Exercise is good..keeps you from punching a team member.
Like many, I am not a born athlete blessed with naturally chiseled abs and a perky posterior. I have to drag my sorry sass once a week to the gym. There, I begrudgingly lay on a mat and try to make my elbows reach my knees, or try to lunge low enough to hear my ankles crack. Thankfully, I do have someone nagging me to work harder and his name is Mikey. For a dog, he can be a quite the drill sergeant when I am supposed to be getting results. Mikey often has to bark loudly as it is hard to hear anything over my complaining.
Days can be long with multiple meetings, disapproving consultants, and balancing budgets which can make it difficult to do any physical activity other than lifting the latte to your lips. However, even a short walk can help with stress or fatigue. I know that going to the gym only once a week isn't quite enough to maintain good fitness or to see dramatic results, so when I can, I look to other activities to stay active. Cleaning the house may be included, but vacuuming sucks. :)
After polling my co-workers and friends, all confirmed that they do feel better after engaging in physical activity. It is the initial motivation of going to the gym, changing, and starting an activity that creates the biggest barrier between people and their fitness. Picking-up the workout bag and arriving at the gym really is the hardest part of intense exercise. At home, walking down the stairs to the basement and jumping onto the treadmill can be the challenge. There isn't a good answer to overcome the motivational challenge of starting an activity as it is different for everyone. The knowledge that there will be more energy to help you through those meetings and increased patience to calm the consultants is a good motivator to get moving. Also motivating is the awareness that there are things to do outside of work that can help you have new experiences or meet other people who are also trying to stay active. Thirty minutes of walking on a treadmill while watching the glube-tube, or doing a few sit-ups and push-ups at the park with the kids, all count for some activity beyond sitting. Every time you do a small activity, make it harder and it will help.
Mikey sees me complain during my sets, but he is unmoved. His goal is my goal - to complete the next 50 min. Each time I collapse on the mat and fain tears, I know that I am doing this for my own good, and the good of those around me whom I need to help guide and motivate. When the week has been extremely hard, and your patience pushed beyond the threshold of reasonable emotional tolerance, there really is nothing more satisfying than hitting a punching bag. The punching bag can't sue you.
Mikey can be found at - www.britannicafitness.com
Fiona Warren - 17 years experience with large high-profile projects and teams.