NIC DECAIRE, SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL
Last week, I had a conversation with a good friend. He said, “Nic, I hate to exercise. I mean, really, I hate it. There is nothing about it I enjoy, but I know I need to do it. Can you help me?”
I get it, I told him. We have all been there. Some of us more than others.
Some people truly enjoy exercise and feel they can’t live without it. Others grew up with fitness, so it’s a part of their life.
For the rest of us, it’s a focus on our health that keeps us moving. We know exercise is good for us, our doctor told us to do it or we are trying to fight the aging process.
But what happens if you don’t enjoy it and the pros don’t outweigh the cons for you?
This conversation with my friend made me think about how I could convince him and others to exercise when they don’t really want to.
I thought back to when I was a kid. Weekend mornings were filled with soccer games. Afternoons were spent running around with neighborhood kids riding bikes and playing hide and seek. It was exercise, but it was fun. I was not doing it to get in shape or become healthier; I was doing it because I enjoyed it.
So what changed since we were children? Most of us started exercising alone.
As children and teenagers, we exercise in groups. We play sports and spend our recesses together. Even our gym classes are group exercise.
There is a sense of team when we are in a group. Others depend on us. We feel competitive. We are social.
It all changes as we get older. We go for a walk at lunch alone. After work, we put on our headphones and go for a run at the park alone. At the gym, we lift weights alone and get on the elliptical alone.
This is where we are going wrong for the majority of people who don’t enjoy exercise.
Think of friends and family who love being active. Do they play dodgeball for Delaware Sports League? Are they going to Zumba with co-workers? Did they run a Spartan Race with four of their crazy friends?
The difference? They’re part of a community.
It was hard for me to realize this since I grew up competing in sports that focus on the individual rather than the team. Powerlifting and bodybuilding are all about one person. You. There is no team.
It is you versus yourself.
After my short-lived career, I began to hate exercise. It became a chore. While I was still in the industry, I took many years off from exercise. (I probably shouldn’t admit this being a fitness expert.)
It was not until we introduced Team Training at Fusion that I began to enjoy fitness again. Team Training is what we call our group fitness class at Fusion. We use tools like Kettlebells, TRX and our own bodies to get stronger, leaner, healthier and faster.
We have different fitness goals in the class, but we all are there for the same mission – to become a better version of ourselves. Being with others makes this a little easier.
I love seeing the pain on everyone else’s faces – and not just mine – during sled pushes and burpees. The high fives after a hard workout make the effort worth it. Comments like, “See you on Wednesday,” make me feel committed to my fitness journey again because I don’t want to let my “teammates” down.
It doesn’t feel like a chore when others are going through the same struggles as you.
It almost feels like being a kid again.
Whether you enjoy throwing balls, dancing to J.Lo or jumping through fire with your friends, I think the answer we all are looking for to really enjoy fitness is friends who feel the same way we do.
Stop thinking of fitness as an individual activity – you don’t need to do it alone.
Nic DeCaire, owner of Fusion Fitness Center in Newark, has been training clients for more than a decade.Continue Reading