Exercise – I Know It’s Good For Me – But!!!
Almost everyone knows that exercise is good for their wellbeing. Yet, many of us don’t incorporate regular exercise into our daily lives.
With this in mind, here are some tips and strategies for incorporating exercise into your busy life.
Please note, some of these tips will apply to you and some will not. You will know for yourself what tips are likely to work for you.
Keep It Simple – Keeping exercise simple can mean that exercise easily fits into the rest of our day. Some fantastic examples are taking a walk during lunch or at the start of your day or taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Making exercise convenient also helps, an example could be having weights or an exercise bike easily accessible in your home.
Make It Social – For some people, having a social group or activity can encourage them to regularly participate. Some examples are running or cycling groups, or simply booking a regular time with a friend to walk together.
Do What You Enjoy – Have you ever tried to regularly do exercise that you find burdensome or have simply not enjoyed? Chances are, that you discontinued that exercise after a short time. One of the tricks to regular exercise is to find something that you enjoy doing.
Make It Routine or Habit – Habits are things that we generally do with little consideration. One of the tricks to regular exercise is for it to become just part of the way we live our life. An example would be to instil a habit where you get dressed and go for a walk as soon as you wake up in the morning. It is believed that it takes between 60 and 90 days to instil a habit. This means that repeating this new routine for 60-90 days will mean that you are much more likely to continue the exercise as a habit beyond that period. It is also worth noting that the original instilling of a habit takes willpower. Our willpower, along with our energy levels are generally much stronger at the start of the day. Therefore, it is often more successful over the longer term to carry out your exercise routine at the start of the day.
Both High and Low Intensity Are Fine – You will know in yourself whether you experience more benefit from high intensity or from low intensity exercise. Some people get an amazing high from the endorphins that are produced from high intensity exercise. Whereas some people find the relaxation of a gentle walk incredibly beneficial. Take notice of what activity gives you the greatest benefit and do that regularly.
Progress Gradually – It is common that people who want to start an exercise routine will push themselves physically far beyond their current level of exercise. While there are benefits to pushing yourself to a certain extent, pushing far beyond your current level can result in high levels of muscle recovery pain or fatigue. It is generally a good idea to increase activity and intensity gradually to avoid this.
Change Your Perception of Pleasure and Pain – The reality is that if you see exercise as a painful thing, you are unlikely to continue it as a regular activity over the longer term. As an alternative, it is a good idea to focus on the pleasure or benefits. Some examples could be focusing on the feel-good benefits of doing the exercise or on the health benefits that you receive as a result. Your thoughts about the exercise will generally have a large effect on whether you are able to sustain regular exercise over the longer term.
Make it a Priority – A reality of life for most people is that they make sure they do the things that they consider as a priority. Consciously making regular exercise a priority will result in a greater chance of you regularly exercising over the longer term.
The benefits of regular exercise are diverse and widely known. Why not make regular exercise a reality of your daily life so that you can take advantage of the amazing benefits?
Author: Jodi Woelkerling
Jodi is a resilience specialist. She works with individuals, leaders and at the organisational culture level to help people to experience the enormous benefits of enduring resilience. Through the tools of coaching, training and consulting, she helps people to create lasting positive resilience based change. To find out more about Jodi and her work go to jodiwoelkerling.com