For A New Take On Fitness: Read “No Sweat”

Do you look at exercise as a chore? I certainly did before I read No Sweat by Michelle Segar, PH.D.  It changed the way I view all types of physical activity. If you’re like me and approach exercise as one more thing to check off your weekly to-do list, you’ll find an entirely new way to integrate it into your life AND enjoy it!

First off, let me say that my biggest takeaway from this book was that you should view exercise simply as movement.  It’s not just something you have to do at a set time or in a specific place. Dr. Segar says everything you do counts as exercise and it doesn’t matter how long you do it. Wow, this book totally blew away these ideas about exercise that I’ve held onto dearly throughout my adult life:

1. Exercise must hurt to be meaningful.

2. You need to sweat for it to count.

3. Exercise requires special clothes, a gym and a planned routine.

4. You can motivate yourself to exercise by using sheer willpower.

5. You won’t enjoy doing it because it is a chore.

I have always believed that exercise was important and especially important as I’ve gotten older. I’ve found ways to exercise all my life and most have been tolerable but not particularly enjoyable. When I was a kid, I wanted to stay inside and read. As a result, mom had to encourage me to go outdoors for play and I did.  But only for short bursts of activity.

As a young adult, I forced myself to run. I did marathons and ended up with serious knee problems which put an end to the running. Once I gave that up, I had a variety of gym memberships plus took classes in yoga, dance and Pilates. Now I do yoga, Pilates and walk. As much as I enjoy how they make me feel, I’ve often felt guilty that I don’t do enough. In addition, none of them make me sweat and in my mind, that has meant they don’t count.

No Sweat has really opened my eyes. Bottom line, Dr. Segar says if what you do hurts, you won’t be motivated to do more of it. So don’t. Also you don’t need to sweat to get health benefits. Ahh. Therefore, this is advice I can embrace and live with. She backs up her statements with health studies and research from wellness advocates.

While maintaining  good health and wellness is vital part of living a successful retirement lifestyle, sometimes we need a little encouragement to get moving. Because the better you feel, the happier you will be and that has an impact on all areas of your life. It really is important to recognize the vital role that activity plays in your life as you age. If you’re like me, you might benefit from a whole new way of looking at physical movement.

Read Dr. Segar’s book and learn to adapt your exercise to work for you and not against you. No Sweat offers a unique approach to fitness and maintaining a health lifestyle.

The Retirement Style Blog routinely discusses a variety of retirement transition issues. For a full framework of retirement resources, please visit our Retirement Success Series. To speak with a certified retirement coach about your personal needs, please contact us.


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