Everyone is different, but everyone needs exercise. We all lead a unique work and home life, but no matter how we fill our days, we need exercise.
I, like many people, miss my workouts. Why is that? We live in an era where there are more fitness options than ever before. Running groups, boutique studios, fitness centers, 24-hour gyms, yoga in the park – it is all available to us at any moment. Take Ride + Workout, a studio that is open 365 days a year and offers every type of class. I can go to the studio for a deep stretch, an intense spin, a challenging TRX workout. I can arrive at 5:15am, or 7:00pm. I can select a quick 45-minute workout, or a longer 2-part class. There is no shortage of opportunities.
In addition to options, exercise is trendy. Our favorite brands now have an active wear line, 5k races have become social events, companies offer wellness programs, and social media and the internet are loaded with fitness influencers, writers, and trainers.
And yet, having all of these resources available to me, I still have a tendency to decide that my time would be better spent on something else – more sleep, an extra hour at work, dinner with a friend. When making the choice to skip a workout, I am extremely hard on myself. I am fully aware that skipping a good workout is a poor decision.
I know the benefits of moving, breathing deep, utilizing muscles, and pushing myself to new limits. I am no stranger to the research and studies surrounding a lifetime of exercise. I know that by making excuses, I am directly affecting my quality of life. The wellbeing of my organs, mood, brain, digestion, sleep quality, weight, and posture depend on my behaviors.
How do I fix my unhealthy tendencies? It is by developing new habits. Forming strong habits around the tasks I want to achieve in my day-to-day is the only way to maintain a lifetime of good decisions. Yes, there are other methods – but nothing is as powerful as habit. Willpower can only get me so far. Accountability has too many variables. We will become the people we know can be through good habits.
Developing new habits is extremely difficult. However, I would rather make the decision to stick to a habit, rather than having to make decisions every day as to whether I will work out morning or night, run or cycle, go alone or ask a friend, on and on. We do not decide to brush our teeth or check our email – we just do it. We need to treat exercise the same way we treat getting dressed, or eating dinner. It is not an option, but rather something we do. The opportunities are out there, and it is up to us to take advantage of this wellness era we live in. Because while we are all different, we all still need exercise.