Tracy wrote about moderate fitspo, inspirational messages that are mildly, rather than outrageously, positive and moderately, rather than wildly, demanding.
You know, “It does get easier and you go faster” rather than “It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster.”
So we can make some motivational sayings better by moderating them. Nice.
But what if the truth is gloomy? How then to motivate?
I’ve been thinking about aging bodies and fitness, and physical activity as helping to stave off the inevitable decline. That might be true but it’s not a particularly rousing motivational saying.
The same is true for aging and weight loss.
Consider what Tom Caulfield has to say about women who exercise lots as they age. The truth doesn’t provide much fodder for catchy motivational slogans: Exercise intensely for long periods of time and you might just stay the same!
The study Caulfield cites shows that women who exercise a lot, and regularly, even running marathons, still gain weight as they age. They just gain less. That’s good health news but won’t exactly make for a very good poster at the gym.
I reviewed Caulfield’s book here .
My worry, as always, is that unrealistic expectations hurt us. You might think, given that you’re still gaining weight as you age, that exercise just isn’t worth it. But that’s wrong on at least three fronts.
First, you miss out on loads of other health benefits of exercise, most of which have nothing to do with weight.
Second, there are lots of other benefits, in terms of overall well being, that aren’t even health related.
Third, gaining less weight is still better than gaining more weight. It’s better than a slap in the belly with a wet fish, as my parents might jokingly say.
But it doesn’t make for a snappy saying on a poster.
Of course, not all of life’s truths do make for short zippy sayings.
But some of the facts about exercise and aging do.
My original favorite?
It’s never too late to start.
That’s especially true for senior citizens who see huge gains in health and fitness when they start a program of physical activity, especially weight training.