Stronger muscles, better flexibility, reduced blood pressure, increased energy…stop me if you’ve heard all this before.
You don’t need one more person (me) telling you why exercise is good for you.
There’s no question that we SHOULD exercise. We all know it’s good for us, we all feel better when we do it. Yet, actually fitting an exercise routine into your daily life can be challenging. What, when, how much can be confusing and frustrating to figure out. Many of us try, fail, feel bad, start over and repeat the cycle forever.
You know all of those great benefits? It’s a bummer, but you’re not going to see most of those if you’re stuck in the starting and stopping cycle.
So, how do you break through that and get into the groove that’s right for you?
- Broaden your definition of exercise. Maybe you think of exercise as going to the gym or following a workout DVD and both of those options make you want to rip your hair out and cry tears of boredom. Try to think of exercise not as one of those chores you have to do but as movement or activity that you find fun.
- Be firm on your goal and flexible on your strategy. Whatever your reason for exercising , make it something important to you. If you want to lose weight, gain strength, build stamina, gain flexibility, give up your blood pressure medication – ask yourself “Why?” Why is this important to you? Make that reason clear in your mind and hold on to that firmly. The “Why” is your focus. The “How” is your strategy. The “How” will change as you go and that is not only ok, it’s as it should be!
- Mix it up. Vary your activities. This keeps your body guessing and also is way more fun than the same workout every single day or week. It also keeps you from painting yourself into a strict plan that you’re not realistically going to follow – and then giving up when you don’t follow it. Look at your weekly calendar and decide what you’d like to fit in when. Change it every week! Try things you’ve never tried before. Even if you only do it once, you’ll be doing so much good for your body.
- Kill the excuses. Barriers come up. It happens to everyone, it’s just life. It would be wrong to pretend that you’ll never get thrown off your routine, for whatever reason. However, there is a difference between a barrier and an excuse. There’s always a way around a barrier, even if it takes you a little while to figure out what that is. An excuse is a dead end, it’s a reason to give up and stop entirely. If you are focused on the outcome that you desire and if you are open minded about the type of exercise you do, it will be easy to find a way to regroup instead of giving up.