Creating a positive exercise experience sets habits for life
A recent article in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care (ahead of print) discussed the role that strength training could play in helping overweight children engage with regular exercise to improve their health outcomes. The review states that one reason that overweight children don’t engage in regular exercise is because they are ‘outperformed’ by normal weight children in typical aerobic training (creating a negative experience with exercise). However overweight children often carry more muscle mass and can perform well when completing strength training creating a positive exercise experience.
There is evidence that overweight children become overweight adults so creating a positive experience with exercise at a young age should be a priority to set children up with good habits that will hopefully last a lifetime.
I think there is a great message here for all of us who find ourselves trying to stay motivated for regular exercise. It is important to keep doing some of what we WANT (as well as sone of what we NEED) when it comes to exercise so that we don’t take it too seriously and it does become something we look forward to rather than loathe. An example may be choosing to do an exercise session at 75% pace after a hard day at the office rather than either not doing it or forcing yourself to do it at 100% pace and hating every minute! This will motivate us to maintain a good habit that will keep our health in check for the long term.