Wherever you currently are on the spectrum of exercise and it’s place in your life (daily, few times a week, not at all) you have undoubtedly heard, probably more than once, about all of the benefits of adding more physical movement to your life. These benefits include: weight control, prevention of some health conditions and disease, mood improvement and management, energy level increase, promotion of better sleep, improved self confidence…and many more. I am sure you can agree that these are all wonderful benefits, but do you find your inner voice saying “if it were only that easy?”
Some people make exercise a consistent part of their lives. For many others, starting, re-starting or sticking to a regular exercise routine can be challenging, overwhelming and often feel self-defeating. If we could simply “do” what we know is best for us (or what is told is best for us), life could be so much easier. But it’s not that easy for most people. There are ways to find your personal motivation, develop a routine and stick with it. This is a process and often requires much more than merely an understanding of benefits.
Consider your personal motivation. This is yours and yours only, try not to compare your motivation to that of another. Each time you lace up your sneakers, remember why YOU chose to do so.
Focus on the present. What worked for you before may or may not work now. Likewise, what didn’t work for you before may or may not work now. Our bodies, schedules and interests all change.
Find your individual way to stay motivated. For some, simply calling it “activity” opposed to “exercise” can be helpful. Enlist others! Who is around you that can help? Research shows that exercising with a partner brings many additional relational benefits, and this can apply to your significant other or your children. Don’t forget about your furry family member(s) too. Not only can he or she benefit from exercise, but start running or walking with your dog(s) regularly and watch how quickly they expect (and look forward to) this routine. Think you will get away with not going? Think again!
While others can be great motivators, the most important thing to remember is that your journey is yours. Incorporating activity/exercise into your life regularly can be a great way to keep or restore balance in your life.