Is exercise is the first thing to go when life gets stressful? Do you feel like 10 minutes of walking or one set of strength training does not count as a ‘workout’? Do you think unless you can’t work up a sweat or don’t ‘feel it’ the next day, why bother? These are all signs of being an all-or-nothing exerciser. The good news is, when you exercise, you give it your all. The challenge is, those stressful times when you need exercise the most to keep your body and mind calm, you think you can’t exercise.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given us all many challenges. For many regular and dedicated exercisers, the stress has shifted them into the ‘nothing’ state of being. This is an unprecedented time. With so many parts of our lives changing at once, it defiantly has been a challenge for many to maintain an exercise routine. This time has also presented us with many opportunities. If your exercise routine was derailed by the change in your lifestyle, I invite you to use this as a chance to get off that roller coaster of exercise motivation once and for all. Here are some facts that can help shift your mindset from all-or-nothing to the more sustainable and success-producing mindset of ‘something is better than nothing’.
It only takes…
- ten minutes of exercise to churn up those great brain chemicals that make you feel better mentally when you exercise.
- one set twice a week to of a good quality strength training program to improve strength and once a week maintains your hard earned strength
- 15 minutes three days a week of cardiovascular exercise to maintain stamina
Clearly, something is way better than nothing!
There are three big myths that keep the all-or-nothing approach alive:
- Myth: You need to work up a sweat: sweat only means your body is cooling itself off. It does not mean you are burning more calories or fat. Sweat is a byproduct of some types of exercise in some people, but if you don’t sweat it does NOT mean exercise is not worth your time.
- Myth: No Pain, No Gain: Pain is also a byproduct of working your body harder than it was ready to do. Being sore the next day does not mean you got a better workout, it means you did too much too soon. This saying was meant for athletes, to remind them that pain is part of the process. For you and me, who just want to be healthy from exercising regularly, pain is not required.
- Myth: Go Big or Go Home: This saying too is for athletes or others who are exercising for a competitive edge. Those of us who want to be healthy, we can go ‘small’ and know it’s enough. In fact, several studies show that a few smaller bouts of exercise spread out throughout the day can have a better result for benefits like blood sugar control and building bone strength. Go small and go often could be our motto!
So, for all you all-or-nothing exercisers out there, this pandemic creates a tremendous opportunity to leave that stressful roller coaster behind and strengthen your ‘something is better than nothing’ mindset. Rather than seeking bigger and better challenges to get you motivated to start again (and again and again), take on the ULTIMATE challenge of exercising in this ever-changing thing we call life – being a CONSISTENT exerciser.
Keep Moving, Be Well,
PS: If you have transformed yourself from an all-or-nothing exerciser to a something is better than nothing highly consistent exerciser, post how you did it in the comments section.