Reluctant Quitter


Q&A With Brian

Hi Brian, I used to be a bit of a gym junkie and loved the rush I would get from doing workouts such as a hard core spin class.  Due to medical reasons, I’ve had to give up the gym and can only do low impact exercise such as swimming and walking.  I don’t want to stop exercising, but how do I make swimming and walking exciting and motivating when all I’m doing is moving slowly? Thanks Helen, WA  

Thanks Helen for a great question.

Often the environment in which you do the exercise makes an enormous difference to the level of enjoyment you’ll receive from doing it. For example, walking around the streets of your local suburb may not be that exciting and motivating but doing a weekly hike in the country, following a track and taking in all the beauty and sights nature has to offer is much more appealing. If you liked spin class some of your enjoyment may have come from the fact you were in a group, had the music pumping, there was an element of excitement to it.  Trying to replicate this environment in your new exercise regime should make it more appealing for you.

Personally I like to use my exercise time as a chance to catch up with my family and friends. You could look at doing the same. Not only does it feel good to keep in regular contact with people close to you, it adds a whole new positive dimension to what may seem like a seemingly mundane task, such as swimming laps. Having a chat and a laugh, making your training fun and enjoyable for me is an important benefit to be gained from exercising. Sure it’s great to be fitter and stronger but at the end of the day being happy is what it’s all about. Exercise has been shown to increase your ‘feel good’ hormones, as does laughing and smiling, so you can imagine the effect when you put them together. Happy days!

Lastly, Helen have you considered strength training. I’m thinking as you’re confined to low impact exercise it’s more likely a joint complaint you are wanting to protect. The benefits of improving your strength are not only confined to the physical ones, this type of training produces a cascade of hormones which literally make you feel happy.  Training with weights, resistance bands, your own body weight are just some of the ways you can add strength to your muscles, and get the buzz you may be looking for.

Hope that helps Helen, and thanks again for your question.

Wishing you great health and much happiness,

Important: This article is general advice only. For further advice or information on this topic, please consult your health professional.
Category: Fitness

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