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    Exercise Resistance Hacks

    By Cinder Ernst–

    I tried something new as I was deciding on what fitness topic to write about. I thought of someone with whom I would really enjoy working. She’s fiftyish or older, not particularly athletic, clear minded and mostly unflappable. She has some knee or joint pain that is stopping her from being as active as she wants to be. She’s a little worried about life getting smaller. I asked “her” what she would like to know about. The answer: Exercise Resistance.

    Because my super-power is helping reluctant exercisers to develop the capacity to do what you say you’re going to do about exercise, consistently and without struggle, I started thinking about the difference between resistance and reluctance. I looked up some definitions to influence my thoughts. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

    Resistance is a byproduct of what you believe, or better said, what you have been trained to believe about fitness. You quite likely have a ton of evidence to support the belief. Reluctance is a state of being and a byproduct of what we believe about resistance. Reluctance makes you practically unwilling to try.

    Resistance Hack #1: Remember that resistance is a thought.

    Resistance feels like a thing that’s in your way: an obstacle, a barrier. Sometimes the thing in your way feels really real; such as, not enough time, money or energy. All of those resistance reasons have a story and you believe them. You believe them because you have been effectively brainwashed to believe exercise prescriptions and recommendations given by well-meaning experts and medical people.

    Resistance Hack #2: Tell yourself a different story.

    You can tame resistance with a different story. For example, a little bit goes a long way, or I don’t need a lot of time, money or energy to be successful with fitness.  I’m doing just fine a little bit at a time.

    Through my thirty years of helping folks with fitness, I’ve noticed that a little bit does go a long way. For instance, I taught aerobic classes for large women for twenty years. In that time, I had several students who came to class once a week. They came once a week and got tangible results.

    In recent years, my coaching business helps you to fit small, targeted exercises into the cracks of your busy lives. Small steps change your fitness level, decrease pain and help you to stay mobile. My clients get improvement and joy from being on the trail of what they want (better mobility and a bigger life). On the trail means moving in the direction of … one step at a time.

    Resistance Hack #3: A small step on your trail will soothe resistance.

    In between the resistance story and the reluctance is a little thing called motivation. The “I need motivation” story is alive and well when you have resistance to overcome. As a matter of fact, the motivation story is resistance and contributes to reluctance. You don’t need motivation if you are on your trail taking one step at a time. Just focus on the next step. Enjoy the journey. There’s no hurry.

    Resistance Hack #4. You don’t need motivation if you take a small step on your trail.

    Here are some tips for trying on your new story.

    1) First thing in the morning is the best time to try a new story. Before you look at your phone or take care of anyone else, take a moment for yourself. Let your ears hear what there is to hear, feel the feel of your bedding, appreciate something, someone or yourself for just a moment.

    2) Notice that you have a minute to do a small period of exercise. One minute. Say to yourself, “I could put 60 seconds of exercise right here.”

    3) Find something that might go well in that 60 seconds. Here are some ideas for powerful small steps:

    • deep breathing;
    • planks;
    • Google “bed exercises”;
    • Google “ankle pumps and heel slides” as a great option to soothe knee, hip and back pain in bed;
    • go to my YouTube page or my Facebook group, Knee Friendly Fitness Please.

    Last but not least, here’s Resistance Hack #5: Tap into your wisdom, not your worry.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” ( http://cinderernst.com/easy-fitness-book/ ), is available in paperback and E-book. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at http://cinderernst.com