Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 05, 2014

The 10 Rules of Successful Exercise

By Mark Sisson
60 Comments

Healthy trail runRegular physical activity is important, and everyone pretty much agrees, but life gets in the way. Most of us end up trying to fit exercise in around a busy schedule rich in sedentary behaviors. We’re sitting all the time. We’re spending countless hours at jobs we may not necessarily love. Responsibilities pile up and time slips away before we notice it was even there. We need to make our exercise count. We need to get it right. So today, I’m going to lay out the ten most important rules for successful exercise. These are the rules I use to form my exercise philosophy. These ten items have helped me get fitter, healthier, and happier than I ever was as a professional athlete, and I think they’ll help you out, too.

You might not need to follow all ten rules. And not all rules apply to all training regimens. That’s fine. But in my experience, both personally and as a coach, the people who get the most out of their workouts adhere to most of these rules.

Do the thing you love.

Some fitness people like to talk tough. They’ll say things like “pain is weakness leaving the body” or “if you’re enjoying yourself, you’re not training.” I get where they’re coming from because hitting the truly elite levels of performance does require enduring pain and sacrifice and unpleasantness and, frankly, momentary bouts of abject misery. But even the triathletes subjecting themselves to crippling pain do so out of love. There’s some hate there, too, but love is the foundation.

The biggest benefit to doing something you love for exercise is that you’ll actually do it. Since the most effective and beneficial exercise is the one you can stick with, this is one way to ensure you obtain the benefits.

There’s not a ton of research on the matter, but what little exists suggests that “forced exercise” isn’t even as helpful as “voluntary exercise.” In mice with colitis, for example, forced treadmill running exacerbates intestinal inflammation enough to kill the mice, while voluntary running attenuates it and keeps them alive. And in a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease, voluntary exercise was superior to forced exercise at reducing plaque deposition and memory impairment. That’s pretty huge, I’d say.

Do what you love. You’ll actually do it and it’ll probably give you better results.

Get a workout buddy (or buddies).

Besides the workouts themselves, one big reason CrossFit has become so popular and so effective for so many people is the group dynamic it offers. You’re not just toughing it out on your own anymore. And it goes beyond having a spotter. With CrossFit, you have a tribe of likeminded individuals pushing each other, shouting encouragement, suffering and succeeding together. Research confirms the benefits of this kind of camaraderie in the gym:

You don’t have to join a CrossFit box (though it’s not a bad idea!). Simply gathering a friend or two for regular workouts will do the trick. And hey, social contact is a nice bonus!

Work out outside.

Taking in a sunset snuggled up with your sweetheart is amazing. Going camping for a half week really recharges your body and soul (and resets your circadian rhythms). Simply being in green space has health benefits. But we’re not only meant to passively and calmly experience the great outdoors on a regular (as close to constant) basis. We should be physically engaging with them, propelling our bodies through three dimensional space at high speeds while immersed in fresh air, and unfiltered sunlight.

Exercising outdoors makes exercise more enjoyable. The more enjoyable it is, the more likely we are to do it. There are also psychological benefits, according to a 2011 meta-analysis. Outdoor workouts resulted in greater revitalization, increased energy, and more positive engagement with the activities, along with less depression, anger, confusion, and tension. I mean, the love of exercise in an outdoor setting even smashes the divisions between species and phyla. If a slug will do it, you have no excuses.

Oh, and if you need the boost, the sunlight will increase testosterone levels via vitamin D production. That’s always nice and helpful for workout recovery.

Incorporate play to make the workouts fun.

One surefire way to make exercise more enjoyable – and thus more sustainable – is to play. Instead of pounding out an hour on the stationary bike, go mountain biking. Instead of doing box jumps, play leap frog with a friend (or do leap frog burpees). Instead of lifting weights, lift oddly shaped objects or oddly shaped people. Instead of running aimlessly, go play sports where you run to get places and catch balls and make baskets (might I recommend Ultimate?).

