Enforcing Exercise

There is something that I have noticed over the years:  When I am walking the Burke Lake Park trail or other walking paths and someone running passes by me, I usually do NOT see a look of happiness on the runner’s face.  I often see a grimacing face and hear heavy breathing as the person runs by.  However, if I asked the runner AFTER the run how things went, the person would most likely answer “I loved it”.  On a similar note, whenever I check into the gym, the front desk person will say: “Have a great workout”.  I think to myself at that point: “Great?  The next 90 minutes on that boring elliptical machine ain’t gonna be much fun…things will be GREAT when the workout is over.

I know some of you may dispute this, but I believe many people share the same thoughts as mine:  The “act” of exercising is not as much fun as when it is over and you can relax, sit in the hot tub and feel good that you burned off a bunch of calories.  Why don’t many people, including me, feel this way?  Here are several reasons:

  • You need to devote time to exercise that could be spent enjoying a more relaxing endeavor such as sleeping in, watching a show, surfing the internet etc
  • During the exercise, muscles and joints may hurt or feel sore
  • If you do not have exercise equipment at home, there is a need to pay for a gym

Although the dietary part of the weight control “equation” is more important, exercise is still an excellent component for successful weight control.  There are several things we can do to “enforce” a certain amount of exercise in our lives including:

  • Get a dog that will require multiple walks a day
  • Use the steps at work as opposed to using the elevator
  • Purposefully park farther away from your work place
  • Walk the golf course carrying your clubs as opposed to riding the cart

There are a number of other ways we can “enforce” some element of exercise to our lives even if you are not a gym rat.

Increasing exercise will allow, to some extent, more liberalization of your dietary approach and still shed weight.  Enforce that exercise…and you will find yourself NOT “running on empty”.

Enjoy a tune from 1977…Jackson Browne’s “Running On Empty”