Does your exercise program catch fish?
When choosing an exercise program, most people decide to try a particular program or exercise because they heard of it on television, in a magazine article, or from a friend. They hope it will help them get the results they want, but after doing it for awhile, they realize it’s not working. Like the cliché, this is putting the cart before the horse.
When I took a “Bait and Fly Casting” class in college in the Midwest where I was a Physical Education major, my teacher told me there are two kinds of flies: the kind that catch fish, and the kind that catch people. When you go to the store or make your own flies (like we did in class), some look pretty and fancy to you or I, but to a fish they look as appetizing as a twig, and not like anything they would ever want to eat. The fancy kind would not catch a fish, but it would get someone to spend money on them. If you know what kind of fish you are fishing for, and understand the eating habits and environment in which those fish live, you can buy or make just the right fly to catch one. The fitness industry is very similar. There are many things out there that catch people’s attention and get them to spend money, but they are not the right thing for getting results necessarily. Some, like our flies, look fancy, and are in an attractive package; but they really don’t do what is needed to change your body, and are not what exercise is all about. If what you really enjoy is being outdoors in nature, then buying the fancy flies will work for you because catching fish is not your goal. But if your goal is to catch fish, know what it is you need to get the job done. If you like to socialize and have fun, doing the fancy things will also work for you. However, if changing your body is what you are truly looking for, then choose what is proven to be most effective.
Before deciding on and starting an exercise program, ask yourself a few questions: “What results do I want to achieve?” “What will it take to get the results I am looking for?” “Are the results I want realistic?” “Am I willing to do what it takes to get those results?” “What limitations do I have that might keep me from getting the results I desire?” “What kind of commitment am I willing to give (time and effort)?” These and other questions that determine your motivation for starting an exercise program need to be asked before picking up a weight or buying your new pair of sneakers.
Some exercise is very productive; others are more recreational and fun. Some take a lot of time while others are more efficient. Know what you want out of a program and what it can offer before you decide on what to do. The thought you put into doing that will make all the difference in what you get out of your exercise regimen.