Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Motiviation for Exercise

When I turned 40 a few years ago (ahem) I decided it was time to get back to my college weight. I committed to working out every weekday, Monday through Friday. I started with 30 minutes of cardio and worked my way up to 60 minutes a day. My normal schedule was to do weight training on Wednesday with my trainer Dan at The Body Studio. The other days I usually spent my hour divided between the ellipitcal, treadmill, stairmaster, or stationary bike.

Since we've moved to Vietnam I've fallen off the wagon, probably averaging workouts only two or three times a week. When I saw this article today on how to stay motived, it struck a chord. The tip I like the best is #4, any workout counts. There have been many days when I just did not want to go, so I told myself I could quit after 15 minutes. This works like a charm. A few times I did do less than 60 minutes of exercise, but most of the time I stuck it out for the whole hour, even when I had given myself permission to stop earlier. This works because it gets you off the couch. Any exercise is better than none, and once you've gone through the overhead of getting to the gym anyway, you might as well just get on with it.

Another trick I've used is just putting on my workout clothes in the morning. This works well on the weekends. When you get up, wear your gym clothes while you enjoy your weekend morning. After a while, you'll realize it's time to go do some exercise and you'll already be dressed for it! I used this one today. I was feeling a bit under the weather but I put on my workout clothes anyway. After a few hours of relaxing, I slipped down to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio, some abs, and stretching.

I must say, having a personal trainer makes a big difference as well. I suppose that goes to #6, throw money at the problem. It's odd that I now live in a place where hiring people is much cheaper than in California, yet I have not hired a personal trainer here. Part of the problem is the language barrier. The other problem is finding someone qualified. Most of the locals I see working out here have really bad form. If I was to follow what they are doing, I'm sure I would throw out my back or pull a muscle.

That being said, I suppose it's possible that I could find a qualified personal trainer in Saigon. Any suggestions folks?