We live in a fast-paced world, we are constantly running around and are generally very busy. We barely have time to sleep, let alone exercise, right?! I get it.. I must admit that was me a few years ago until I realised that all my “busyness” and stressing led to other health issues. So what to do to fall in love with exercise I hear you ask. Well for starters you could stop looking at it as “chore” and just start considering the benefits and impact exercising will have on your life. According to Dr Mercola, exercise “boosts levels of health-promoting brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which may help buffer some of the effects of stress and also relieve some symptoms of depression.”
So here’s a couple of simple steps to ease your way into exercising and start loving it.
1. Don’t overwhelm yourself
If you haven’t exercised in a really long time or you don’t exercise at all don’t just throw yourself into it committing to 5 times a week of training. The enthusiasm will only last so much and then you will probably end up hating it even more. You could try and make it social. Invite few friends for a gym class, or any other sports you might have considered in the past and never got around to do it. Maybe walk to/from work if that’s an option, go for a walk in the park, you get the idea, start small and then you can challenge yourself after a few weeks/months of committing to smaller goals.
2. Get rid of the scales
I must admit I absolutely hate the scales. Probably because I used to focus on it in the past and have realised it is the wrong focus. Don’t get me wrong you need to track your progress but I prefer checking measurements and taking progress photos over using the scales. Let me tell you why. In case you didn’t know muscle weighs more than fat, which means when you burn fat and build muscle, you will probably end up weighing more. Also, if the weight on the scales doesn’t shift much from one week to another you will end up feeling really demotivated. Focusing on changes you notice in your body, the way your clothes look and feel and generally feeling better and more energised, are measurements way more positive to go by.
3. Have fun & mix it up
Don’t just do the same exercises over and over again. You will get bored quickly and your body will also get used to it over time, which will eventually lead to a plateau state. Instead try mix it up and maybe buddy up with a few friends and try some outdoor activities, HIIT (High-intensity interval training) or other sports you might have wanted to try in the past. If you keep finding some new exciting activities you will never get bored.
4. Set achievable goals
Like with everything in life is good to take a moment to set your goals and break them down into small chunks so they are achievable. Make sure you review your goals regularly and tweak things around to constantly challenge yourself. Always remember you have your own journey so don’t compare it to anyone else’s.
5. Reward yourself
Once you reach your goals, don’t forget to reward yourself. For example, if you’ve set yourself a goal of going to the gym 3 times a week for a month, once you reach you goal treat yourself to something nice. It could be buying yourself that top you wanted or a gadget or whatever you want your “treat” to be.
Remember, exercising doesn’t have to be a chore, try to change you mindset, be committed and find something that you really like and suits you. I personally just love the way I feel after a sweaty workout when I push myself a little more than you have wanted or that warming inner peace and stillness a yoga class gives me.
So what are you waiting for? Go looking for what makes YOU tick!
As a final thought, I want to leave you with one of my favourite Buddha quotes “Your body is precious. It is your vehicle for awakening. Treat it with care.”
Till next time ..focus on the good & love exercise 🙂