How to Fall In Love with Exercise

How to Fall In Love with Exercise

Can you love exercise?

In this post, I’m going to show you some easy ways that you can fall more in love with exercise. Cause it’s never fun doing something that you hate – that’s the worst!

Over the past year I have taken a serious look at every type of exercise that I do and the reason behind why I do it. I have actually paused, taken a step back from what I am doing and asked myself questions such as

♥ What is my motivation?

♥ Why am I doing what I am doing? 

♥ What results am I trying to get?


But wait, do I even like this?

I have always loved to run. I love how free I feel when I run and how my mind seems to clear up when I am running. Anything seems to be possible in that moment and I feel like I am moving forward towards life and my goals.

I have always known that I felt this way when I ran, but for years I would actually not let myself fully experience this because I would torture myself while I ran instead.

What do I mean by “torture myself”? I mean that I would actually prevent myself from enjoying the experience while I ran because I would only focus on how fast and how far I was running – to be skinner and to be “healthier”.

I have the type of personality where I can become very intense with things that I do and while I love the fact that I am a motivated and hard-working person, I can really take things to the extreme level when I am focused on it.

About a year ago, when I had just started to learn about HIIT (high intensity interval training), a mentor of mine questioned my motive behind long distance running and asked if it was necessary for me to do at all.

At first I answered her question with the obvious “I run because I love to run” but after some thought I eventually realized that while I thought I was running because I loved it and it helped me to unwind and relax, I actually was running because I believed I would achieve a slimmer physique and weight loss from running.

These might seem like good motivations – but for me, they were not. I realized that while I was running or doing any other type of endurance training I was not enjoying it.

During this type of training, my mind was filled with negative thoughts about my body weight and physical appearance and I was actually torturing my body to run faster, harder and longer than it should with weight loss as my goal. I was never enjoying myself or letting my mind run free, I was not enjoying nature or any of the beautiful surroundings either. My mind only had one goal: a better looking body.


ALWAYS CHECK THE FACTS

While many long distance runners do have great athletic bodies, it has been scientifically proven that endurance training is not as effective as HIIT when it comes to weight loss.

During endurance training (which is monotonous and generally performed at the same pace throughout the workout), your body realizes that it needs to keep going for as long as possible and so it goes into “survival mode”.

While in survival mode, the body holds onto body fat and uses fuel reserves sparingly so that it can keep going for as long as it needs to (it does not know when it will get food again or how long it needs to keep going on its current reserves). For this reason HIIT is much more effective for weight loss.

After studying more about high intensity training, I chose to stop running long distance and focus only on HIIT. I felt like I needed to take a break from running because what I wanted from the experience and what I was actually getting from the experience were two very different things.

Over the past year, I have not only taken a hard look at my motivation behind running but I have also questioned my motivation behind every other type of exercise that I do.


Try my easy 16 minute HIIT fat-burning workout: liezljayne.com/16-minute-workout-challenge/


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IS YOUR WORKOUT EVEN GETTING YOU RESULTS?

For many years I would go to the gym almost every day and mindlessly use the circuit training equipment without knowing if I was performing each exercise correctly, what muscles I was using or what these exercises were doing to my body.

would also perform lengthy, tiring and monotonous endurance cardio workouts which never helped me to achieve my weight loss goals and never took me to a higher level of fitness (even though I was spending so many hours every week at the gym).

At that point, I decided to stop doing all of the exercise that I was doing, learn more about what I was doing and see if it was actually beneficial to my body. After some research I realized that the type of exercise that I was doing WAS NOT BENEFICIAL for me and so I decided to make a change.

I have previously paid personal trainers at various fitness clubs and gyms to help get better results but I have never actually gotten the results that I wanted.

While I know that there are many great fitness coaches and personal trainers all around the world who actually know a lot about exercise and how it affects the body, I have also realized that there are a lot of personal trainers who sadly know very little about fitness and are actually not helping their clients to achieve their goals.

Around the time that I decided to make this lifestyle change, I heard about a fitness coach who really understands the human body and who has helped many athletes to achieve their goals. I decided to go and see him to see if he could help me to get the results that I wanted.

Before I started going to him for coaching, I thought about what my goals were regarding exercise and decided that what I wanted was to build healthy, lean body mass and lose weight.

For the past few months I have been working on a strength training program that he has helped me to build and I complement this program with HIIT.

I am very glad that I took a break from other forms of exercise as it really helped me to asses my motivation for doing every type of exercise that I do and seeing if it is actually beneficial to my body and my life.


Try my easy 16 minute HIIT fat-burning workout: liezljayne.com/16-minute-workout-challenge/


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DO YOU STILL WANT TO RUN?

After a long break from running I have realized that I really do love to run and that it is important for me to run because it helps me to unwind, relax, feel free and process information that is on my mind but more importantly I have realised how I need to run.

I have decided that when I run, I need to do it for the pure enjoyment of it. When I run, I no longer torture myself to go further and faster all the time. I know what my motivation is and I know that I am pushing myself physically in other areas. The exercises that are bringing me results are strength training and HIIT.

I now run simply because I love to run and so I only run how long and how far I WANT to run. Instead of torturing myself I enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, the nature, the sunsets and the feeling of complete freedom that comes with knowing that I can stop running at absolutely any moment that I WANT to.

I no longer feel the NEED to push myself beyond what I want. I also have the same mindset with regards to the dance cardio workouts that I have been doing. I am doing dance cardio for the pure enjoyment of it and know that I can stop at any moment that I want to. I am now, for the first time, really enjoying exercise and am getting the best benefit from it.


5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

1. What kind of exercise am I doing?

2. What is my motivation for doing each kind of exercise? Am I exercising for enjoyment or to achieve certain results?

3. If I am exercising for enjoyment, am I actually enjoying myself?

4. If I am exercising to achieve results, what are my goals and am I achieving them?

5. Am I falling in love with exercise or am I falling out of love with exercise?


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TO LOVE OR NOT TO LOVE?

I have learned so much about my relationship with exercise in the last year and I have realized that it is so much more important to enjoy the exercise that you do rather than to torture yourself while you exercise and then end up hating it.

I have also realized that it is important to find a healthy balance, knowing when to push yourself and knowing when to enjoy yourself. Fitness is a journey, not a destination.

No matter what kind of exercise you do, make sure that you are constantly falling in love with the exercise and not out of love with exercise.

Make it fun, try new and exciting things and most all of enjoy the journey!

I hope that this workout helps you to get fit and to achieve your goals!

Liezl Jayne xo


Ps. I’m currently giving away my top 5 exercises for losing weight and getting into better shape – for free over on my blog.


All photographs taken by Liezl Jayne and Ross Charnock for liezljayne.com

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