1. There is science behind it.
Whether we are talking about the number of reps and sets in strength training, or heart rate zones in cardio, the research has spoken. Finding the right level is key to improving and maintaining your fitness.
The biggest issue with this, for most people, is it doesn't FEEL like an all out effort. Instead, it is intentional and controlled. Have faith in the science behind the exercise, and train your mind to understand you do not have to max out in exercise for it to be amazing.
2. It creates a pull so you don't need a push.
When I first started exercising, I had to push myself to do it. Then, I would go out to Highbanks and max out my heart rate, huff and puff, turn red, and hobble home feeling defeated. I didn't look forward to my next workout, and again had to push myself to get there.
Then I learned about the window by understanding heart rate zones. I strapped on my heart rate monitor and went back to Highbanks, following the protocol. This time, I felt victorious and energized! Instead of dreading my next workout, I started feeling an actual craving for it. It was pulling me! All I had to do was say yes.
3. It's so much safer.
This aging thing can be brutal at times. Just when I got my mind and soul together and am finally happy, my body starts having issues. Foot pain, neck and back aches, shoulder problems, cranky knees and hips. I know more about SI joints and peroneal tendons than I ever wanted to know.
But I'm young at heart and I need a body that can keep up, which means I need to find my window of challenging, but doable. It's a level that is personal that works for me. I can strengthen my muscles without hurting my joints. I can strengthen my heart and lungs without wiping out my energy for the day. I can feel better after I exercised than before, while trusting that it's helping, not hurting.
Getting older isn't for sissies. To do it well, we need to exercise with the wisdom we've accumulated over the years. For me, that means knowing and trusting the science behind the workout, finding that craving to keep doing it, and finding low risk, high reward ways of working out.
I'll never stop. I will be exercising forever. I've learned that it's one of the things that contributes the most to my quality of life. I may not be able to do things that I used to. I may not be able to do things that others can do. But I can do MY thing. I can find my window. And that's always good enough!