In 2008, the American College of Sports Medicine published a suggested prescription for exercise and physical activity, which if followed, can create a level of health and fitness for others to envy. After all, most American’s are not exercising enough, and our current environments at home and at work are conducive to sitting. Our comfy chairs, couches, and cushy floors enable us to take solace in the midst of doing little, quite literally. Sadly, this solace is not in the form of a productive moment of Zen or meditation, but instead, being trapped inside the vortex of Facebook, Instagram, or television. Though exercise prescriptions are well-intended, there is still a lack which stimulates people to move, and motivate them to continue that very trend once they've begun.
So how can we get people moving?
There certainly is no one single answer, but there are a few common denominators that can prompt one to explore the idea of moving and exercise, with hopes of those exploring not only their bodies, but their minds as well. First, choose an activity that is Fun. If it’s not running, that’s okay, just choose something you know you’ll enjoy and actually perform. The second rule is the activity must be Social. The irony of this rule is that I run alone 95% of the time. With that said, that 95 % is not what draws me to running. What helps me stay close to running is the comradery with other runners at races, community runs, or receiving a text from a running buddy who wants to meet up for a run. Running with others, whether casually or for a fast-paced workout, creates an indescribable bond, and if you’re lucky, a friendship.
The final rule for moving may take a while to figure out, but once you’ve got it, you’re in! Finding your Why for running is an essential ingredient for sustaining a healthy, long-term relationship with running. Finding your Why may take you a while, but the hunt will begin with a single step. I would argue that the first step is the most difficult, maybe not physically, but surely mentally. Props to those who bravely take that first step. Bigger props to those who find their Why, hold onto it, and continue running because of it. As for me, the mere seeking of my Why (I run) is what continues to drive me to run. The pursuit of the Why.
What's your why?