Is Exercise Stressing You Out?

Hiking anyone?

Hiking anyone?

Do you ever find yourself confused about exercise?  I do.

There’s so much conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to do.  So many of us do nothing.  And our inactivity is making us sick.

I recently went to a conference for fitness and healthcare people, and the news is bad: we are getting bigger and less active.  Our unhealthy lifestyles are leading to all sorts of chronic diseases and conditions.  And it’s just getting worse as the years go on.

As I sat there listening to the dire news in one ear, in the other I heard fitness professionals debate the different forms, modes and means of exercise:

  • strength vs. endurance
  • yoga vs. crossfit
  • running vs. walking

By the end of the two day conference I felt overwhelmed and ready for a Snicker’s. Then it hit me.  Lots of people feel like this too: caught between experts feuding about gluten and the exact number of minutes of exercise we need for optimal performance. And what do we do while these feuds are going on? Watch TV and eat Doritos. Just digging ourselves deeper into the hole of our unhealthy lifestyles.

So what can we do?

Stop listening.

No, I’m not saying that fitness, health and medical professionals (including psychologists) don’t have lots of good things to offer.  But when the constant stream of advice and directives becomes paralyzing, perhaps it’s time to turn it off and actually get active. Most of us can find something we enjoy doing: walking, bike riding, dancing, gardening – maybe your “thing” isn’t the newest craze or the hottest trend but it sure beats sitting on the couch.