The Path from Fitness Whiffler to Warrior by Shannon
My blog inspiration often begins with perusing the fitness articles I’ve sent myself over the past month. Not surprisingly, only a few of the multitude ever make the share-worthy cut. Amidst deleting nonessential emails, my “learn a new word” email caught my eye: Whiffler, a noun meaning undependable, ineffective, evasive. As a fitness professional, my brain ego-puffed a categorization of myself as a non-whiffler. At least as far as exercise goes. But what about my other intentions that seem oh so much harder to hold myself to? Like calmer reactions, fewer expletives, and fewer bowls of my favorite ice cream. Yes, like most folks, I too am a whiffler of sorts. But where exercise, the topic at hand is concerned, I humbly, gratefully lean toward the warrior. Working out is my go-to, much-needed antidepressant which rarely fails me.
The opposite of a whiffler is one who is reliable, steady, consistent. More like a warrior! While warriors can conjure unreachable images of a superhero, let’s soften but not weaken the image. Yes, let’s yogify it with the word gentle. A “gentle warrior” is not a wimp, but a wise one who knows how to balance energy with the right amount of effort followed by an equivalent rest period. A leader who encourages with kindness as opposed to harsh commands that often wound and then backfire.
What does the path from exercise whiffler to warrior look like according to 2021’s research?
- You don’t need as much as you thought. Those who motor 7000 steps (3 miles) have greater health outcomes than both couch potatoes and the overachievers.
- You do need some. Biggest losers who kept it off were of course those who kept exercising.
- Don’t ever count on exercise to counter poor eating. Turns out our bodies compensate by negating 25% of exercise calories burned by slowing down some internal processes, and by fidgeting less.
- Harness the power of the yoga warrior to feel more confident. Start each exercise session with a 5 breath warrior. Simply putting yourself in this confident, open-hearted posture can help you feel that way!
- Repeat exercise often to ignite your sense of purpose. Regular exercise improves self-esteem, clarity, and even your sense of purpose! This is where donning the warrior persona becomes a path toward reaching true warriorhood.
If you’re being a whiffler about making exercise a habit in 2022 know that you have a lot of company. Creating a new healthy habit is rarely easy as we are wired to repeat the past. For guidance on how to rewire yourself to be more fitness prone, read last month’s newsletter for how to make exercise a habit.
Shannon Leavitt, M.S., R.D.