Some movement is always better than no movement

Since there will never be the “perfect” week to start exercising, start looking for daily opportunities to be active. Every bit of motion adds up, and every situation can be re-framed as an opportunity for movement.

“Some movement is always better than no movement” is my attempt to counter the  “perfectionism” discourse too often present within the fitness field.

STOP aiming for health perfection!!!! Perfection is not possible. Aiming for perfection simply sets you up for failure!

Since there is no way to be perfect, we often do one of two things. Either we consciously or unconsciously let ourselves off the hook before we even start, by thinking that we will fail, so why bother trying?

Or, we aim for perfection; then when we can’t live up to our unrealistic goals, we fall back into our negative health habits. The goal of perfect is like giving yourself a built-in excuse to throw in the “workout towel” when something doesn’t go according to plan.

Either way, stop trying to find the perfect week to start exercising or the perfect time to work out, or assuming that every workout has to unfold according to plan. Stop saying things like ,“This week is already too full; there is no point trying to start working out. I will train next week.” You can always find time to walk for 10 minutes. Ten minutes of walking is better than nothing. Skipping a workout often kickstarts a negative domino effect; one week of inactivity turns into a month of inactivity, and before you know it an entire season has gone by. You feel in worse shape and heavier than ever, which means it is even harder to start training

If you can’t make your spin class, or do your entire gym routine, don’t abandon ship altogether. Go for a walk, a mini run, or do a few exercises at home. Just do something. Consistency beats perfection.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am not arguing that you shouldn’t have goals. Abandoning the quest for perfection is not about abandoning goal setting. I am a firm believer in making realistic, sustainable goals, but in short, part of staying on a positive health track is having realistic goals, while also being flexible. Modify your plans as life dictates, and when you fall off the fitness wagon — it is bound to happen once or twice — assess why and then get right back on track. Create new goals based on your new-found knowledge. Play around; figure out what type of goal setting, motivational strategies, support networks, and scheduling strategies work for you.

Remind yourself that people who successfully make long-term lifestyle changes aren’t usually successful the first time. They don’t succeed by being perfect, they succeed because they persevere. Health is a process — a non-linear one at that — that takes daily dedication.

Basically, ditch the goal of perfection. Instead, aim to be persistent, flexible, and patient!

Here are a few helpful links:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/weight-loss-is-not-always-the-answer-to-better-health/article30453328/

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/kathleen-trotter/making-excuses-not-to-exercise_b_4098672.html