If you’ve struggled with exercise motivation and adherence, I highly recommend the book “No Sweat” by Michelle Segar, PhD. She hits the nail on the head about why so many of us hate exercise and struggle to stick with a program. It’s not you, it’s our rigid standards and ideas of what qualifies as “exercise” and the messages behind why we think we need to exercise which is usually based on shame and guilt.
One of her ideas I love is “Movement Snacks”. Just like you may have a snack if you’re hungry but it isn’t time for a full meal, a movement snack is a small bout of movement. Even if it’s 5 minutes, it counts! In our sedentary world, we have to think about moving more, find activity we enjoy, and stop thinking we HAVE to participate in a sweaty, exhausting workout at the gym for 30-60 minutes for it to count.
As a trainer for 20+ years, I see so many struggle and fail because they truly hate what they feel like they HAVE to do and WHY they have to do it, which is based on standards we as professionals are taught to implement. This book focuses on the psychology behind motivation and why we need to rethink our ideas, standards, and reasons WHY. I’ve been trying to teach this idea that all movement counts despite all of the media messages of what is “exercise”. I’ve even had to reevaluate my personal standards! If you’re a health or fitness professional, I also recommend “No Sweat” so we can get our clients motivated for the right reasons, stop shaming, and help to change their lifestyle permanently.