You know you’ve been there…
The reunion/ wedding/ vacation/ blind date behind the local grocery store is coming up – and you aren’t too happy with your appearance. There’s a little jiggle over here and a dimple over there. In fact, the only exercising you’ve done in the last few years was to coast through the mall, looking to score another buy one, get one anything.
But hey…apparently there’s a home fitness program that promises you a bodylicious miracle for only $69.95 with free shipping –
… IF …
you. act. fast.
So, out comes the credit card with the 24.9% interest rate (hey, lookin’ good comes with a hefty price), and with the click of a button, your dreams of presenting your perfect self are just a few harsh gut busting work-outs away.
As long as you work hard and follow the program, all will turn out just fine and you’ll be thrilled with the results.
Time to Get Moving
So your new program arrives and you’re ready to get started. The exercise clothes are on, and your dumbbells are ready to be used. You can’t wait to see the new you in just a few short months!
You pop the DVD in the player, turn up the volume… and realize you can’t follow along with this program at all. These people are doing walking lunges – and you’ve hardly walked down the block in the last few months.
Barely five minutes into the workout and you are already out of strength and out of breath. You’re devastated, and you’ve lost hope.
The reason for this is because you tried to do too much too soon. You didn’t understand the concept of proper progression.
When it comes to exercise, safety is important.
If you happen to be a beginner, or have taken a hiatus from exercise, it’s wise to practice proper progression. What this means is you respect your current level of fitness; and in a safe and structured manner, increase the level of difficulty as you build your ability to do so.
For example, if you have never done a squat, you wouldn’t try to do a squat with weights. However, if you’re following along with a program and do not understand this, you may be putting yourself in a position to get hurt by doing too much too soon.
So instead, you would take the time to learn (or hire a qualified professional to teach you) how to do a squat at a beginner’s level to perfect your form. This may include the use of pretending to sit on a chair, or using a stability ball against the wall for additional support as you build enough lower body strength to allow for additional resistance (weights, etc), and intensity.
The point is, you learn how to properly do an exercise at your level of ability, master the form, and THEN make it harder rather than going from zero to sixty right off the bat.
Exercising at a level you aren’t ready for can lead to some unforgiving injuries, especially if you aren’t being properly monitored by a professional – an educated one at that. When you’re integrating an activity into your life designed to bring you joy and vitality, the last thing you want to do is wind up bedridden with a stress fracture because you tried to be a hero.
When we make decisions based on strong emotions (hating the way we look), we become impulsive. The desperation to ‘fix the problem’ becomes the dominant level of consciousness, and we look to relieve ourselves from the pain of being who we are as quickly as possible.
This is why when it comes to exercise, mindfulness is so important!
Being aware of how to choose an exercise program based on your current level of fitness is a huge benefit to your health and well-being. By taking the time to allow for proper progression of an exercise program, you not only limit your chances of injury, but the likelihood of giving up altogether due to the inability to keep up is also at a minimum.
So try this out…
Don’t wait until the last minute to ‘whip yourself into shape’ for any reason. Instead, begin a fitness program that you can realistically follow along with and progress safely and properly from there.
Exercise like a beginner if you ARE a beginner.
I promise – you’ll be happy in the long run!
I am Dana Gore, author of the book, “A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You).” If you work out, or are thinking about adding fitness into your life, there are safety aspects to consider.
When it comes to exercise, awareness is our friend.
Visit my blog for more info at I Choose Awareness