For me, regular exercise is a mental game. Overcoming the mental side to exercise can be tough. It is very easy to make up excuses not to do it. I agree with the experts that say you need to make it a priority in your life. I believe this is true for all important aspects you want to incorporate in your life. Sometimes the list of things we want to make a part of our life is long, in which case I tell myself I don’t have to do all my interests at one time, and some can wait.
The time I have with my children while they are young is a top priority for me. It makes me really happy. The fact that they just want to be near us in this time in their lives is amazing. When I feel like I am struggling accomplishing everything I want to do I remind myself of that. The time I have with them is a precious gift, even though it can be overwhelming at times.
Exercise needs to stay in one of the top rankings in terms of priority. Not to mention it will hopefully help me live a longer life to enjoy more time with my family. It is easy for me to make up a million excuses, because like most of us I feel like I have a lot on my plate. However, staying healthy is more important than my excuses, which is why it can be a bit of a mental game.
My motivation comes and goes in waves, like creativity does for me as well. There are times when exercise is a huge priority, and times when I am sick of it. This is how I deal with those times.
Do what you love – this is a big one because it is true for most aspects in life. I have decided instead of forcing myself to do types of exercise I hate, sometimes because I want to be in better all around shape, that life is too short to make myself miserable. I want to be happy, even and especially with exercise. It keeps me motivated. For example if running isn’t your thing, but swimming makes you happy, stop forcing yourself to do things you hate, but make it a priority to go swim laps at the pool.
If you have a favorite show that you love to watch, but don’t have time to exercise and watch it without going to bed really late or waking up extremely early, do an exercise you pull off while watching your favorite show. Lots of exercises can be done using your own body weight, and from home if travel time or leaving behind sleeping babies are issues. Watching your favorite show while exercising can be a great thing. Think of it as a reward.
Do you love to dance? Do that. Prefer Yoga? That is great too! Can you read and exercise at the same time without feeling sick? Reward yourself by doing that. Sometimes keeping your mind distracted from the actual exercise is all it takes.
Personally, I want to spend as little time doing things I don’t like as possible. Some things are a part of life, but try making them a very small part of life. If playing a sport is your favorite way to exercise, make the move to join a team or get out to the tennis court.
Change it up – I get bored easily. Like I said before, for me it is all about keeping me mentally happy with exercise. It is essential for me to change up my exercise routine when I feel boredom coming on. If I don’t that is when the exercise gets dropped, which is not what I want to happen. Change up doing the things that you like. Maybe one day exercise in front of the TV, another day walk or run outside and yet another day play a sport or go swimming. Be flexible, because your mood changes. For me personally, I tend to stick with one way of exercising that is working for me at the time, and do it for a few weeks until I am bored, then switch it up.
Don’t push too hard – You don’t have to be superwoman or man, unless of course that is what makes you happy. J I love the idea of having goals. For example setting a goal for how many days you would like to incorporate exercise and on which days. However, if you push too hard you may end up miserable, and that will make you quit because who wants to be miserable. If you don’t reach your goal, forgive yourself. You deserve it! Move forward and make a new set of goals for a new day. Placing stress on yourself by making yourself feel not good enough is bad for your health too. Avoid getting down on yourself if you aren’t accomplishing what you want to. Take a moment to recognize it, because suppressing your feelings isn’t good either, and decide you deserve better and move forward.
Stay Positive - Lastly, when the negative self talk creeps in, block and erase it my chanting over and over again “you are beautiful and you are strong, both mentally and physically.” Keep doing that until you believe it, because that is the truth!
Love yourself and the rest will fall into place...
Healthy & Happy
What is your favorite exercise?