Or you could overhaul your entire workout program and base the whole thing on play from the ground up. If this sounds interesting, you’ll want to attend a Primal Playout hosted by Darryl Edwards. The guy lives for play and has built up an impressive physique and a lot of strength and power and athleticism simply by having fun. Follow his Twitter and if he’s coming to a town near you, go see him (he’s also a regular presenter at PrimalCon, so check that out too).

By framing your workouts as a “fun activity,” they become their own reward and you’re less likely to reward yourself with junk food afterwards. Oh, and fun is really fun.

Make your workouts meaningful and purpose-driven.

A big problem that prevents people from working out is that it all feels so meaningless. And let’s face it: going to the gym to lift some weights just so you can put them back down or walking on a treadmill for an hour without going anywhere feels pointless on some base level. It wasn’t always this way, though. Humans used to perform physically demanding tasks on a regular basis in order to live, eat, and thrive. It wasn’t “exercise” or a “workout,” but it made us fit, strong, and fast just the same.

Most of us can’t create a life where regular exercise is a prerequisite for survival (nor would we want to), but we can inject meaning and purpose into our movements. Simple things like working with your hands and building useful things, helping friends move, cleaning up a park or nature area, commuting to work on bike or on foot, or doing physical labor can give you a great workout and produce tangible and useful results. Those probably aren’t enough to get you as fit as you’d be lifting barbells or running sprints, but you can do both and still retain the sense of meaning.

Find flow.

Have you ever had a workout that feels effortless until it’s over at which point you collapse under the weight of suddenly realized exertion? That’s flow. When he scored 13 points in 33 seconds, Tracy McGrady was deep in the flow state (or “the zone”). Software developers seek flow to improve their coding. Meditation is stationary flow. That guy wearing shades in the gym, flexing for the mirror in between sets on the pec deck? He’s probably not experiencing flow.

How do you do it?

According to the father of flow research, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, we must engage in doable but difficult challenges that tap into our individual curiosities and interests while giving immediate feedback. Luckily, an engaging workout tends to promote the flow state fairly easily as long as you’re looking for it. Try eliminating distractions that pull your attention from the task. Instead of running on a flat track, for example, go running on a trail that forces you to dodge rocks, jump roots, and pay close attention to where your feet go; the time will fly by and you’ll probably go longer than you would have on the track. Jogging with a podcast in your headphones can be nice, but it’s important to lose yourself in the task at hand sometimes.

You can always flex in the mirror after your workout.

Savor how exercise makes you feel.

Exercise is psychedelic. It expands and alters consciousness. It’s an escape from the drudgery of real life, of bills and deadlines and stress and neurotic thought-loops.

It’s a narcotic, literally causing your brain to produce endogenous opioids and cannabinoids that get you high.

Good workouts reveal the extremes of subjective human experience. We get butterflies before a big lift or a particularly grueling sprint and feel the real anxiety of knowing you’re about to push your body to its limit. We know the joy of victory (even if it’s against your last workout’s self) and the crushing dejection of defeat. The ups, the downs, the all-arounds.

A good workout relaxes you. All is right with the world after a heavy lifting session or a hike in the back country. Food tastes better. The sunset’s prettier. Work stress is somehow less pressing.

You’re confident after a workout. “Yeah, I just lifted that.” You feel sexier, too, because you’ve proven to yourself and the world that you know how to use and inhabit your body.

Even the unpleasant aspects of exercise – the sweat sting, the burn of the quad, the intense mental effort required to lift this weight or run that hill – should be savored. Drawing away from the pain is pointless; it’s there. By meeting it head-on, by enjoying it, we co-opt it for our own devices.

Know these feelings. Savor them. They may not be “fun” or “pleasant,” necessarily. That’s not the point. They’re proof that you’re still alive and that these workouts are doing something.

Release your attachment to the outcome.

As a high-level endurance athlete, I was obsessed with the outcome. During events, I’d strap the outcome onto my chest like a baby carrier and he would help me reach the finish line. And when I’d languish in bed trying to avoid the day’s training, it was the outcome tugging at the sheets and bringing me a cup of coffee. If I didn’t have the outcome – the finish line – I couldn’t have faced all the grueling torture required of elite endurance athletes.

