Every New Year, tens of millions of people set a goal to exercise on a regular basis. Many join a gym or a fitness facility and for the first month or two stick with it until there is an excuse. Once they miss the gym with one excuse, it’s easy to fall out of the habit of going to gym and working out.
According to Robert Hopper, Ph.D., in his new book, Stick with Exercise for a Lifetime: How to Enjoy Every Minute of It, the only way to stick with exercise is to love it and have fun doing it. He tells the reader that there are two ways to exercise–the traditional way by going to the gym and running on the treadmill or the alternative way by taking dance classes or any other lifestyle type activity that makes you active.
In addition to having fun while exercising, Dr. Hopper suggests that a coach is imperative to master the sport. He also suggests joining a team and doing the activity in a group. He talks about various groups and clubs to join and also tells the reader not to be caught up in the price. He says that all physical activity has a cost and the reader shouldn’t let that be a barrier to that sport. “Even walking has a cost,” Dr. Hopper writes. He tells the reader that the further the distance the more likely the reader will need more durable shoes.
Time is always a factor in exercising. Who has the time? He tells the reader to make the time and the best time to exercise is “when you can be successful at it.”
Dr. Hopper writes that the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association suggests that people either exercise vigorously three times a week or moderately five days a week. But, he says that you don’t have to start out by doing all this at once. He suggests starting out small and building up to this. For example, if you start to walk and you’ve never done any type of physical activity before, start with 2.5 minutes out and 2.5 minutes back. Do that for a month and within four months, you’ll be walking 30 minutes a day.
My favorite chapter in Stick with Exercise for a Lifetime is Chapter Seven where Dr. Hopper talks about “Win at Championship Moments.” Here he discusses the reader’s mental attitude and visualizations for achieving a goal. I found this personally useful in helping me psych up for a half marathon this upcoming April.
In Stick With Exercise for a Lifetime, Dr. Hopper provides seven practical tips and delves into them in each chapter. They are:
- Have fun
- Get a coach
- Join a team or group
- Protect your time
- Add some other type of fitness besides the one that you are focusing on to improve your sport
- Constantly seek improvement
- Use one of four mental techniques to get yourself to keep going forward
I thought the book was well written, motivating and a perfect read to start the New Year right.
Article first published as Book Review: Stick with Exercise for a Lifetime: How to Enjoy Every Minute of It! by Robert Hopper on Blogcritics.