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November 13, 2018

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"What Exercise Will You Do?"

healthy diet plateMany people today are looking for that magic pill, diet, or workout program that will make them lose that stubborn excess weight. Your fitness-obsessed friends and family swear by a specific meal plan or gym routine and are absolutely certain that they have the solution to all of your health-related problems! Sound familiar? Everybody is designed and created individually and distinctly. Certain folks might respond really well to certain exercise programs while others doing the exact same workouts might not notice the same effects in themselves.

First, let’s be clear on what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that you should not try a new kind of workout because you don’t think you will respond to it. This is not an excuse, but rather an invitation to try more things! As a kid I swam, and I played water polo in high school. Occasionally we would do “dry lanes” for workouts, which was a fancy way of saying “We’re going to go run outside and you’re going to hate it.” I dreaded those workouts more than anything else.

running on treadmillAfter water polo season ended and I graduated, I noticed a few extra pounds creeping on and I didn’t like it. As a penniless student, I figured that running was the best workout I could get in for the least amount of money, so I went for it. I first intentionally ran for around 15 minutes and was sore for three days afterward. I didn’t quit. I went out again and again until I fell in love with running. I don’t know when it happened, but early on I began to find true joy and satisfaction in running.

Now I’m also not advocating that running is the only exercise that should be performed nor the only that can be enjoyed. There are endless possibilities for enjoying exercise and being a professional (or even proficient) is not a prerequisite. Most gyms or recreation centers have a host of classes ranging from group spin (cycling), circuit training, hot yoga, goat yoga (it’s a thing), CrossFit, cycling, triathlons, power lifting, and everything in-between.

girl at the gymThe most important thing is that the exercise is happening, no matter what it is. In college I had a professor who had years of clinical experience working with heart failure patients. Most of these folks had lived lifetimes of inactivity, poor eating habits, and were diagnosed with heart problems. His role was to prescribe exercise as treatment. He found that most patients would ask him what exercise they should perform to get healthier, to which he typically responded, “What exercise will you do?” It didn’t really matter what he prescribed if it wasn’t going to get done. What mattered to him, and for the patient’s health, was that some form of exercise was getting done.

Instead of waiting for that perfect workout routine to fall into your lap (it probably won’t), get out and try everything and you will find something you can enjoy. It’s happened for me and a bevy of other people, and you can find joy in exercise as well.

Michael DialMichael Dial, a Shazzy Fitness guest blogger, is a freelance writer and graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin studying Exercise Physiology. He received his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Utah Valley University. He and his wife Madelyn live in Austin, Texas.


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