But that’s no way to live. Detaching myself from the outcome and focusing on the journey to wherever it is I’m going has proven to be a game changer for my health, my happiness, and ultimately my fitness. When you can immerse yourself in the journey, in the exercise itself as you’re doing it, great stuff happens. You hit the flow state more easily. You find yourself having fun again when you work out. You discover that training can be an end in itself, and your workouts are reinvigorated and more fruitful.

Keep your goals, of course. Just don’t forget to savor the journey and don’t let yourself fall to pieces in despair if the outcome differs from your expectations.

Decide if you’re training or just exercising.

Which is it: training or exercising? Are you interested in being active, moving your body, getting generally fitter and stronger, staying fit, staying strong without adhering to any specific performance goals? Then you’re exercising. You have goals. They’re just more diffuse, like “get healthier.”

Or maybe you have a specific performance goal, like “deadlift 500 pounds” or “compete in Master’s marathon and actually compete.” Then you’re probably going to be training, which means a training program consisting of progression, regimentation, and maybe periodization. Training is stricter.

They’re both great, depending on your goals, but exercising when you should be training or training when all you really need is to exercise can make you miserable and render your workouts ineffective and meandering. So make a decision so you can achieve your goals.

Me? My goal nowadays is to play until I’m old, so I train to maintain my fitness, my muscle mass, the strength of my connective tissue, and my bone mineral density enough that I’m able to go out and have fun every single day.

Try something new.

Humans are novelty seekers. It’s kind of what drove us to walk the entire globe, explore new surroundings, test our limits, and become the apex predators on this planet. That hardwiring affects our relationship with everything- the media we consume, the games we play, the hobbies we spend time on, the relationships we forge, and the exercises we do.

One way trying a new workout or exercise can help is by boosting enthusiasm. If you’re bored with your workout, you’re bored. You’re going through the motions. You’re doing the minimum and getting minimal results. If you’re excited about what you’re doing in the gym, on the track, or on the trail, you’ll be more into it and you’ll get more out of it. Novelty seekers often feel bad about their desire for something new; they shouldn’t. They should indulge it, especially when it comes to movement.

And when it comes to strength training, it might even be more effective to change up the exercises you do than simply increase the intensity (weight, volume, etc). In a recent study, researchers tested the effects of exercise variation in both beginning strength trainees and early advanced trainees. Compared to varying the intensity, varying the exercises yielded significant strength and hypertrophy gains in both groups. In the words of the lead researcher, changing up the exercises you do in the gym “seems to produce a more complete muscle activation hypertrophying all of the heads of multi-pennate muscles.”

As I said earlier, you don’t have to do everything on this list.

But it wouldn’t hurt.

That’s it for today, folks. What other tips do you have for people looking to improve their exercise game?

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60 Comments on "The 10 Rules of Successful Exercise"

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Michele
1 year 10 months ago

I can really relate to most of these! Especially doing something you absolutely love, being outside, finding meaning and purpose, and savoring the experience of it over the outcome. If you haven’t found your “thing” yet, remembering what you enjoy, what feels meaningful, and what motivates you is a great start.

Groktimus Primal
1 year 10 months ago

At this point maybe exercising at all would be something new 🙂

Nicole
Nicole
1 year 10 months ago

I am incorporating that mile run into my gym routine for the challenge! It is the perfect shake up and a great new focus to prevent boredom (that was starting to affect me) I am determined to improve, and it is a great warm-up before my heavy lifting as the cold is starting to creep into the Northeast.

Andrey
Andrey
1 year 10 months ago

This^ I’ve also been adding the 1 mile run to my HIIT KB routines. It’s a good way to start the exercise for me since I need to take the dog out anyway, so we go for a sprint and when i get back I do 20-30min KB blast and done. It kind of feels effortless at the moment. Just when you’re ready to give up / get bored, you’re onto something else! 🙂

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
1 year 10 months ago

Thank you Mark!

