Monday, October 15, 2007

Set your Treadmill Free

For those of us living in the Northern parts of the world, life is starting to get colder and for many of us, that means that the inspiration to exercise is starting to become more difficult as getting yourself out the door for a walk or run in the cold is definitely more challenging.

You see the thing is that people when it comes right down to it, are consumers of time. If we're lucky we might each find, interspersed throughout our days, a few precious blocks of time where we're not working, where we're not at our children's beck and call, where we're not eating, not on the telephone and not sleeping.

Those of us trying to include exercise in our lives then hope that somehow, during those fleeting free moments we can inspire our selves to use them to do intentional exercise.

Recognizing that these free moments vary in time and duration many of us have decided you know what, we might not have the time (or desire) to pack it up during those moments and head out to a gym, so instead we went and brought the gym home by going out and buying treadmills and exercise equipment.

And what did we do with our great intentions and our new equipment? We banished them to our basements - out of sight, in a part of our homes that often is less welcoming, beside the kitty litter and the boxes, atop the cold unfinished concrete floor.

We might have used them for a few weeks after that. You see the money spent on them was fresh in our minds and consequently it raised the value of time spent with the equipment - by using it we didn't feel like we had wasted our money. But as our memory of money spent dwindles, too often so too does our use of the equipment.

If you want to actually use your home exercise equipment, you need to find new ways to increase the value of the time you spend with it and one of the easiest ways is to put it back in your line of sight. Seeing it may remind you you've got it and potentially even of the money and good intentions that brought it into your home. Put it somewhere where you can see it, and ideally somewhere you think might be enjoyable to use it - staring out a window, at a television, whatever.

If you choose to put it in front of a television, consider "conscripting" your favourite shows whereby you create a rule that only allows you to watch them while on the treadmill (never mind the speed, just get on it). Alternatively you could set up a reward system whereby if you log enough time, you get a specific reward.

Bottom line, unless you create an environment that includes some measure of enjoyment in your exercise, an environment that increases rather than decreases the value of the time you spend doing it, well guess what, you're probably not going to be doing much of it for long.

Set your treadmills free!