Secrets of Adding Exercise to Your Life

Most of us are plenty tired of having experts tell us we should do more exercise. Our chiropractors tell us. Our family doctors tell us. Friends who just started taking their first yoga class and aren't really experts tell us. Celebrities tell us. Kid stars on Disney Channel tell us. Now even local television news anchors are telling us.

Intentionally or not, the result of all this "encouragement" is just more and more guilt. We already know we should be exercising. Hearing about it all day long really doesn't help. We're working hard at our jobs, keeping it together, taking care of the family, but as long as we're not also doing our daily exercise we're just not doing enough. We're not being healthy and the experts are only too glad to recite all of the long-term consequences of our slothful behavior.1,2,3

So what's a person to do? On one hand, we can dig in our heels, deny reality, and desperately resist all those do-gooders. Some will bet their future on ancient family legends - "My grand-dad smoked two packs of cigarettes for 50 years, never exercised a day in his life, and died in his sleep when he was 92." Others will simply leave things up to fate, taking their chances as well as the path of least resistance, doing the same old same old, and hoping everything will be OK.

There is another way. First, it's very important to distinguish what I choose to do from what I should do. No one wants to do what they should do. Should means having to, should means having no choice in the matter. Should means someone else is telling me what to do, and no one really wants to do that. We want to do what we want to do. So telling a person they should do more exercise merely engenders resistance. People will only take the time and make the effort to exercise regularly if they want to do it, if they themselves choose to. Not because someone told them they needed to.

The secret of adding exercise to your life is discovering why you would want to do it. Discovering the payoff. Sure, the payoff includes being healthier, lowering your blood pressure, improving your metabolism, and lowering your serum glucose. But these are not really motivating factors for most people. If they were, everyone would be exercising. The real payoff, what gets people into the gym and out on the road walking, bicycling, and running, is that exercise is fun. You feel great afterward, often for the whole day. And pretty quickly, the more you exercise the more your body wants to do it. Your body takes over and your mind goes, "yeah, I'm going to the gym".

So the secret is to make a choice, pull yourself together, grit your teeth, and go exercising a few times. Almost always you'll discover that you actually do like it, that there's a tremendous feeling of accomplishment and fun. And all of a sudden, to your surprise and astonishment, you've become a person who exercises.

1Jordao MT, et al: Exercise Training Restores Hypertension-Induced Changes in the Elastic Tissue of the Thoracic Aorta. J Vasc Res 48(6):513-524, 2011
2Walsh NP, et al: Position statement. Part one: Immune function and exercise. Exerc Immunol Rev 17:6-63, 2011
3Lin GM, et al: Effects of aerobic and resistance training on hemoglobin A1c levels in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 304(20):2253-2262, 2010

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Testimonials

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "In 2006, I was scheduled by a Cardiologist to have a Heart Catheterization. I had been having constriction and tightness in my chest, so I sought the opinion of Dr. Hicks. He showed me where my neck was subluxated and told me he was sure an adjustment would remedy my situation. He was right! I felt immediate relief and my symptoms have never returned."
    -Jeannine K.
  • "In May 2010 I had been hit in the head with a softball and had a concussion. Soon after I began having severe migranes and headaches. After two MRI studies, the medical doctor prescribed me Sumatriptan which is a painkiller. I suffered from the migranes for 14 months until I met Dr. Hicks. He gave me my first adjustment and my mom and Dr. Hicks noticed that the color in my face went from pale to pink immediately! My migranes have disappeared and I rarely even get a headache. Thank you Dr. Hicks!"
    -Brenna B. age 17, South Lyon
  • "My husband and I were apprehensive about seeing a Chiropractor but Dr. Hicks put us both at ease. The treatments we have received have helped both of us far beyond our expectations. Not only have the adjustments been beneficial but our eating habits and sleep patterns have greatly improved. Dr. Hicks listens to our concerns and keeps finding ways to improve our well being. Both Joanne and Dr. Hicks have made us feel a part of their family."
    -Elizabeth & A.J.
  • "I have had sinus problems for 25 years. It caused me to lose my voice every year and I love to sing at my church. I was also unable to smell or taste food for years. Now, with regular chiropractic care along with nutritional supplements, I have regained my sense of smell and taste. Also, I have not had to miss singing for my church on Sunday mornings thanks to Dr. Hicks!"
    -Barbra R.