There are many reasons to exercise. These include for enhancing sleep, energy mood and health as well as minimizing stress, depression and anxiety. And getting detailed workout plans and exercise instructions is possible over the web. However, if knowing why and how to exercise was enough, everyone has been in shape. To make exercise a habit, you need a smart approach and the right mindset. Regardless of your fitness level and age, there are some steps that you can take in order to ensure you exercise with more fun and motivation.
Why are you Not Exercising?
If you find it difficult to start an exercise plan or stick to your current plan, you are not alone. A lot of people struggle to get out of their inactive life despite their best intentions. Although concerns such as poor health or a busy schedule can make exercising tougher, the main barrier is the lack of confidence that you can take positive steps. You are just motivated for a short period of time and then give up pretty easily. The following are the things that you can do in order to break those mental barriers.
- Stop the all-or-nothing attitude – There is no need for you to be in a gym for many hours or compel yourself to carry out painful or monotonous activities just to have the emotional and physical benefit of exercise. A bit of exercise is actually better than nothing. As a matter of fact, doing modest amounts of physical activity to your routine every week can have a significant impact on your emotional and mental health.
- Be kind to yourself – According to studies, self-compassion can increase the possibility of succeeding in any endeavor. Thus, you should not beat up yourself on your body, your lack of willpower or your present fitness level. This will just discourage you. Rather, learn from your mistakes in the past and healthy choices and then grow.
- Check what you expect – You cannot be on shape overnight. Having too many expectations too soon will just result in disappointments. Do not be discouraged by how far you need to go or what you cannot do to achieve your fitness goals. Rather than being obsessed over results, concentrate on consistency. Although energy level and mood improvements are likely to take place quickly, they physical payoff will happen in time.
The Amount of Exercise you Need
Most adults are recommended to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. Exercising for 30 minutes, five times per week will help you get there. If you don’t have 30 minutes for this in your busy schedule, you can consider breaking it to a couple of 15-minute workouts or three ten-minute workouts.
The good news is that moderate exercise is quite beneficial for overall health. There is no need for you to continuously intensity your workouts. Indeed, exercising too strenuously may result in diminishing results on your fitness levels or result in injuries.
How Hard you Should Exercise
Do not overdo it. Studies have shown mild to moderate activity is already enough to have a better life. There is no need to run a single step or sweat buckets. Moderate activity is about:
- Breathing a bit heavier than normal; however, not going out of breath. For instance, you can still talk with your walking partner.
- Making your body feel warmer while you move but not overheating or sweating heavily.
Makin Exercise a Habit to Stick with
Many people’s New Year’s resolution to get in shape fails because of many reasons. And this is not just about lacking what it takes. There are some ways to build habits that last.
- Pick activities which make you feel confident and happy – If you are performing an unpleasant workout or one that makes you feel inept, you will surely not stick with it. Avoid activities such as lifting weights or running just because you believe you need to do it. Rather, choose activities which suit your abilities, taste and lifestyle.
- Start small then build momentum – Exercising for 30 minutes per day, five times per week may sound great. However, can you really follow through? Having an ambitious goal allows you to just fail, get disappointed and give up. What you can do best is to begin with easy exercise goals that you can surely achieve. After you meet such goals, build momentum and confidence. You can them continue to deal with tougher goals.
- Exercise with triggers – When it comes to building an exercise habit, triggers are your secrets. Studies show that consistent exercises depend upon triggers. They serve as reminders for a place, time of the day or cue which makes you automatically react. Triggers place your exercise routine on autopilot, therefore you do not think of or decide on anything. Try to build these triggers so you can make exercise an easy routine.
- Reward Yourself – Rewards powerfully reinforce yourself so give yourself a reward as you finish a workout. This must be followed by reaching a new fitness goal or just showing up on a day if you wanted to forget about your exercise plans. Make sure the reward is something that you really look forward to. However, never allow yourself to get it until after you exercise.
Staying Motivated to Exercise
Regardless of how much you enjoy a certain exercise routine, you may still lose interest at some point. When this happens, shake things up and change your ways in pursuing the exercise or consider trying something new. What about pairing your workout with a treat? You can watch your favorite television show or listen to an audiobook while on a stationary bike or treadmill. Also, make sure you log what you do. Keep a record of your fitness progress or workouts. Being able to write down things will increase commitment. Moreover, think about getting support through your the ups and downs of our exercise routine to keep your motivation strong. Check for fitness communities online and join them. Also, workout with your friends.