Remember Horton’s catchphrase in Dr. Seuss’s acclaimed children’s story Horton Hears a Who!?
Do you have any idea how this same kind of statement can be applied to exercise? I believe Horton would same the same about the intensity of the exercise you perform. “A movements’ a movement, no matter how small!” In the industry we call it modification. Exercise is best when you perform at your fitness level. It guarantees there will be minimal chance of injury, and by acknowledging this you give yourself permission to feel good about what you are able to do. It’s pretty much a guarantee that the positive reinforcement will also keep you going back to the gym.
Exercise is really important, but you always have to start small. Little steps get you to the goal as well as big ones. A common mistake is for people to go ALL IN. They forget it takes time to perfect your fitness level comfortably and safely. Let’s look at the milestones we mistakenly try to pull off. You will set yourself up for failure when you have an unrealistic plan.
- Be sure to start slowly. Do 3 classes to start. Walk in between days you exercise in a class setting or with a trainer.
- Moderation is very important. Lifting 3 lbs rather than 8 as a start.
- Jump up in weight slowly too. Go from 3 to 5 to 8 to 10.
- Watch how you feel after you exercise. If you are in too much pain you will need to allow yourself to recover before you exercise again.
- Never be embarrassed if you do less than anyone else. That includes repetitions, intensity or the weights you use.
I always tell my classes that I want them moving — I’m not attached to the fact that the class isn’t synchronized. This isn’t the June Taylor Dancers! I encourage individuality. Be sure you find a way to move, but not hurt during or after.
Make movement your own. Be focused on your individual needs, and not those of the people around you. That’s the best way to get fit and stay fit.