At lunch last week, my friend Isabella told me that she wasn’t exercising because she’s just lazy. My response? “Isabella, I don’t believe in lazy.” I’ve found that when women say they are too lazy to exercise it’s usually a smoke screen for what’s really going on.
The first reason women conclude they are lazy is because they are simply tired from successfully juggling and achieving A LOT. Being tired and needing to relax is very different than laziness. The challenge for women who feel too tired to exercise is to learn how to determine when resting and relaxing their bodies is what they most need (something that is really important to do at times) and when they’d be better off doing some form of physical activity to increase their energy and improve their mood.
The second reason that women erroneously conclude they are lazy is because they compare themselves against too high of a standard. We were told for most of our adult lives that exercise had to be hard and vigorous to be of benefit. On top of that, when we see some of our friends training for marathons or spinning every day, something that confirms our suspicion that we are lazy!
Contrary to what fitness companies want us to believe, newer research shows us that exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous to be of benefit and that all types and durations of movement “count.” But regardless of science, if intense exercise is unappealing (which it is for most women in midlife, including myself much of the time) we won’t do it anyway.
Bottom line: There is no need to compare ourselves to anyone else when it comes to being physically active or feeling like we need to do it their way. (That would be like comparing what you like in bed with what others enjoy and then condemning yourself for not being like them!)
The fix? Just change the definition of exercise from what you think exercise SHOULD be (because that’s what others are doing) to one that incorporates the types of physical activities and movement that feels good TO YOU. By the way, what feels good to do will and should change based on how you feel on any given day and time. You will discover that the idea of being laziness becomes much less relevant. Not only will you not feel lazy but you’ll wind up doing more physical activity.
For more about what’s sabotaging your desire to exercise, check out my blog www.essentialsteps.net/blog