We all know that exercise is good for us and many of us are trying to boost our activity level. I feel very lucky to have found ways of being active that don’t just work for me—they help me thrive.
Please be nice to me when I say that I am a runner who loves to run. I know—if you aren’t there–it’s a hard concept to grasp. I know because it wasn’t always this way. Before I found my inner-fitness fan, I struggled with failed workout attempts and exercise plans that were destined to crash and burn from the beginning. Periodically, amidst the Jane Fonda VHS tapes and the aerobics classes, I would try running. It seemed convenient and low maintenance and like something I “should” do (falling for the “should” was my first mistake). I hated it.
Here are five things I did to make sure I hated running. Feel free to apply these tips to sabotage your fitness plan:
Mistake 1: I was hungry
My early urges to run usually coincided with an urge to lose weight. I’d start some ridiculous diet and then decide that I needed to up my results with exercise. This meant that I was huffing and puffing and I was hungry. Starting a workout with no fuel in your tank is a guaranteed way to feel exhausted, unfit, unhappy, and uninspired (by the way, the diets didn’t work either).
Mistake 2: I went too fast
I was going to start to exercise and I was going to RUN darn it. So I’d fly off my front porch and my lungs would be burning before I’d gone any appreciable distance at all. I had no plan for how far I was going to go or any thoughts about pacing myself to go the distance. I just ran. Not very far. And then I felt discouraged. The first time I ever thought that maybe, just maybe I might like this running stuff was when I tried jogging/running/and walking to slower music. I grabbed a cassette tape (remember those?) of music that made me happy but didn’t have a fast driving beat, and I decided to just keep moving until it was over. I ran slow, I walked when I got tired, and I was happy at the end of my workout. Mixing joy with exercise? What a concept!
Mistake 3: I chose the wrong environment