required effort invested in getting through the 3 week critical period of taking on the mindset of an exerciser.
Stopping, changing, overcoming one’s self-talk is a necessary path all folks have to successfully navigate.
The exercise program. Keep it easy or reasonable…..meaning, do things you can stick with for 4 to 5 decades of life. Avoid fads. Avoid fad fitness equipment. Avoid fad fitness classes.
If you aren’t gonna be getting up at 4am for 40 years to exercise, you probably won’t stick with the 5am boot camp stuff.
Keep it easy or reasonable. Do things you can stick with for 4 to 5 decades of life.
If you join a gym, keep in mind that its the weights, not the cardio machines that are the most important aspect of your long term health and wellness, especially if you didn’t lift weights in your childhood, teenage, or young adult years.
And if you join a gym, the good
news is that long term health comes not just from activity, but from
simply sitting in the Jacuzzi or sauna for several minutes.
Nerve growth factor.
Brain derived neurotrophic factor.
Other brain neurotrophins.
Growth hormone, and many other anabolic, tissue building substances and various “heat shock” proteins.
All of this can come with sitting down and doing nothing in a Jacuzzi or sauna.
Lastly, not all exercise programs are the same. They don’t all yield the same results. Once you get through that 3 week period, invest in learning. Superior exercise programs yield superior results.
There is much activity taking place at your local gym that is nonsense.
You may like your personal trainer that’s telling you nothing but crap. You may love your fitness class and instructor that’s got you sweating through an hour of less than what you could get in 10 to 15 minutes.
Though long term exercise impacts long term medical health, this subject is about the practice of Exercise Physiology not the practice of Medicine.
Exercise Physiology is not taught at medical schools in America. By definition, a doctor is not an expert in this huge area of human health. The TV commercial advice saying “ask your doctor” before starting an exercise program should actually be “ask your state medical board” why Exercise Physiology and Human Nutrition don’t comprise most of licensing educational requirement.
Have at it!!!