I do. I hate exercise. I always have and suspect I always will. That's not…
I hate exercise, I really do. Always have, always will.
The idea of going to the gym, pounding away on the treadmill or stationary bike, doing exercises at home and getting all puffed out, I really hate it. It’s uncomfortable, boring and just unpleasant.
Living free of depressive symptoms means doing some kind of regular exercise, or as I like to think of it, regular physical movement. Moving your body often sounds much more doable to me.
Apart from all the wonderful things regular movement will do for your depression, it simply cannot be denied that regular movement has abundant benefits for your physical health generally.
We all really should be moving more, whether we’re experiencing low mood or feeling pretty good.
So, how to incorporate more physical movement into your day without driving yourself mad?
Thousands of years ago we lived as hunter-gatherers. No hunter-gatherer would ever workout or choose to do exercise.
No, because their lifestyle is very active. It would be foolish to throw in an hour at the gym after you’ve already walked 11 kilometres tracking a large animal for dinner, butchering it and dragging the pieces back to camp for the others.
Dr Steven Ilardi (The Depression Cure) suggests that one reason why we sometimes find going to the gym so boring and so hard to get motivated is because there is no obvious purpose to it. No purpose other than keeping fit, that is.
We look at the exercise bike and something inside us says, ‘What a waste of time…I mean, you’re not going anywhere!’ (Ilardi, S, TedTalk).
If you can motivate yourself to go to the gym, go for a swim, go for a jog, great! But so many of us find that motivation hard because it seems like an hour or more out of our day without a direct or immediate result (unlike the effort expended in bringing home dinner).
The trick is to get more purposeful activity into your regular daily routine.
There’s plenty of physical activity you can do without leaving your house as well.
Getting out into the world, out of your head and back into your body, experiencing new things, learning new skills…this will give you physical activity, a sense of pleasure and purpose, a chance to meet new people and expand your social network. These new experiences are what life without chronic low mood is all about!
If you'd asked her 15 years ago if she believed life could be a wonderful as it is today, Vickie would have answered, 'I just don't know, but it doesn't seem likely.' Now she knows that if she can turn her life around, it's possible for you too. Ask Vickie how she can help you design the life you'd really love to live and say goodbye to depression forever.