What is your exercise mindset?

I’m going to do something most of you aren’t going to like: I’m going to throw you into a category. While I know exceptions may exist, my observations of every mom I know lead me to believe there are four types of moms (people?) out there, when it comes to exercise. Here goes:

  1. The Completely Committeds. You know who you are. You get your four, five, six, or more workouts in per week. Rain or shine, in sickness and in health, on busy days, bad days, holidays, and even vacation days, you’re on the treadmill, pumping iron, or strolling by my window with the kids and dog in tow. “To be or not to be” active is not a question for you. It’s a given. I know this category best because I live in it. Exercise is my savior, my therapy. I do something physical nearly every day because it gives me energy, confidence, and clarity of mind, and it keeps me healthy.
  2. The Bipolars. No one really likes to identify with this group, although I believe you also know who you are. These mamas have spent their entire lives going through spurts of exercise routines, often more rigorous than realistic for them, and then dropping them shortly thereafter. You may identify with this category if your life has been speckled with several well-intentioned attempts to exercise regularly, but then you have fallen off the wagon. Have you made more than a dozen of the same New Year’s resolutions to “get active”? If so, I may be talking about you here, and you are not alone—I think most people I know actually fit into this category.
  3. The Nonchalants. These mamas may not be reading this post, except out of sheer curiosity about those in the world that actually think about exercise. If you are part of this group, you don’t really give physical activity much thought. You’re not pushing it out of your mind because you feel guilty (I would say this is a characteristic of the bipolars), but you simply go about your day without worrying about exercise. Most nonchalants who I know are either naturally thin without exercise (and are envied!) or are sufficiently active throughout their day without thinking about it.
  4. The Haters. If you fall into this group, you likely will admit it loudly and proudly. These are the folks who don’t “waste time” exercising. They talk about treadmills being for rats in cages, and physical activity being overrated. They’ve made little attempt to get active through the years, and are totally okay with that. If you truly fall into this group, you are likely not reading this post. (So, why did I even write that last sentence?!) When most haters see the title of this or a related post, they roll their eyes and move on with their inactive days. While I do know a few moms who genuinely fit into this category, I think it’s a minority of people. In fact, I think there are some bipolars out there, secretly disguised as haters.

Which one are you? (And, truly, I apologize for lumping you into one of my broad generalizations—I’m totally up for debating this if you want to throw a comment at me.) Today is the first day of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, so I’m planning to use exercise as a theme for at least a few posts over the next several weeks. I just wanted to use today’s post as an attempt to make you think about your approach to exercise. No matter if you fall into the completely committeds group and are looking for some reminders about why you are there…or if you are one of the bipolars looking to upgrade to the committeds level and find something you can stick with for life…then, no time is a better time than the month that’s themed to be all about it. So, let’s get moving already! In my next posts, I’ll give you some ideas for why and how. Are you in?

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Posted on May 1, 2011, in Fitness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think I’m in the nonchalant group…I just don’t even give exercise much of a thought, unless someone else brings it up!

  2. I’m definitely a Bipolar. I don’t know how many times I start with a routine and then a couple weeks later completely abandon it. Always have the best intentions but life seems to get in the way and other things always take precedence.

  3. What if I was completely committed pre-baby (actually, pre-pregnancy… I went to the gym or did pilates 4-5/week for years up until the day I took the pregnancy test – the 14 or so weeks of constant mild/moderate nausea and extreme exhaustion that followed did me in) and am nonchalant now? Does that put me in the bipolar category? I know I’ll get back to it one day, but these days I just can’t figure out how to fit it into my routine.

  4. Hi 🙂 My intention wasn’t to make anyone feel guilty about their approach to exercise…and it definitely wasn’t to make you feel like you have to identify with one of these groups– especially for life! A lot of us jump around from category to category depending on where we are in our lives. I just wanted to get people thinking about where they are exercise-wise and where they want to be. Maybe over the next few posts, I’ll have some helpful suggestions for becoming more committed, if that’s indeed where you want to be. Thanks for reading 🙂

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