Tips For People Who Don't Like To Exercise
We've all had days when we don't have the energy to tie our athletic shoes, let
alone bounce around in them. But exercise can give a daily blast to your mind,
body and soul. Here are 15 quick tips to get you moving.
Don't get intimidated by the prospect of a daily exercise regimen. You don't
have to run a marathon. You need only get your body moving each day. Once you
tone your muscles, you'll naturally find yourself wanting to do more
Reframe the way you think about exercise. Begin to think of each workout as a
gift you give to yourself instead of just another "should," "ought" or "must."
Make sure you enjoy your exercise program. Some people like classes. Some
people don't. Choose what's right for you so it becomes something you actually
look forward to.
Make sure your workout is convenient. Schedule it for a time of day when you
typically feel the most energetic. Have your gym bag packed and ready to go by
the door or in the car.
Make your workout weather-proof. If you run or walk outside, get the right
workout gear so weather conditions are never an excuse.
Make sure you're doing it right. One reason for wanting to quit exercising is
injury or pain. Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program so
you know you're safe in the workout you choose. And check in with trainers,
too, if you're working on equipment at the gym or trying a new sport.
If you're having a low-energy day, tell yourself you have to exercise for only
10 minutes. That will get you moving, and once you're in the exercise groove,
you'll usually want to finish your workout.
Go with friends. Start a group for walking, running or training. The
camaraderie (and peer pressure) can do wonders for your daily motivation.
After a really good workout, write a few notes in your journal about how good
you feel. Use it as a reference the next time you don't want to begin.
Start with small goals. If you want to run for 30 minutes, for example, start
by walking fast. When you can do that, make a goal to spend those 30 minutes
running for one minute, walking for one minute. When you build on these smaller
goals, you'll be running in no time. And you'll give your confidence a boost,
Recognize that some days it will be easier to exercise, and some days you'll
have to struggle through the workout. This has to do with a lot of factors,
including mood, hormones, the glass of wine you had last night... Take the
pressure off by understanding the fluctuations. And exercise anyway.
Try behavior modification tapes. Mike Brescia has a good one for exercising
here: www.momscape.com/thinkrightnow/exercising.htm . This audiotape is not
self-hypnotizing or subliminal. You'll hear every message, but these messages
are subtle and, for many people, effective.
Use a visible reward system. The effects of exercise are cumulative and
long-term, so sometimes it helps to see your results on a daily basis. After
each workout, put a big red star on the calendar as a symbol that you completed
the day's workout. Take photos of yourself every month in your workout gear so
you have a visual record of your results, too.
Get to the bottom of your exercise aversion. For women, if it's the
run-of-the-mill gym you can't stand, try a women-oriented fitness center. This
is a fast-growing fitness phenomenon, and many women feel like their workout
becomes a 30-minute vacation -- like a girls' night out at the exercise
Be gentle with yourself. Take a day off at least once a week. And if you do
skip a few workouts, don't beat yourself up, but do get right back in the
routine. The fewer consecutive days you skip, the more likely you'll be to make
your workout a lasting gift you give to yourself.