Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Ages and Stages

I wrote an article a few years back called The Five Stages of Exercise, loosely based on the five stages of grief.
It's still valid, but in the intervening years, I’ve also seen clients go through the various stages - between not liking exercise and getting it done - from a different perspective.

This path is more akin to our developmental stages growing from children to adults.

The first stage is I Don’t Want To – they have little to no interest in exercise & refuse to even entertain the notion. Like a toddler digging their heels in, very little is achieved in arguing with them at this stage.

Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t want to exercise, you are perfectly entitled to that position.

However, if you do no activity whatsoever, don’t be surprised when your body starts breaking down and you find yourself, over time, unable to move in the most basic ways, like walking without getting puffed.

The second stage I call the Trade-Off, where exercise becomes a transactional process, a way of justifying poor eating habits - “I can eat this because I did that”, type of thinking.

At this stage I’ve also seen people who seem to want to be punished by exercise in some strange kind of penance for unhealthy choices in the rest of their life.

I liken this stage to adolescence, where we felt invincible (health-wise) and often engaged in behaviours because we thought others would approve or to gain something in return.

So many people remain stuck in this stage.

Let me be clear: exercise is a celebration of what your body CAN DO, not a punishment for what you ate.

The myriad benefits of regular exercise are not wiped out by poor eating or not enough sleep but your body works as a whole; you can’t compartmentalise healthy behaviours into a narrow band and expect the system to function well.

The third stage, Just Do It is the most rewarding; it’s where we finally understand why our health & fitness is so important, that it is a goodness in its own right.

This is where we become adults, doing what needs to be done because it matters to us & our future.

Some people move to this stage after illness or injury, with a deep understanding of what it is NOT to be able to move well & pain-free.

Some gradually grow into this stage, noticing how great they feel after exercise, having more energy, feeling less sluggish.

MET Fitness takes a sustainable approach to health & fitness, start where you’re at and keep going, giving you more energy to live a great life.

We bring you along through each stage (yes, especially the I Don’t Want To) with support, encouragement & motivation.

Until one day, it’s your new healthy habit.

Get in touch and Get. It. Done.

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