Are you someone that cringes at the idea of working out? Someone that thinks of going for a run, or going to the gym as punishment? There are even some people that claim to be “allergic” to exercise. As I’m sure you’re aware, whether you like it or not, physical activity is a necessity when it comes to the prevention of many chronic diseases, and increasing/controlling overall health. Check out some of these tips to change your thoughts, and get moving!
Set Minimal Goals, Start Small
Unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment. Start with a smaller time range such as days instead of weeks or months. There are required amounts of time and individual should endure physical activity weekly, but if that is currently not in your reach start with what is. For example aim for something like 2 day a week which is a total of 15 days a month. If you then exceed this goal, it leads to positive feelings that can increase motivation.
Keep A Record
Get a journal, keep a log. It is important to keep track or your workouts or whether or not you have worked out. Logging is one of the most powerful sources of keeping oneself accountable. If accountability is a struggle for you, then engage social pressure. Do so by teaming up with a friend that you can both share your goals with them and have someone to report to.
Beware of Willpower Drains
Schedule workouts for times when your willpower hasn’t been tested. Forcing yourself to do something like go for a walk or jog, is much harder after sedentary tasks like making decisions or focusing on listening to a speaker. Think about how it feels to try and get a workout done after a long day or work. Pick a schedule, and write it down.
Value Initiation Instead of Endurance
When it comes to exercise, consistency and starting a habit can be the most difficult part. Making yourself stick to your goals even if it is for a few minutes, you are more likely to do it again the next day. If your goals is to workout for one hour two days a week, and one of those days you end up only having ten minutes to exercise, do it! Every minute counts, and doing this will help establish a habit. Once a habit is established they become near-automatic. Initial frustrations are only temporary!
Keep an optimistic outlook. Mistakes are inevitable and are an expected part of the journey, and are not deal breakers when it comes to reaching your goals.
Leverage Your Lifestyle
Pair working out with an important part of your life! If your an established parent/grandparent, have family bike rides or coach your child’s sport team. Animal lovers, take your dog for runs and walks which can be the highlight of their day. Students, study while on the treadmill or stair-stepper. It doesn’t have to be foreign to your everyday schedule, make exercise a part of you.
Now that you’re done reading this article start now, set a goal and write it down!
Article written by GUADS member Breanna, with contributions from www.oprah.com