Is exercise a bitter medicine,
Like your veggies that you grudgingly eat?
So you walk tread mills, climb stairs and lift weights.
Or run cross-country in the summer heat.
Because someone told you that you “have to”
“Burn those calories” and watch what you eat.
But they don’t mention that movement is fun
And was never meant to be a track meet.
There is nothing wrong with walking a mall,
Or dancing or cycling down the street.
Exercise does not have to be a pain.
Do it right and it is fun, short and sweet.
When people think of exercise, they conjure up images of gym teachers, sport coaches, military instructors or sadistic personal trainers with clipboards. Speaking from experience, often the school Physical Education was embarrassing for the unfit and the military and some martial arts schools doled out the push ups and stress positions on a regular basis. So, one’s mind could easily associate exercise to pain and humiliation.
Then, there were the early rewards of exercise and sports. Teachers, parents and student peers frequently praised the school athletes, especially winning athletes. Athletics brought prestige to schools, parents and other students.
The problem with early exercise experiences, like high school, is that:
- Some young people, associated exercise with pain, rejection (last picked for sports) and humiliation.
- The high school athletes were often motivated by competition and external praise. When school was over, they lost motivation to exercise.
Behavioral psychologist and author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness, Michelle Segar, discovered that people who enjoy an activity are more likely to stick with it than people who exercise “because they have to” or want to lose weight.
Segar compared exercisers who focused on weight-loss and cosmetics (“body shapers”) with exercisers who just exercised for fun (“non-body shapers”). She found that the non-body shapers exercised more frequently and longer and showed greater progress than the body shapers. Furthermore, when offered candy after exercise, the non-body shapers refused candy rewards, whereas the body shapers ate more candy. When interviewed afterwards, the body shapers felt that they deserved more candy for their effort.
Moral of the story: Find something that you like to do and exercise for the fun of it, rather than counting crunches and burning calories. This means exercise in a good environment with good company. Then exercise becomes its own reward and not bitter medicine.
Anupam Ghose, a physician by training, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in 2017. After the diagnosis of T2DM, he followed a low carbohydrate high fat (ketogenic) diet and reversed his T2DM within a year. Now he is on a mission to educate people and spread awareness about T2DM. Since he could reverse his T2DM following a ketogenic diet, now he is performing extensive research on ketogenic diet and expanding his knowledge on this particular topic. His main goal is to make people understand that the conventional method of treating T2DM is not very helpful and it is possible to reverse T2DM through diet and lifestyle modification.