Chuck
1 year 10 months ago
I am a student of Dr. Leonard Schwartz’ various exercise modalities… HeavyHands, “Longstrength” whole body calisthenics, and something he did called “IsoToniMetrics”… weird, eh? I document my findings at http://strengthendurance.wordpress.com They all share common traits… they focus on moving all the limbs at the same time or as part of the same exercise movement (like a burpee but usually while standing erect), they all focus on building a combination on strength and endurance. The one I tend to enjoy most is the last one, the “Isotonometrics” they are like a “moving isometric or dynamic tension exercise”, at least for the… Read more »
Jane
Jane
1 year 10 months ago

I’m SO frustrated as I’m recovering from a vertebral fracture and haven’t been able to do much of anything for 5 months! It’s a challenge to keep my weight down. Soon, I hope to be able to do my walks again.

Pastor Dave
1 year 10 months ago

Great stuff as always Mark– this year has been a breakthrough for me by getting outside for many workouts–and working out with a buddy which keeps us both motivated.

He said one thing to me– so simple, yet profound: It’s a choice you make.

Yes..everything is a “choice”..and when I may be feeling like doing nothing instead of a good hill run or boxing–I stop and think baout how I will feel NOT doing it–and how I will feel if I DO IT!

Pretty simple– but it helps sticking with it and seeing results.

SuzU
SuzU
1 year 10 months ago
You know, Pastor Dave, I agree that all our actions require choices, and sometimes they can be very hard to make in unexpected ways. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, have had it for 25 years. So when you say asking yourself how you will feel if you don’t do something works for you to get out there and exercise, for me it goes the other way. I’m currently having a most unpleasant relapse because I lost sight of this. I love to swim, and find swimming the gentlest on my body. Five weeks ago, I was feeling particularly well, so… Read more »
Pastor Dave
1 year 10 months ago

Oh Boy! Forgive me if my comments hurt you in any way–I was not thinking in terms of such limitations and I certainly understand your response.

Do what you can– enjoy what you can do–and by all means, don’t push it.

I probably need to take my own advice– sometimes I push it becuase in my mind I am still 19 years old–it’s the next day my body says, “Hey dummy, you’re only a couple years away from Social Security”!

Going to put you on my prayer list!

SuzU
SuzU
1 year 10 months ago
No, my feelings weren’t hurt! I get really frustrated, though, because of what I see as the narrowly blinkered approach when it comes to health and exercise. The irony is that I probably got chronic fatigue from my own personal tunnel vision approach to health; my obsessive focus on diet, my over vigorous, driving well past exhaustion, exercise routines – running, gym aerobics every day, weight circuits three times a week, floor exercises at home. I overrode every single warning signal, scoffed at my doctor’s warnings, wrote off my friends’ concerns as their just being jealous of my superslim, muscled… Read more »
Kit
Kit
1 year 10 months ago
I’ve busted it hard out, but crahed like a cripple in my life. I hear ya. Mark did one on walking recently. Walking is good. Fits many of the categories. Do your own research, dabble and don’t binge or crux it, but I have found some light on and off Prenenolone supplementation helps. Just think, there may be an evolutionary advantage to the way you feel. Cortisol. It is a big part of it all I believe. Read what you can on it. Good luck, and I see you didn’t put migranes, could be worse (as I sit nervously awaiting… Read more »
SuzU
SuzU
1 year 10 months ago
Thanks, Kit, for your support. Yes, I do have migraine. I was diagnosed when I was 6 years old. My family seems to produce chronic migraineurs: my maternal grandfather, my mother, one uncle, me, both sisters, my son, two nephews (different sibs), one niece. It’s fascinating and frustrating that we’re mostly triggered by different things and find different things helpful. I can’t stand ice on my head – it’ll have me howling with pain, while one of my sisters swears by her ice pack. I have a rice bag that, if I can get it microwaved, will take the edge… Read more »
Pastor Dave
1 year 10 months ago

Thanks for the long and thoughtful reply SuzU– get that degree and keep studying–as to my life path–it includes eternal life for when I have run the last race! God bless.

