FITNESS CLUB — April 5, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Avoiding Fitness Burnout


keeping motivatedOur blogger Darius Szpilewski has embarked on a journey to interview professionals within our midsts whose personal success has inspired him in his own life.  In his series “Getting Real About Getting Fit”  Darius hopes to debunk the myths and misinformation that exists out in the media about living a healthy lifestyle.  Let’s all take some clues from the success of these industry experts featured in this series of interviews.

A discussion with Louise Blais – Part 2:  Tips to keep motivated.
Louise has spent the last 28 years working in the fitness industry in a variety of roles that include personal trainer, fitness director, professor of health and fitness at Niagara College and professional speaker. She is currently the general manager at The Club at White Oaks.

DS – What are some of the psychological attributes that differentiate “elite” trainees from the rest?
LB – The perseverance to realize that only years of effort will produce results and the patience to trust the process.  It is not a religion, it is a science…the results will come with consistency.

DS – What are some of the preventive strategies you use against physical and psychological burnout?
LB – Listening to your body, if it is a day to go hard and you don’t feel it, don’t go hard.  This only works though if you’ve earned it.  Sitting quietly in nature helps to quiet the mind and bring renewed focus to your goals.

DS – Some gym goers maintain their exercise activities not because the activities are inherently interesting or enjoyable to them, but because they have something to gain from them. With that being said, how important is extrinsic motivation? And how sustainable will the behaviour be when predominately fueled extrinsically?
LB – Extrinsic motivation is very helpful for initiating physical activity but it isn’t very good for sustaining it.  That is a big mistake that people make, they feel what got them to start exercising will keep them exercising but this usually isn’t true.  If they don’t start to internalize some value for exercise they will not remain active. It doesn’t mean they have to like it, they just have to value it.

DS – What drives you personally to make the right decisions, especially when attractive and convenient distractions arise?
LB – Realizing that I only have to make the right decision right now.  There is nothing so powerful as doing the right thing in the present moment.  If I thought I might always have to make the right decision, I might just give up. Always is a long time and making the right decisions forever would be boring.

DS – We live in a chaotic, busy, noisy, world; literally and figuratively. How do you personally create silence, peace, and balance in your life?
LB – Yoga and meditation.  I use yoga to bring my attention inward and I use meditation every day to quiet my mind and remind myself in a moment of peace (not chaos) that I can only do my best.