I expect you’d never thought to read something that says “Don’t exercise to lose weight“.
If you looked up the definition of exercise, believe it or not, it’s not going to say something that’s only for those people who are or want to be super fit or lose weight.
It actually says…
Handing out flyers to promote Elevate LDN, someone goes, “oh god, is that for exercise!!?? No thanks.”
So, it got me thinking…
Exercise is often given a bad rep.
Exercise is given this aura that makes you feel you can only participate if you’re a certain shape, size or want to be that certain size or shape.
I’ve even had clients say they feel they need to get fit before they start personal training sessions, or even feel so terrified by the idea of a personal training session that they cancel their first sesssion before they even give it a go.
One thing I’ve always aimed to do for my clients is to find something they enjoy, make exercise something they want to include in their lifestyle and in turn stick to.
Why would you want to workout if you hated every single second?!
After all, exercise is for life, not just for Christmas party season and summer holidays. What if I told you, exercise doesn’t have to leave you in pain and gasping for your next breath and that you don’t have to exercise to lose weight.
Reasons to exercise.
- skeletal health
- mental health
- for a new challenge
- for fun
- combatting desk posture or even correcting posture
- rehab from a previous injury
- being able to go about your life with less pain, walk up stairs with more ease or be able to pick up your 3 year old
However, people still seem to see that exercise, working out or whatever you want to call it, is only for aesthetics. Yes, that’s a side effect but if that’s the sole aim, quite often you’ll end up viewing it as something to have to do, rather than something you get to do and enjoy doing which can often end up with the “do as much as you can” approach which will lead to burnout and then deciding that you’re not meant to exercise.
When handing out flyers, I’m never one to select people I feel that need it, because in short, everyone can benefit from it.
For example, I’ve heard the following and more while handing out flyers for personal training:
- “I’m too old” – from a 50 year old – I’ve got clients in their 60s and have a few 70 year olds in my spin classes too. Physical activity is so important in seniors as it’s great for boosting cognitive health as well as cardiovascular. What’s more, it can lift mood, decrease stress and improve confidence.
- “Do I look like I need personal training” from a bloke in decent shape – Not wanting to generalise but a lot of gym goers train the “vanity” areas – men being chest, shoulders and biceps whereas for females it’s lower body. This can result in muscular imbalances, poor posture and not getting the benefits you would see from a more rounded approach. Let’s take someone who favours chest over training back…
- An overtrained chest (vs back) leads to kyphotic posture (that hunched over look) thanks to muscular imbalance
- There are a lot more muscles in your back, so training your back (in particular your latissimus dorsi) will help give the impression of a wider chest
- By underusing your back you’ll have a weaker bench press as your back is a key stabiliser in this move
- “Are you calling me fat” from a bloke in decent shape – I get this comment A LOT! You don’t have to have a personal trainer to lose weight. Maybe you’ve got an injury, a weakness, want to learn some new moves, need some motivation – there are so many reasons for a PT! Also, strength training improves your confidence so maybe if you were good at it, you wouldn’t need to question my flyering…
- “I’m 4 months pregnant” from a lady whose bump was visible – This is a whole new post in itself but just to summarise, the days are long gone when pregnancy meant putting your feet up for the full 9 and a bit months (unless you’ve got a contraindication to exercise while pregnant). Keeping your body strong throughout your pregnancy usually results in shorter labours, less complications, fewer aches and pains brought about by postural changes, plus exercising helps increase energy levels. In short, there’s no better time to have an (ante/post natal qualified) trainer to make sure you’re exercising safely.
- “It’s too late” from someone out of shape – it’s never too late. Everyone starts somewhere in their “fitness journey” and you might end up making it into your new beginning.
- “I hate exercise” – It’s a case of finding what makes you tick and reigniting that motivation. Funnily enough I had a client start recently who turned up to her first session saying she hated exercise but knew she had to do it. 5 weeks in and she’s turning up saying she’s excited for what she’s got in store.
So… there we go.
Don’t exercise to lose weight.[Cue get in touch for a consultation or chat about personal training ]