SuzU
SuzU
1 year 10 months ago
Thanks, Dave. I’ll keep chugging away here! My current field of research is body shapes and sizes of women from the Upper Palaeolithic to today. I argue that we may well owe our success, as the only hominin species still extant, to the fat of our females, and that this anomalous fat-storage capacity evolved between 70,000 and 65,000 years ago. I’m using several different lines of enquiry. Currently, I’m comparing the body shapes and waist-to-hip ratios of Upper Palaeolithic representations of women with those of hunter-gatherer or smallscale farming groups and modern westernized women. So far it looks as if… Read more »
Rick
Rick
1 year 10 months ago

#11: love the thing you do.

Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
1 year 10 months ago

Does uncorking wine count as exercise? I like to do that, its better with a buddy, I enjoy outside, it makes the preparation of a purpose driven meal more fun. The preparation flows into feeling great about the meal. I try not to over indulge so there is no adverse outcome. I enjoy it more the flavor than the effects. Tonight I think I’ll try that new Pinot Noir I found at Trader Joes paired with Blue Cod Romesco over a bed of arugula. When I get home from the gym of course.

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
1 year 10 months ago

Hey, but are you training, or just drinking? 😉

Jack Lea Mason
Jack Lea Mason
1 year 10 months ago

Tom, I like to have wine with a meal after an afternoon at the gym. In the spirit of the article it is a reward for productive physical activity. I don’t drink on days I don’t train.

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
1 year 10 months ago

Yeah, I missed on the joke which intended to extend your analogy of exercise to drinking: are you just “exercising” (the occasional glass of wine) or “training” (drinking with a goal in mind, like, professional drinking, um, marathon drinking…).

On a side note, I have been a great (and regular) lover of red wine with dinner, but am taking a week off to see how it affects my sleep…kind of sad to say that I do a lot better without it…

Coach McHale
Coach McHale
1 year 10 months ago

Thank you again for the updates. Its great to have reminders on how to program and push my self and others

Silvio
1 year 10 months ago

Great article Mark!

I love doing playground workouts. Exercising under the sun makes me feel super amazing!

I think knowing who you are, exercise-wise, is really important. I think developing an exercise identity is what makes people stick to their thing.

Karen
Karen
1 year 10 months ago

Thank you, Mark. I love the mental clarity I get from an intense workout. Refreshing to my whole being.

Diane
Diane
1 year 10 months ago
The section “Savor how exercise makes you feel” describes what I’ve heard of as second order fun. First order fun is where you are doing something and it feels fun in the moment. Second order fun is where you are doing something that isn’t fun at all but later on you say, “Wow, that was the most fun ever!” Hiking the John Muir Trail in June in a high snow year would be 2nd order fun. Scary, physically and mentally exhausting and not much fun while you are doing it, but when it’s over you feel like you’ve just done… Read more »
Becca
1 year 10 months ago

I’m about to go workout and was feeling pretty unmotivated… this helped 🙂

SumoFit
1 year 10 months ago

Dance! The desire to dance is a fundamental – primal – part of being human. Whenever my dance troupe performs, the kids in the audience start wiggling and bouncing in their seats, or they jump out of their seats and dance, trying to imitate the moves. While the music is playing they are “in the zone”, seemingly oblivious to everything and everyone around them. Most of the adults look like they would love to join in, but they’re too self-conscious.

wildgrok
wildgrok
1 year 10 months ago

Hey I grok this comment on dance 🙂

Zumba:
Incredible both physically and mentally
You can count is as play
-I just came out from one of the zumba classes at work one hour ago 🙂

Paleo-curious
1 year 10 months ago

Yes! I just got home from our last outdoor Hoop Jam of the year. Hoop dance has done more for me to make exercise fun than anything else I’ve ever tried. We hoopers & spinners partner with a drum circle, & it’s amazing how intense it gets when the beat gets fast, yet you don’t really feel it until it stops. Talk about flow!

wildgrok
wildgrok
1 year 10 months ago

wow thanks just looked some hoops videos, amazing, very inspiring

Paleo-curious
1 year 10 months ago

Try it, wildgrok! It’s like exercise, puzzle & art form all at the same time. Totally addictive!

