Fitness column: Find an exercise place where participation is easy, accessible and comfortable

Have you uncovered your gateway exercise?

What’s a gateway exercise you ask? Pretty much any physical activity that gets you hooked and leads you to a habit of better health. It’s that first positive workout that inspires you to show up a second time and a third.

Anyone who’s had a ‘bad trip’ in the gym knows that one negative experience can derail the whole thing.

If you’re just getting started (or re-started) here are a few pointers that could affect the “stickiness” of you new endeavours.

No pain, no pain

Anyone who has experienced a painful trip to the dentist knows it can leave a bad taste in your mouth (note to self: puns are seldom funny). Pain leads to fear. Fear leads to avoidance.

Probably the most important ingredient to exercise success is making your first visits easy.

If your introduction to exercise is a five-km fun run (that isn’t all that fun) or a complicated Latin fitness class, you can end up feeling sore and embarrassed. Busy weight rooms are no less terrifying.

Make your first outing comfortable and easy. Show up, bring a friend, poke around a little, go home.

With the pressure to assimilate removed, it becomes more about the experience and less about effort and performance.

Detour ahead

Think about all the things that get in the way of your workout. Drive time, child care, parking, facility access, busy locker rooms, semi-public nudity, treadmill lineups, intimidation, etc. If you’re on the edge of a workout precipice, these barriers can become handy excuses for truancy.

Do a bit of research prior to embarking on your exercise journey. Make sure that participation is easy, accessible and comfortable.

Before committing to a costly annual membership, drop by during the time you plan on exercising. Most fitness centres have similar busy times. …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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