Guest Post: Is Working Out Just Another Chore?

Just the other day I overheard a trainer-client conversation about setting up the next workout appointment. When given the options between two slots, the client said: “Let’s do it as early in the day as possible. Then it’s out of the way.”

It’s the “out of the way” that got me thinking. While I recognize this sentiment from whenever I schedule my own workouts for an already packed week, is it true that working out is just another chore?

It’s probably true: if we could maintain a happy, healthy, and good-looking body without exercise, chances are we wouldn’t go out of our way to work out and stretch. We know about all the health benefits, yet some of us think of it the same as walking the dog on a cold and rainy night – something we know we should do, but don’t really feel like doing. So it’s important to remind ourselves from time to time why exercising is different from walking the dog, washing the car, or doing our taxes!

    Let’s face it: how often do you get to have some personal time, away from family, career, and assets? Exactly. Whether you are taking a run, pumping iron, or doing Pilates, focusing on nothing but the physical task at hand will get you in a zone in which you can put everything else on hold for a while. Think: work out = time out.
    Ever spent a workout session thinking “what I really need is a massage” only to find out afterwards that you didn’t need one anymore? No surprise here: exercising and stretching relaxes the muscles, strengthens and lubricates the joints, cleanses the skin and detoxifies the organs, improves the circulation and immune system, stimulates the brain, rejuvenates and energizes – basically it’s just like a visit to the spa! Let it be something you look forward to.
    Do you know that amazing feeling after a really good workout, a sense of power, bliss, and instant stress-relief? This happens thanks to the release of endorphins, a chemical produced by the brain during exercise. It also occurs when feeling excited, in love, having an orgasm, or eating spicy food. Exercise is clearly your best bet if you want to schedule your next endorphin-rush (and rely on it.)
    As you see, there are plenty of reasons and incentives for you to look forward to your next workout. Still seeing it as a chore? Then maybe you are simply not doing the right thing! Try a different kind of activity, find something that you truly enjoy, independent from the desired results. We all tend to stick to activities that stimulate and challenge us physically AND mentally – and that are fun!

Of course, Pilates is my workout of choice, but at the end of the day – as long as you’re moving, it’s good for you!



Benjamin Degenhardt 282483_10151157663845706_2094099938_n-300x300 is the mastermind behind 360° Pilates, a continuing education program for Pilates teachers. He has been involved in the Pilates world for over a decade in addition to his extensive dance and movement teaching background. While performing as a dancer he found a passion for teaching movement and, inspired by Joe Pilates, immersed himself in the study of injury prevention andbody mechanics. With his expertise in historical Pilates and modern fitness he established himself as a “teacher of teachers” and conducts workshops around the globe. He has maintained a true passion for the Pilates method and its ability to improve people’s lives. You can find him and his articles for Pilates teachers on his website at

Ladies Who Crunch

There’s a new phenomenon occurring at a gym, yoga studio, or barre class near you. Chances are you’ve already seen it. Adult women, comfortable in their Lululemon workout gear, spending 75% of their disposable income on fitness classes. Gone are the days of sipping martinis over finger sandwiches in the middle of the day at the Plaza. Now both kept woman AND their successful exec counterparts are siding up, spandex to spandex, in spin class and then again later in the day at yoga, barre, or the cardio dance class of their choice. Gone are the days where working out once daily is enough. Now the daily workout means multiple times daily. For women who have the cash to shell out $100 a day plus on fitness, working out has left past-time and graduated to infatuation. Is all this good, too good for you? Have we gone overboard on wellness?


So more of a good thing is better isn’t it? Not really. Research says that just 30 minutes a day of physical activity is enough to help prevent things like diabetes, high-blood pressure and cholesterol. The idea that two hours of exercise is better than one is a little well, obsessive thinking, ladies. In actuality, too much exercise can yield very opposite results like injuries, exhaustion, and surprise — depression! Basically, too much of anything is no good and some experts say this could be the new form of addiction: Exercise.

So how do you know you should go to exercise rehab instead of your next Pilates class? Telltale signs are refusing to take time off even when injured, exercising at inappropriate times like when your wife is giving birth, and being OBSESSED with counting calories, inches lost, or that tiny piece of chocolate you just ate. Another giveaway sign is the obsession with how you look. Do you obsess about your abs, ass, or all of the above? You might just be crossing the line from where something is gratifying to controlling.

Recognize yourself in the above? Don’t fret — there’s recovery for what ails you. First off, come into balance. If you feel the need to add another workout to your schedule think again. What self-soothing activity can you do instead? Get a massage? Take a nap? Do nothing? Ask yourself why you’re wanting to squeeze in that extra spin class today. Is it because you need it or would like it? Another great solution is to get professional help. Working with an exercise professional such as a personal trainer or Pilates instructor, they will keep your feet on the ground while still reaching for your fitness and wellbeing goals. They can design a plan to keep you healthy without over doing it and injuring yourself. Finally, talk it out. Think you might have a bit of a dependence on the exercise high? Ask your friends and family for their advice, or even better see a professional to address the underlying issues that got you jones for your exercise fix in the first place.

Find some equilibrium in your workouts and eat a sandwich. Turns out those ladies who lunch were onto something after all…



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