Learn To Love Exercise

I was reading an old magazine from Feb 2000, Psychology Today

I came across this article that drew my attention, but I thought it might be just one of those exercise for weight loss article which I wasn't sure if I wanted to read the whole article, but once I began reading the article, my attention became focused and I had to continue reading more. Once I was finished reading the article, it all came very clear to me that I fell into one reason why I love to walk. I knew walking was not making me lose massive amounts of weight, walking was not really doing much for me, except one really important thing, walking gave me the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, to think and not let any outside thoughts enter my brain while I was on my walk, it was almost like a meditation I was going through each time I went for my walk which usually ended up 2-3 miles, and depending on my speed, anywhere from 25 minutes to one hours.
Well, while I continue to read this article, my surprise happen, it came right at me, the reason why walking to me is not a form of exercise, it is not going to help me lose massive amounts of weight, it is because of this, I quote from the article:

Now, I need to fill you in on the article in full before you can understand what I am talking about, because I can talk in circle, rearrange the words, but I hope I can share this with you, so that maybe you too can learn to love exercise.

Ok, so, it’s a new year coming up
You want to get in shape
You do this every year, you make plans to eat right, exercise, and wahla...weight loss, and becoming healthy are your New Years resolution, but you are the only one who control this, and each year, you come back to the same routine, starting new in January and by Feb March, you have no motivation, I know I have gone through this so many times, each year. This year 2010, I was more wanting to jump start my Low Carb eating and exercise was not in the picture, at that time.This coming year, 2011, I will have to jump start my Low Carb eating again, but it will not be my main focus, since I have excitement knowing I will start losing weight sticking to my eating plan. This 2011 main focus will the my Love for Exercise, because of this article, I have re-focused my goals, and believe I can and will love exercise at a whole new level.
 So, the article goes into what is called “INTRINSIC EXERCISE”-the core concept is to exercise for its own sake.
Because if you don’t get something out of every single run or spinning class you take, you won’t keep doing it.

You will need to achieve 4 specific mental states to develop a mind-set powerful enough to motivate you to exercise and like it, under any life conditions. They are:
1. Personal meaning orientation,
2. Mastery,
3  Inner synergy and
4. Flow

Personal meaning orientation helps you find exercising rewarding in and of it-self
You exercise  to explore who you are-an Intrinsic exerciser articulates why they are working out and what they hope to get from it.

Next you learn to Monitor Improvements in your own performance-a concept which is know as MASTERY
An Intrinsic Exerciser focuses on challenging themselves and meeting personal goals, this reminds me of so many challenges out there, those challenges are not against one another, but to push yourself without being frustrating or intimidating, kind of like lifting 5 more pounds, or running that extra mile.

Personal meaning orientation and mastery connects you to your workout.
Inner synergy and flow help you stay connected

Then it gives examples
You can exercise to practice concentration or to socialize by meeting a friend for a jog
Physical activity can also be a way to explore your own spirituality
Running in a charity marathon and of course walking to help meditate on the natural world and forced beyond your-self. 

The best way to stay motivated during exercise is to reach for “flow” which is total absorption in and connection to-an activity-almost like that “Zone” you’ll want to exercise again and again to attain that positive state of mind/
Flow is all about staying in the moment.
Flow is not achieving an end point, but it’s the process of achieving. But without a clear, specific goal for every exercise session, it is difficult to concentrate on your actions and avoid distractions.

Learn to gauge feedback that the mind and body provide during exercise
Staying aware of your progress during your workouts keep you connected to what your body is doing and how it’s feeling

Balance is important
If you are not being challenged, you will become bored and quit, but if you challenge yourself beyond your skill level, you will also become frustrated and avoid exercise, setting more realistic goals is so important

So in total
If you want to exercise on a regular basis for the rest of you life, you have to start working from the inside out, this is the same with food, and healthy lifestyle, you will be exercising, going to the gym, taking those long walks, running those marathons because you want to, not because you have too.

I think for a lot of us, we become overwhelmed, mixing dieting and exercising, those 2 in my opinion should never be starting together. Unless you have mastered minded yourself into a mental robot, and seeing no enjoyment, no happiness in what you are doing, then you are bound for many relapses in life. I don’t like to use the word “fail”, it has too many negative side effects, almost stemming back from childhood.
I prefer the word “relapse”. Not necessarily “staring over”. But more like collecting newness as you go along, maybe stepping back a few steps, and going over and over in my mental wellness, that the more you are open for change, the stronger that inner you will be, and the challenges you create for yourself, will keep you motivated. I am going to be more creative, because there is no end to creativity, it is balancing act, always keeping you on your toes. This is what excites me.

I have 2 ways to keep me motivated,
1. Walking, because I have legs that want to take me places
2. Bike riding, because I bought my first bike ever, as a adult, its time to challenge myself and peddle and still see the beauty of nature.

I won’t talk too much about my low carb lifestyle, I have that pretty much under control, but I want to incorporate exercise, because, I love the way I mentally feel, my brain require time to think, and why not, work the whole body, as my brain is working the best part, my positive thoughts and rearranging negativity and finding balance to move forward. 
You can read the complete article here: