The key to habitual exercise: do what you like


You probably know interval training, a training regimen that utilizes bouts of high intensity exercise followed by brief recovery periods, is considered the best way to condition your heart.

But what if you find those intervals so loathsome it prompts you to fantasize about scrubbing toilets, repairing the roof, or doing anything else besides working out?

Here's where psychology comes in when we talk about exercise compliance.  There are certainly guidelines for how to get the most out of your workout or individual exercises, but if following them prompts you to discontinue exercise, they really aren't so useful to you.  In some cases, it may be in your best interest to ignore them.  (Yes, I'm giving you an out here.  You're welcome).

Here's an example: this month's IDEA Fitness Journal reports from a motivational standpoint it is best to promote moderate rather than vigorous exercise for women between the ages of 40 and 60.  Why?  Studies have shown the majority of women in that age group hate vigorous activity.  Better to exercise moderately than not at all.

Don't get bogged down by what you feel you should do.  If you've  been struggling to get to the gym, review your routine.  Search for an activity you enjoy (and keep in mind you may find it outside, in a dance hall, on a golf course, on a lake, or atop a mountain).

Those who exercise all the time don't look at it as a chore.  The trick is finding that activity you love.  Don't give up.

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