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Sean McCawley

Sean McCawley 

Entering Napa’s local gyms to use their exercise equipment or participate in a fitness class should leave us with a feeling of accomplishment and self-betterment. Standard procedures in getting to the gym require us to get in the car, drive to the gym, greet the front desk staff, exercise, and then drive away to start the day, feeling amazing.

If it were this easy, then why aren’t our local gyms as packed as the Starbucks around town with patrons eager to get their caffeine fix?

Unfortunately, the motivation to put the keys in the ignition and drive to the gym is the hardest part. Most often, people feel better when finishing an exercise routine, compared to when they started; however, this result is shunted by the obstacles that veer us away from exercise of actually getting to the gym.

Factors holding people back are schedule, accountability and preparation. It might be too late in the day to get to the gym or perform an exercise routine at home. Getting off an eight-hour or longer shift makes it challenging to drive straight to the gym. There might be family members eager to spend time with each other. Or the workday was stressful, and sitting down to unwind is more desirable than heading to the gym.

Lacking an appointment or scheduled time to exercise holds us back, too. If we randomly attempt to get to the gym and don’t plan the days and times times accordingly, the likelihood of attendance is significantly decreased.

Another key component of lack of exercise adherence is not having the correct exercise clothing available. If we aren’t prepared to exercise in clothes that we can comfortably move and sweat in, why would we want to go the gym? If we must dig through our drawers to get a pair of gym shorts, why would we want to cause ourselves that stress?

Our personal training clients in Napa have amazing successes because they make appointments with our coaches to train. There isn’t any “I’ll make it when I have time.” Appointments with people dictate the message “You make the time, and therefore you have the time.” When there are obligations to attend appointments, the desire to be accountable improves success.

A solution we offer our clients is to make time slots in their calendars for exercise. For example, mark the calendar every Tuesday for exercise from 6  until 7:15 a.m. Thanks to our smart phones, we have calendars available at our finger tips allowing us to conveniently input times in our calendars to organize our days. Writing that appointment down or in-putting it into our electronic devices makes it real.

When the effort to make an appointment is created and put into reality, you now have a commitment to uphold. Therefore, if someone asks you out for a drink the night before you have a scheduled workout in your calendar, you might want to think twice before staying out too late. The thought of being well rested for your scheduled exercise routine tomorrow might arise, and you don’t want to miss the amazing feeling the gift of exercise yields. What’s better, feeling healthy, alert, and energized? Or hungover and sleepy after a late night and some beers?

Similar to preparing for a job or a hot date, when you look good, you feel good. It’s important to feel confident, prepared and comfortable when exercising. Wearing comfortable underwear, sports bras, socks, shirts, shoes, hair bands, or hats make the likelihood of an optimal exercise performance more realistic. Who wants to work out in some frumpy sweats and an old cotton shirt that smells like the bottom of your dresser?

Find clothes that you feel good in and set them out in plain sight the night before you intend to exercise for the next day. Take the time to pick out your favorite sporty clothes just like you would take the time to pick an outfit you would like to impress your boss on a job interview. In the morning or after work, you’ll be geared up and ready to accomplish a great workout because you’ll be prepared.

We always feel good when we take care of ourselves. In the case of exercise, our bodies feel rejuvenated and our minds are operating more acute and aware. However, the hardest part is getting started.  If we can prepare ourselves for exercise by becoming accountable with appointments and showing up ready to go, we can benefit from the results of regular exercise more often.

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Sean McCawley, the founder and owner of Napa Tenacious Fitness in Napa, welcomes questions and comments. Reach him at 707-287-2727, napatenacious @gmail.com or visit the website napatenaciousfitness.com.

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