Fitness Matters

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In this monthly column, Marlon Teekah focuses on various aspects of fitness and answers questions you might have in order to encourage you to be your best in body, mind, and spirit.

Everyday Awesomeness at the Gym

The long-term benefits of exercise have been pretty well documented, and many people know what they are: getting physically active will help you with reducing cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a ton of other things. All of these benefits are good — really good — but they can take a while to notice.

Unfortunately, many people don’t give themselves the time to see these benefits, since they’re so caught up in getting quick results (such as losing 20lbs in one month). Consequently, they stop exercising and wait until later to get in shape. For all my amigas and amigos who made it a resolution to get active for 2012, this urge to drop the dumbbells and start bicep curling the potato chips into their mouths may be starting to occur right about … now. But wait! I have a solution for you that may just help you to continue on with your fitness journey!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not one to buy into short, quick results from the gym (such as losing 20lbs in one month). However, instead of using results as your motivating factor to keep in the gym, what if you re-evaluated your motivation? What if you started to pay more attention and appreciate the small, daily moments of everyday awesomeness at the gym? These examples below may help (and please e-mail me if you have any more):

Mustering up the fortitude to leave your house for another day at the gym, despite not wanting to go when you woke up
The warm welcome from the receptionist at the front (it’s icing on the cake if they know your name and/or if they are attractive)
The beep of your card being successfully swiped in
The click of the turnstile as you go through it
Clean locker rooms
Finding an empty day locker right by the showers
The smell of freshly laundered gym clothes
Walking on the gym floor and hearing your favourite song blasting on the radio
Having a short catch-up conversation with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while
Jogging on the treadmill while the sun outside beats down on your face
The light sweat on your skin after a 10-minute warm-up jog
Hearing your favourite “pump-up” song right before you do your last minutes in the gym
13. Lifting a little more weight, doing one more rep, running a little faster, and/or stretching a little deeper than you did your last session (it’s paying off!)
14. Sipping on ice-cold water when you really need it
15. The moment right after you feel that tremendous burning in your muscles and abs
16. Walking to the stretching area with rubbery legs
17. Having a nice, long, slow stretching session at the end of the day
18. The click of the turnstile as you leave the gym
19. The first meal after you exercise
20. Feeling refreshed throughout your day (for those morning workout people)
21. Waking up the next morning and feeling muscle soreness (but still being able to function)

I can speak from personal experience when I say that whether I was in or out of the gym, I got caught up in wanting, in what’s happening next, in achieving long-term goals, in chasing. Essentially, I forgot to enjoy the ride, and took for granted all of the little things that were happening right in front of me. So, I challenge myself — and I challenge you — to be a little bit more mindful of the present moment while you are in the gym; to recognize and appreciate the small, amazing moments that are right in front of your eyes. If you want to be super ambitious, you can start to be more mindful of these things (i.e., warm songs on a cold winter day) in every aspect of your life, throughout your day. It might just make your life that much better. (If this resonates well with you, I suggest you checkout “The Book of Awesome”!) September 2010 Good News Toronto

See you next month!

Marlon

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this article is recommended for the general population who are physically able to exercise. To determine if exercise is appropriate for you, please consult your physician before trying anything offered in this column or exercise in general. Marlon Teekah and Good News Toronto are not liable for your safety.