Exercise Takes Body and Mind
By Ellington Darden, Ph.D.
While out of town on a business trip, a young man seeks the exercise room at his hotel where he is glad to find a stair-climbing machine. For 20 minutes or more, he elevates his heart rate significantly, his lungs are challenged, and perspiration oozes out of most of his skin’s pores.
Once finished, it seems ironic that he would take the elevator back to his room.
We have a wonderful way of using modern conveniences to make life easier, and then needing a sophisticated technology to make up for the easiness. But this isn’t a case merely of a passion for expensive toys. The reality is that the stair-climbing machine captures the imagination, while the stairwell is a bore.
Exercise is a body and mind experience. The body performs at the mind’s direction. An unenthusiastic mind will not stimulate the body.
Every exercise method has its legions of devotees.
What captures our imagination varies with our psychological makeup and personalities. It is important to recognize this, especially if you’ve been having difficulty with your exercise discipline. The solution is to reprogram your mind.
Explore other methods of exercise to see what appeals to you, and search your soul by considering these challenges:
- Stop complaining about the rigors of exercise. If you’re blessed with a basically healthy body, be thankful that you’re able to fatigue muscles and rev up the heart/lung machine.
- Focus on the benefits you’ll derive from regular exercise, and even visualize attainment of your goal. Keep your eye on the prize not the price.
- Read books and articles that inspire and inform. Be consistent and persistent with this reading habit.
- Associate with other people who make exercise a priority. They’ll influence you toward your fitness goals instead of away from them.
- Find a sport or recreation you enjoy and try to improve it by getting into better physical condition. Remember, however, that you get into shape to play sports; you don’t play sports to get into shape.
- Recognize that your quality of life depends, in part, on your physical well-being.