Kloss: The secret to making exercise work

Dr. David Kloss says you should plan your day around exercise. Not the other way around.

Terry Olson puts asphalt behind him as he sets out on the biking portion of the TriWadena No Spandex Necessary Triathlon Saturday morning in Wadena.
Terry Olson puts asphalt behind him as he sets out on the biking portion of the 2016 TriWadena No Spandex Necessary Triathlon in Wadena. Pioneer Journal file photo

Well it is May, finally. It is almost Christmas! Some of you probably made New Years Eve resolutions to ‘get in shape’ or to ‘go to the gym more’. How is that going?

Of course, cold, snowy and icy weather make it hard to get outside and exercise. But now it is May and there are no more excuses to get outdoors and walk or exercise!

So, what is the secret to keep up your New Year's Eve resolutions? What is the secret to keep up your motivation and fulfill your best intentions?

MAKE IT FUN! Unless you are a neurotic gym rat like me, it is not natural nor fun to go to the gym or get up 30 minutes early to go out for a walk. So, for you less motivated individuals, you have to find a trick to make it fun.

Probably the easiest way to make it fun is to exercise with a friend. Find someone who is similarly motivated (i.e. Struggling to get out of bed to go walk). If you prefer bike riding, try to find someone who will go about the same distance and speed as you; this will make it enjoyable. It is NOT fun walking or riding with someone who is twice as fast as you. You will feel intimidated and not want to do it again.


But with a friend, your motivation will increase. You will know (even when you are buried in your nice warm bed sheets…. Trying to go back to sleep) that the other person is out there wondering where the heck you are! They will call you. That is embarrassing! As time goes on and you exercise more regularly with your friend, both of you will develop a pattern. You will start to make your schedule around your walking/biking/swimming (or whatever). Rather than trying to cram in a 15 minute walk into your busy day of watching TV or posting on Facebook, you will start to PLAN YOUR DAY AROUND your exercise!

The bad news is you can’t quit! To keep up your New Year's Eve resolution to ‘get in shape’ or ‘to go to the gym more’ you do have to stick with it. But by making it fun, by participating with a friend, it won’t seem like a boring chore. The other secret to success is to sign up (and pay the entrance fee) for a race or an event. This event does NOT have to be the Boston Marathon! It can be a charity 3k walk. Or a local church bike ride fundraiser! It is always fun to be outdoors with other fun-loving people!

This event will give you extra energy and motivation to keep going to the gym or walking around the neighborhood! After all, you want to ‘look good ‘ in your gym shorts and T-shirt for all those people! You want to impress your grandkids that you walked the Princess Warrior fundraiser!

So, don’t give up on your New Years Eve resolutions! Grab a friend and get out and go for a walk or go out for an evening bike ride! Go to Dairy Queen afterwards and celebrate! Make this a regular habit and soon, you won’t stop at Dairy Queen after your exercise! You will find that you start thinking more about being healthy, eating better, going to bed sooner. The positive health energy from the exercise will spill over into the rest of your life!

I hope to see you around town walking or at the Maslowski in the swimming pool, but you’ll have to be in the pool at 5:30 to catch me! I’m neurotic about it!

Dr. David Kloss is a surgeon at Tri-County Health Care in Wadena.

David Kloss

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