SumoFit
1 year 10 months ago

There’s a link on my blog to a Stanford U. article on how dancing makes you smarter.

Hint: Cycling, swimming and golf don’t.

Paleo-curious
1 year 10 months ago

As I hinted above, learning hoop tricks & transitions is as challenging to me as a cryptic crossword puzzle, & equally addictive! There is ALWAYS something new to learn, which is what makes it so endlessly fascinating for me.

Diana
Diana
1 year 10 months ago

I do English Country dancing every week and its great fun. Last week the caller had us do more energetic dances and I was even a bit out of breath once or twice. It also engages the brain and its social. That’s the ideal exercise.
Also walking with a group is great- I do that once a week and we always have some hills to get us a bit out of breath. We are mainly over 60.

Stacie
1 year 10 months ago

Uffda. Completely needed this! I’ve been in a workout rut (aka. I haven’t been working out). I’ll get in some body weight squats or a set of push ups here and there, but my first “workout” over the last couple months was playing in a volleyball tournament on Sunday. Completely out of breath in the second game, that little light bulb went on: oh yeah! THIS is why I work out, so I can be decent at the sport that I love. Think I’ll get back in the swing of things, today!

Nocona
Nocona
1 year 10 months ago

I actually love the pain during and after sprinting because I know how great I’ll feel the rest of the day. A mellow, natural high. Light buzz. Lighter on my feet. A little hop to my step. Confident.

Lisa
Lisa
1 year 10 months ago
Do something you love is what finally got me off the couch. I despise ‘exercise’. I’ve done spinning, step aerobics, zumba, blah, blah and eventually got bored with all of them. But at 53 I’ve discovered pickleball. I play for an hour before work and up to 3 hours every night and I play at least 5 days a week. It’s not pounding on your body so this pace is sustainable but it’s gotten me moving and from my heart rate monitor I know I’m squarely in my fat burning zone. If I don’t get to play for some reason… Read more »
April
April
1 year 10 months ago

Lift oddly shaped people? You are too much! 🙂

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
1 year 10 months ago

+1 to playing and staying ahead of the pack, and thanks, for a thoughtful and well written article.

Livi
1 year 10 months ago

I have definitely started doing more workouts I enjoy in the past few years and it has been great for my health!

Pam
Pam
1 year 10 months ago

Mark I am amazed they way you come up with thoughtful articles that speak to me every day. Thank you!!

Whitney DeLong
1 year 10 months ago

You must find that soulmate workout that you love to do, just like you said! I think that is one of the most important tips of all.

Justin
1 year 10 months ago

Mark,

Once again I don’t know how you do it each day. You’re relentless my friend! I love what you said about being purpose driven. Going through the motions (though easy and many people do it) doesn’t get you real results. I’ve stopped counting reps after my upper limit max and that has helped a lot! 🙂

happyanyia
happyanyia
1 year 10 months ago
It’s funny how much paleo I agree with and I have always said that pushing yourself like your a generic machine to exercise hard for results never brought me health and happiness. I used to run and put pressure and feel guilty for being busy and feeling like a failure if I moaned about my aches. How can I be so week. But since I started paleo I’ve been confronting a lot of conventional ideals and have chosen to just be happy in all aspects of my life. Now when I run I put on Irish riverdance music and joyfully… Read more »
Marielle
Marielle
1 year 10 months ago

You forgot one!!! Do not get injured due to stupid mistakes while exercising or training!!!
I’ll tell it kills off any fun in doing something!!!

Rich
Rich
1 year 10 months ago
At 64, I find myself pioneering a new form of exercise. It’s all about gently bouncing on my mini-tramp almost constantly. I watch TV and listen to music bounding. Most times my feed don’t even leave the mat. It’s just a feeling I love, it’s gentle and is more fun than sitting and being still. I used to do the mini tramp as a long, sweaty workout but that became too hard and I began to dread it. Also, based on your endorsement yesterday, I purchased a pair of ‘rings’ which I will get Friday. I can’t wait. I was… Read more »
aboutcreativity
aboutcreativity
1 year 10 months ago

Thank you for the insight

aboutcreativity
aboutcreativity
1 year 10 months ago

I walk 6.5 hours a week min.

