Creative Fitness: Applying Health Psychology and Exercise Science to Everyday Life

By Henry B. Biller | Go to book overview

Step III

ENJOYING YOUR EXERCISE EXPERIENCE

You have a multitude of alternatives for getting and staying in shape. Take a highly personalized approach in developing your fitness routines. Put an emphasis on playful movement and you will find walking, running, or other aerobically stimulating activities much more fun. Develop your own pattern of “muscle games” while choosing from among a diverse array of options including calisthenics, free weights, and exercise machines. Discover what kinds of activities are the most pleasurable for you. Use your creativity in inventing stimulating exercise movements and sequences.

Phyllis, a 35-year-old married nurse practitioner, had been an off-and-on exercise participant for more than 10 years. She was always initially willing to join just about any kind of exercise class if she could get someone she knew to go along. However, she usually soon became dissatisfied with some aspect of the class such as the pace or the instructor’s style. Phyllis finally discovered enjoyable dance routines that she could regularly do by herself rather than depending on the participation of one of her friends. Her newfound independence in exercising also increased her confidence to engage in other types of solitary endeavors, including writing music.

Larry, a 52-year-old accountant, believed that the only way he could keep fit was to engage in highly competitive sports including basketball and singles tennis. For the past several years, he had suffered the frustration of intermittent bouts of injury-induced layoffs, sometimes lasting months at a time. When not at work, he obsessed about ways to rehabilitate his body. Unfortunately, he usually ended up practicing harder while

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