by Greg Landry
You know the feeling – your alarm clock wakes you at 5:30 for your morning walk and sometimes you just don’t feel like doing it. So, what should you do? Well, sometimes, you should probably just go back to bed. However, that should be the exception rather than the rule.
Your best bet for working through this is to minimize the task ahead. Tell yourself that you only have to exercise for ten or fifteen minutes today – something you know you can do with minimal effort in a minimal amount of time.
If you finish your ten or fifteen minutes and still don’t feel like doing it, then don’t. You’ve still gotten some exercise in and you’ve energized yourself for the day. However, I think you’ll usually find that you want to continue. Getting started is the hard part. Once you’ve started, you’ve overcome the biggest obstacle to exercise.
Here are four more things you can do to stay motivated and exercise on a regular basis..
1. Create your personal “reasons list”. Keep a piece of paper and pen handy for a couple of days. Jot down EVERY reason you can think of that you want to get healthy / get fit / lose weight, through consistent exercise. This list is VERY powerful motivation when you don’t feel like exercising.
2. Know the benefits of exercise. We are more motivated to do things that we’ll benefit from. The more we benefit => the more motivated we are. For example, if I told you I’d give you a million dollars to take a 30 minute walk tomorrow morning, would you do it? You bet you would! The benefits of exercise aren’t quite that compelling, but they are pretty motivating. Read my article on the benefits of exercise.
3. Keep records.Write down your exercise time (minutes) each day. Keep a running total for the month and year. Calculate your average exercise time per day. Set some lofty goals!
4. Make your exercise as enjoyable as possible. For example, if you’re a walker, you may want to get a good cassette or CD player to listen to music or books on tape, etc. If you’re exercising inside, set up a TV so that you can watch it while exercising. On the other hand, you may just prefer peace and quiet. Do whatever makes exercise most enjoyable for you. You are much more likely to exercise consistently if you enjoy it.
By Greg Landry, M.S., Exercise Physiologist www.greglandryfitness.com
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