4 ways to make exercise happen (even if you don’t feel like it)
I’d like to fuel you with some practical suggestions so that you can ensure you don’t fall into the non-exercising trap.
Firstly, we all know the benefits of exercise. To give you a reminder, here are some of the many perks that our body enjoys when we move and aren’t hunched over a desk all day:
- Improved brain health
- Increased self-esteem
- Reduced risk of osteoarthritis
- Reversed ageing
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Better body composition (less fat, more muscle)
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Reduction in stress and anxiety
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease
…the list goes on.
If these benefits came in a pill, doctors would be prescribing it in their practices.
However, despite knowing the benefits, we still somehow convince our minds out of exercise, justifying our reasons and telling ourselves that they are totally valid.
- I’m too tired.
- I don’t have a pound coin/padlock for the locker.
- It’s been a long day.
- I forgot my water bottle.
- I don’t know which area to focus on?
- I’ll get back too late.
- I don’t have a fresh sports bra/socks.
- I don’t really have the time….
Do any of the above sound familiar?
Before we know it, we’ve got ourselves off the ‘exercising hook’. We come back home, sink onto the sofa, hit the ‘on’ button for Netflix – and we’re happy.
We are very convincing when we want to be, even when its about something that would positively benefit ourselves.
So, how do we set ourselves up for success and put in place an excuse proof exercise regime?
Here are four suggestions which have worked for me….
1). BUDDY UP AND FIND YOURSELF AN ACCOUNTABILITY TRAINING BUDDY
This is my number one tip. We will let ourselves down far more than we will someone else.
Find someone to train with who has the same mission to regularly train; lock arms with them and commit to train with them however many times a week you can both fit into your schedule. When you have a workout buddy, your excuses will immediately dissolve.
If you know they are going to be waiting for you, you’ll be there and you’ll likely push yourself so much harder when you’re actually there as you’ll bounce off each other’s energy and drive.
Look at both of your schedules, commit to a time when you can both train and lock it into your diary with a promise to each other that you’re committed to support each other with your health/fitness goals.
Make sure you know each other’s goals so that you can remind each other of them on the days when you’re not so motivated and encourage each other along.
2). DIARISE IT
We put our work or doctors appointments into our diary so why do we not do the same with the physical exercise appointment we have with ourselves?
Exercise is something we know we have to do multiple times a week for the rest of our lives, consistently. Research has proven this; the people who move their bodies, live healthier, more enjoyable years. Conversely, the people who don’t move frequently, their mental, emotional and physical health deteriorate with age.
By putting exercise time in our diary, it means that other appointments or commitments don’t eat into our training times. Life is full of distractions and things to do so, if it’s not in the diary, you can be sure your time will be taken up with something else – life is not short of things to do.
If there is an instructor at your spinning or boxing class who you particularly enjoy, make sure you have mapped out their sessions and put them into your diary accordingly.
If (you can be flexible because) your workout preference doesn’t rely on anyone else but you, look at your diary and schedule regular times ( in your diary and keep them the same) every week so that your default autopilot routine includes moving your body.
If something comes up, because let’s face it – life happens (!) – remember that the healthier you are, the more productive and happier you will be both in work and outside of work. See if there’s another time you can move the meeting /arrangement to. If the meeting or commitment can’t be moved, replace your training slot to the next available day.
3). LOVE WHAT YOU DO
If the idea of going to a gym and doing a weights/ cardio session doesn’t float your boat, then experiment with pilates, kickboxing, a group spin class or an ‘at home’ yoga routine….there are so many possibilites.
The bottom line is that exercise should be fun!
If you enjoy being surrounded by a room full of people and love being a part of that energy – group classes are for you. If you’re quite happy with your earbuds in, music on loud and doing your own thing, that’s (great) also great.
4). GET YOUR KIT READ THE NIGHT BEFORE
Get your gym bag ready and prepared the night before so you’re not scrambling around for matching shoes, clean leggings and a sports bra!
This makes for one less thing to think about on the day and enables you to exit your house en route to the gym with everything you need and nothing you don’t need; including an excuse to not go!
That’s all from me today. I hope it inspires you and gives you some practical tools to make moving your body happen.