Doing Exercise You Hate Is Bad for Body and Mind

Doing Exercise You Hate Is Bad for Body and Mind

Doing Exercise You Hate Is Bad For Body And Mind

Doing Exercise You Hate Is Bad For Body And MindWe’re collectively ruining one of our greatest natural highs. “>

A few weeks ago I was sitting at one of my favorite lunch spots writing an article about our dysfunctional relationship with our bodies, and how fitness culture contributes to this dysfunction.

As got a couple of daughters at the next table were get up to leave, I heard one of them say:

I went for a run today, Im so proud of myself

And then:

I dislike running.

What the hell.

The comment reminded me of a sign I used to pass almost every day when I was in grad school. It was posted in the basement of the University of Minnesota Rec Center exhorting people to visit the snack shop that sold shakes and sandwiches( they did have a mean club sandwich ). It read: And now for the best part of your workout: the end.

In other terms: Thank God, its finally over!

This drove me crazy.

Please understand, there is absolutely something to be said for the sense of accomplishment that comes with pushing your limitsthe euphoria, the fantastic mood after finishing a kick-ass workoutplus a host of physiological health benefits. In that sense the end of a workout can be downright incredible. Regrettably, a whole bunch of people miss out on this feeling. And I suspect that one of the main reasons behind this is that our culture has turned exercise into a kind of punishment.

Physical activity has become the penalty for our indulgences. Exercise has become the currency one must expend to join the ranks of our celebrity body-idols. But the people whose miracle tales we insure on demeaning weight-loss reality presents and read about in so-called health publications are exceptions to what is in reality a grueling, sometimes humbling, and wholly unpleasant experience for a huge number of Americans.

This is such a shame, because everyone has the potential to enjoy the benefits and pleasure that come with being physically active.

So when did physical activity become a payment for our sins?

I posed this question to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, a founder of Ottowas non-surgical Bariatric Medical Institute, and writer of the book The Diet Fix.

This is not a new phenomenon, he told( he told me about a fad diet book he found from 1905 ). Suffering to lose weight workswe all know that it runs. The problem is that it doesnt last. Most people arent wiling to suffer in perpetuity.

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At a superficial level, the messages we get from the diet and fitness industry tell us that there is an easy trick out there that will help us get the body of our dreamings. So say our fitness magazines, daytime health shows, and late night diet pill commercials. But go any deeper than that and we all know that to significantly change the way our bodies seem is anything but easy. And if it sucks to exercise and to diet, if we dont like it, and we continue to fall short of the results that have been promised us, were not going to keep that up.

By focusing on largely unattainable aesthetic outcomes rather than the intrinsic enjoyment of healthy behaviors for their own sake, were setting ourselves up for failure.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff again: Whatever youre doing to lose weight, to improve your health, to exert more, the issues to youve got to be asking yourself is quite simply, Could I happily do this forevermore? Where blithely is one of the key words in that sentence. You know, tolerating life is not good enough.

But thats what so many people are doing. Our world( at the least for those working of us lucky enough to live in developed countries) is filled with empty calories, more than any animal on this planet requires. At the same time, the physical cost of obtaining those calories has disappeared . We are in a situation unlike any that any animal population has in the past faced on this planet. Its a perfect recipe for some serious health problems, and were seeing that in high rates of kind II diabetes, heart disease, and some different forms of cancer.

And so we either succumb to this caloric glut and sedentary life, or we fight back with the only tools we think we have been given: The diet and the workout. But instead of focusing on those health problems, weve created this bogyman called obesity, that must be stopped at all costs.

One of the primary reasons were losing this fight is that were use the wrong weapon to fight the incorrect enemy.

We have regrettably sold the public a bill of goods, told Freedhoff, that exert is the ticket to the weight-loss express . . . Its not. He conceded that there are exceptions, and that some folks have experienced significant weight-loss partly as a result of new exercising habits, but for the average person, this is not a road to success.

If the only thing a person is trying to do to lose weight is exercise, it usually objective up in the suffering realm, because thats the only way to do enough to actually have an impactyouve gotta really kill yourself in that gym . . . People dont, and cant maintain those degrees of insane amounts of exercising in perpetuity. Short word, sure, but long term , no, Freedhoff said.

So as long as were employing exercise for weight-lossas exchange experiences for our dietary sins, we risk missing out on the amazing benefits that come from incorporating physical activity into our livesfor the rest of our lives.

Exercise is the worlds best medication, Freedhoff said. Its merely not a weight-loss drug . . . So if people are taking exert for weight management, theyre going to stop taking it when it doesnt work. And thats a disgrace, given the benefits it has to everything else . . . Exercise[ and a healthy lifestyle in general] will help to prevent or treat 80 percent of all the chronic non-communicable diseases that there are! Thats a really impressive narcotic! But the one thing it will not assistance, at least not dramatically, is weight.

The transaction of exert for calories devoured is a product of fitness cultures obsession with weight. This obsession is get in the way of us being able to move our bodies simply because moving our bodies is astonishing and feels great. Its get in the way of us get strong, simply because being strong and being able to do stuff is awesome. Its getting in the way of eating asparagus and Brussels sprouts simply because theyre delicious and help keep us from get sick.

In her volume Fit for Consumption, Jennifer Smith Maguire writes that the problem with fitness, from the point of view of health, is that the[ fitness] fields prescribed negotiation of denial and pleasure makes not healthy, but devouring behaviour. The work of the workout is rationalized as a means to earn rewardsa thinner and more toned body, a chance to buy smaller clothes, such an attitude undermines the potential benefits of exert . . . by focusing attention on changing, rather than enjoying the bodys capacities.

And theres the rub. When physical activity inhabits this transactional space, where were essentially use workout as a payment to looking a certain style, were bound to lose. If you dont like operating, dont running. Youd do well to find something active that you do enjoy, but as long as youre exercising as a chore, as a penance, youre defining yourself up for failure in the long run. Try going for a walking. Who knows? Maybe youll like it.

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