Beauty Salon Karama
1 year 10 months ago

Thanks Mark.

chbieck
chbieck
1 year 10 months ago

These rules, along with the whole PFB, already brought me a long way toward the whole LGN package – thanks, Mark 🙂
A question for the primally knowledgeable folks around here: my favorite form of play is Tennis. I’ve played it for a long time now and like everything about it, with one exception: since I started going barefoot/minimalist putting on the shoes is a bit unpleasant. Does anyone here have experience with minimalist Tennis shoes that work on red clay courts? (The only courts we have around here.)
Cheers
Chris

Richard Waxman
Richard Waxman
1 year 10 months ago

I’ve had the same experience! New Balance minimus shoes for everything except tennis snd now my tennis shoes feel like lead weights. Tried playing a match in my minimus cross-training shoes and paid the price. Please let me know if you find minimus shoes that are actually designed for tennis courts….especially hard courts which are the only ones we have nearby.

Ashley
Ashley
1 year 10 months ago
What an appropriate article for me to read! I really love the bit on “flow”, and I thought it was interesting to point out the difference between “exercise” and “training”. I realized that I don’t LIKE “exercise”–it feels like just another chore to do, and I don’t follow through with it. But I play roller derby, and recently decided there was a physical, measurable goal I wanted to set for myself, and have begun “training” towards that goal. Now, I have no problem getting up in the mornings and working out in my garage! I feel so much more motivated… Read more »
Benjamin T
1 year 10 months ago

When people exercise for internal reasons, such as to feel better or to be able to play with their kids, they are more likely to stick to it than if they are doing it solely for external reasons, such as have a six pack.

Jamie Logie
1 year 10 months ago

Really good list here. My tip I would add in here: Do at least what you did the workout before.

You’ll then be focused on progression, adaptation and therefore better results.

susan-grace
susan-grace
1 year 10 months ago
I love walking and hiking outdoors. I try to keep my exercise as natural as possible (i.e. far away from an indoor gym the best I can). But now that the dark evenings of winter are upon us, I am unable to walk after work at night at my beloved Pacifica ocean beach which is manna for my soul, and health inducing all around. A bone doctor told me that the only worthwhile exercise for women to do with respect to bone density is walking/hiking/ and/or treadmill if one is in the gym. (of course we know lifting heavy objects… Read more »
Caroline
Caroline
1 year 9 months ago

Hi everyone,

I have recently ( 5 weeks ago) started jogging/running. I am training for a charity run on the 30th which is a 10km run.

I find it very difficult to get up and go especially when I feel like I am not improving, the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that I have that race at the end of the month but after that I am not sure how I will keep training on the cold winter nights.

What do you all do to keep yourself motivated?

Would be so grateful for some advice!

Rich
Rich
1 year 9 months ago

Great column. I am addicted to running and recently purchased an ElliptiGo bike which has allowed me to get the same intensity as running but change it up. I am 60 years old and tend to be injury prone ie: every 2 years. The worse part is having to stop any cardio training and I guess that’s why part of being addicted to exercising really hit home.

By the way, would you please share with us the location of that wonderful picture?

Thanks

Linda
1 year 8 months ago

I think you must find that soulmate workout that you love to do, like you said! That’s one of the most important tips of all.

Brendan Seguin
Brendan Seguin
1 year 7 months ago

I have found that, ever since having retired from my MMA career, I needed something new and challenging to “find myself” over again. High Intensity Interval Training is that thing. The challenging nature of the workouts and, even though exhausting agony of them, make the workouts much more desirable! I really enjoy your articles and sharing them with others! Have a great day!

Barbara
Barbara
1 year 2 months ago

Why do you assume that everyone can find an exercise they “love”?

Stanley
9 months 14 days ago

I like doing exercise, thanks for your rules, very useful for me, I always ride Exercise Bike at home.

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