The Most Important Question to Ask about Your Workout Program
Motivation is everything: Pinpoint your reason for exercise and everything else will fall into place.
In the spring of 1977, Dick Hoyt’s 15-year-old son, Rick, wanted to run a 5-mile benefit race for a lacrosse player who’d been paralyzed in an accident. But wasn’t a small feat for Rick; when he was born, his umbilical cord had wrapped around his neck, depriving him of oxygen. As a result, he lived confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or talk as a result of cerebral palsy. So Dick, then 37, agreed to push his son in the race, and together, they finished all five miles, coming in second to last.
That night, though, Rick said (using a voice activated computer), “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not disabled.”
Those 10 words were like gasoline on a fire, igniting Dick’s passion. Over the past 40 years, the famous Massachusetts-based father-son duo has completed more than 1100 races, including 72 marathons and six Ironman competitions (during the swim portion, Dad wears a vest with a bungee cord attached, towing Rick behind him in a boat.). It is not uncommon to see Rick’s hand pumping in the air throughout every race.
What Dick Hoyt did, says Brian Bradley, Fitness Director for Elev8d, is find his why. “Everyone needs a reason for why they exercise. Maybe they crave the endorphins, or they want to avoid diabetes, or they want to set a good example for their kids. What’s important is that they know their reason, their why. The why is what helps take exercise from something on your To Do list to an organic, integrated part of your routine.”
We’ve all read the stories about how it takes 21 days to create a new habit, or the tips about leaving your packed gym bag by the door to motivate yourself to get moving. But the truth, Bradley says, is that once you find you why, everything else will fall into place.
For many people, he adds, appearance is the main motivator…and that’s totally okay. “You want a smaller butt? Fine. Own it. That’s probably the initial inspiration for most people, actually; we exercise because we want to look fit.” But as we begin moving on a regular basis and start to see transformations in our body and mindset, it’s natural for our motivation itself to shift and transform. One person might fall in love with the spirituality of yoga; another might get hooked on the feeling of being sore post-workout, that physical reminder that you’re alive and you’ve accomplished something.
Elev8d Fitness wants to tap into that inner why, that inner Ironman Dad. The moves will inspire you, lift your spirits, set your inner kid free. The more you do them, the more fun they become, without feeling like you’re slogging through a workout. Soon, those eight to 16 minutes will become a natural part of your day, like sipping a hot tea in the morning or washing your face before bed.
Eight to 16 minutes. That’s nothing. But it’s everything. It can get your endorphins flowing. It can make you feel like a kid again. It can make you strong. It can improve your heart health. It can help you detox from stress. It can make you want to pump your fist in the air.
And yes, it can tighten your butt/etch out ab muscles/[insert physical goal here.]
You deserve to find a joy-filled exercise routine about which you feel passionate. Exercise doesn’t have to suck, and it doesn’t have to take up a ton of time. Label your workout as a gift, not a chore…find a time that works for you (5AM is another person’s 6PM)…and just do it. The more you do, the more changes you’ll see in yourself, and those changes will propel you across untold finish lines.