Everyone knows that physical training/ fitness is a major component to overall health. Then why do so many people fail to reach their goals or fail to live a healthy life?
Because it is not easy. Training is not easy, it's not always fun.
In my experience many people get the wrong perception about working out and training, they expect it to be a fun experience. Now not all people think this but it exists out there like anything we do in life we look for a positive experience….we want it to be fun. If it is fun then we get a kick of the feel good dopamine and it becomes a new learned emotion, behavior, event that our brain likes and perceives as worth repeating.
Exercise can be fun and I do have my own fun with training, I look forward to certain exercises, certain movements, certain workouts, but then there is the other side: the grinding, unpleasant feeling of a high heart rate, increased respiration, feeling of complete body fatigue, shaking, inability to contract muscles for another rep, another 100 yard sprint when you think nothing is left. The latter deters people from their goals and progressing through exercise programs. Once people get into the uncomfortable zones of training it produces a negative emotion, and I agree no one wants to feel like hot garbage at all. The result of some training creates an unfavorable internal milieu for the body and the body does not like that and it will adjust to get it back to normal. The acidity of blood changes and the body is sensitive to that, same with oxygen levels dropping. That's what you are feeling when you get pushed to what you think your limits are. The body wants to stay in a homeostatic state and we want to create a new level so we must disrupt the current one. I do not think anyone thinks 16 110 yard sprints are fun, I would even argue at times Michael Jordan did not want to do those extra sprints, but he knew that the outcome from running the sprints was worth doing them.
Looking at exercise cannot be for instant gratification, because it's not that, now sure you can go into the gym and do some bicep curls and triceps and feel “the pump” and that's instant but doing that everyday isn’t optimal for overall health. We need to get into the dark zones of training, we need to challenge and stress our bodies out of the comfort zone. Delaying the gratification is hard to do but overtime if you stay on a consistent course and path you will see results.
Approaching the mindset to exercise and training is like anything else that has a goal driven outcome, you have to know and recognize what it is you want and know the hard work it takes to get there. Take sports as an example; the end goal of sports is to be champions, to win more games than the others and defeat them, showing up to practices, workouts, lifts, meetings is all part of the process to achieving champion status. We have seen time and time again sports greats work ethic to get them to where they want to be, yes you can have talent and be skilled but many do and those who work hardest at it will come out as the best. This is true for any aspect of life, you need to work towards it to achieve it.
Back to the exercise side of life, people must have the same approach each day, they need to understand that going for the 5 mile run gets them one step closer to their goal and it makes the body better than it was yesterday, literally you have just made your body more efficient. Now fitness never ends, you can reach a goal but you cannot stop there you need to find your next goal or continue to achieve the goal you are at now. The fun comes when you see results from the exercise and the gratification is way more than a quick dose. Exercise is a way to strengthen the body all around, to make our internal engine run more efficiently, at times yes it can and will be a little fun, but majority of the time it will be gruesome, intense, heart pounding and brutal on the body, that's what it needs to be to make changes.