Monday morning at the gym. It feels so heavy. I have to admit, after having a day off, my resistance was formidable.
Resistance is the most dependable workout partner you can have. I don't believe you ever get over that initial feeling of, "I just don't want to do this." In or out of the gym, that feeling means that whatever you are about to embark upon will be a growth experience for you.
According to The Wall Street Journal only about 16% of Americans exercised on an average day in recent years. The numbers get even smaller when you try to find out how many Americans work out every day. The most sobering statistic offered is that on a given day, five times more people engage in watching TV than in exercise.
It's obvious that most people are resistant to physical activity, and would rather sit on the couch than get out there and do something.
The small number of people who do work out regularly have learned to meet resistance, and move beyond it. I've learned to treat my resistance the way I treat a fly that buzzes around my head. I don't like it, but I don't let it make me leave the picnic.
Failure to plan for your morning workout is a sure-fire way to fall prey to resistance. When you plan to exercise, you're making a decision to exercise. In the absence of a plan, resistance will convince you that you don't have the time/energy/strength.
Today, I knew I wanted to work my shoulders for a little while and then do some cardio, but the machines all looked so uninteresting to me. I had my pick - treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical - nothing inspired me.
Then I saw it: the rowing machine. Off in the corner, unassuming, all alone. Rowing is a great shoulder workout, I thought. So I hopped on, strapped my feet in, and off I went. (One of the best things about the rowing machine is that you can close your eyes. Everyone already thinks you're weird - you're using the rowing machine, for crying out loud.)You can put your earphones in, and just glide away.
After about 10 minutes of rowing, my shins and my glutes (butt muscles) were burning. I knew there was no way I could do that for 45 minutes. A few weeks ago, I had tried jumping rope and I was looking for the right time to try it again. So I got up, grabbed a rope, and started skipping. I skipped until I couldn't catch my breath - or until I got tired and lost my coordination - and then I went back to the rowing machine. Back and forth I went, alternating between skipping and rowing. (It must have been quite a sight to behold.) 45 minutes just flew by, leaving resistance in my wake.
It was actually because of my resistance that I ended up trying something new and different today - and I had a great time. If you want to adopt a program of regular exercise, you just have to be willing to accept resistance as part of the deal. Don't let your resistance turn you into a couch potato, and don't try to obliterate it. Resisting resistance creates more resistance. Don't obey it, just acknowledge it and do what you have to do anyway. One of the greatest things resistance can teach you is this: You are always in charge of your choices.
So tell me: What keeps you from regular exercise? And if you do exercise, how do you deal with resistance?
Julie Scipioni McKown is a certified personal trainer, an author, and a fitness consultant.
Consult with your physician or health-care provider before commencing any new exercise, nutrition, or supplementation program, particularly if you use prescription or over-the-counter medications, or if you are being treated by a health-care provider for any chronic or medical condition. No representations are made about the results you may achieve from following the information here; as every individual is unique, there are no typical results that you can expect.
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.