Health & Wellbeing

Exercise: Just get on and do it…

Women running on a treadmill

I found an excellent item when I was perusing the news this week, entitled ‘You Might Never Love Exercise (But Do It Anyway)’ it addresses a very simple fact: Exercise isn’t fun. Don’t get me wrong, it can be – but it isn’t always and it really shouldn’t have to be in order for us to do it.

The article acknowledges what it refers to as a ‘cultural consensus that you have to love fitness’. There is an expectation that if you find the sport you like or the workout that chimes with you, exercise will suddenly become fun. Yes, some people enjoy it, in the same way that some people like reading or travelling or collecting china ornaments, even. It would be a far less interesting world if we were all programmed to like the same thing.

However, unlike collecting china ornaments, when it comes to exercise, we really all should do it. There are a myriad of proven reasons why it is good for us from improvements in mood, to addressing bad mental health or poor physicality. Exercise improves your general wellbeing and lessens your chances of a whole host of illnesses.

We’re all pretty much aware of this on a general level but the writer of this article gets straight to the specifics: “With consistent exposure to exercise, your cells strengthen themselves against damage by increasing its production of antioxidant enzymes (i.e. their cells defense to the free radical’s offense), which continue to protect your body at rest. This may help protect your body from certain cancers, heart disease and various neurodegenerative diseases.”

Exercise can, in effect, work towards not just keeping your body healthy but warding off serious illnesses and prolonging your life.

The problem is that we sort of expect everything to be fun (apart from work) and, if it isn’t, then we don’t really want to do it. We like everything to be sugar-coated. And it’s the same for our kids, hence why we often find ourselves dressing things up that we want them to do and then selling these activities to them.

It really is now time to get over this business of ‘everything should be fun’. Exercise is as important to meeting our needs as having a job is to putting money in our pocket. If you’re one of those people still waiting to discover your perfect work out and dodging any form of exercise simply because you find you’re not enjoying it – welcome to the real world !

Do it because you should and not because you want to. Do it because it will make you feel better; do it because it makes you fitter. In the words of Nike, just do it !