In this sixth poll of the Daily Dozen Disciplines, we will discuss the importance of focusing time on some type of daily exercise. Our health statistics in America should be reason enough to believe in maintaining healthier living habits. Exercise is one discipline that can extend the length and improve the quality of your life.
I believe that the key to developing any discipline is to find pleasure in doing it. If you view any activity as painful, you will have a tendency to avoid it. Do you associate pain or pleasure with exercise?
I would like to share my story with you. Eight years ago, I began walking daily with my dog. I listen to educational audio tapes while doing so and accomplish the following three positive activities at once:
- Make my dog very happy which makes me happy
- Attend my own private school - learning as I walk
- Improve my health with a 30 minute brisk walk, twice daily
I associate a lot of happiness and satisfaction to performing my daily walks. That's why I am unhappy when it rains and I can't take part in a happy activity.
I apply the same strategies to stretching to feel better; working out at the gym to look better; and swimming for enjoyment. I associate pleasure to all of these activities. Thus, I am anxious to accomplish these activities on a regular schedule.
Being passionate about exercise helps me to enjoy eating as well. I know that if I burn more calories, I won't feel guilty eating a delicious meal. So I work hard to burn those extra calories so that I could eat with passion. I associate pleasure with the whole concept of exercise. Why would I want to miss a pleasurable activity?
For your reference, we conducted three prior polls on the three types of exercise. You may want to review them by clicking on the appropriate titles below:
Take our poll and let us know your thoughts on exercise. This poll will end on Sunday 11/24/02. Watch for the results and summary by Monday morning 11/25/02.
1. 40% reported making some effort to exercise daily
2. 38% made excuse "I just don't have the time to exercise daily!"
3. 19% believed daily exercise a top priority, equivalent to eating
4. 02% reported they don't care about exercise
5. 00% reported that they hate to exercise
My hat is off to the 19% of respondents that make some type of daily exercise a top priority equivalent to eating. A small portion of your time daily should be invested in an activity that will help the quality of your health. Perhaps later in life you may even get all of the exercise time you invested back, by collecting the dividends on your time invested with more weeks, months or years of quality living. Now that's a good investment of time.
To the 40% who responded making some effort to exercise daily - that's thinking positively and in the right direction. But you need to step up to the next level of commitment.
Traveling, working long hours and overwhelming responsibilities, will all be excuses of the 38% of respondents that reported "I just don't have the time to exercise daily!" This rather large group leave themselves at risk to pay the price down the line, facing the potential of poorer health and shorter lives.
As always, our polls are designed to make you think about the activities that dominate your time. Are they well planned, productive and usually enjoyable and fulfilling? Are you in control of what and when you do things or is your time and life just racing by out of control?
In conclusion, I believe your decision to exercise or not comes down to the value and pleasure you associate with exercise. If you enjoy an activity enough, you will move it higher or your priority list and forget the excuses. The excuses will be transformed to some other less valuable or less enjoyable activity. Wishing you the best!
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