Finding Your Fitness Flow
The reasons why we exercise often vary, but the outcomes are the same - increased fitness levels, increased energy levels, lower body fat, better functioning heart, stronger muscles... the list goes on... AND eventually (hopefully) better mood. A lot of the time we start to exercise due to external motivation - we want to look better, or we are told our health will improve. However, slowly this shifts and the motivation becomes internal. We start to enjoy the exercise, it becomes our release, our escape and we look forward to it. We are in our Fitness Flow. This is the ultimate goal and the point that we, as trainers, strive to get our clients to.
It wasn't until I discovered surfing that I understood the concept of 'flow'. I never saw surfing as exercise, despite the fact that I would sometimes spend 2 hours paddling non-stop (the equivalent to front crawl without the legs) and not even catch a wave. I was completely in the moment, getting enjoyment from the action not the results those actions were giving me... and I became the strongest and fittest I had ever been.
Fitness Flow is something I think about a lot as a personal trainer. Obviously understanding goals and helping people to reach these is important. But enjoyment is equally as important!! There is no point in pushing yourself and feeling like it's a chore, forcing yourself to do one more squat when actually you hate squats. Finding exercise that you enjoy will ensure that the exercise becomes a part of your life, and therefore that it is something you will be able to continue with because you actually like doing it. It's not just a means to an end.
With this in mind, ask yourself what activities you enjoy. What workouts leave you thinking 'I want to do that again'? What gives you the biggest buzz afterwards? Try to incorporate these exercises into your routine as much as possible, and if you're not sure then try lots of different things. Most importantly, have fun!