Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Exercise Hang-ups

If you don't have hang-ups about exercising, then you probably don't need to read this post. But for those who like me, have exercising hang-ups, read on.

Our lives used to be more active because our day to day chores required us to be busy and moving. Our washing machine, cars, dishwasher, garment factories, and the grocery store takes a lot of work out of our lives for us. Exercise is a good way to add the benefits of activity back in to our lives.

Some of the many benefits of exercise:
More energy and strength
Clearer thinking
Weight loss
Increases metabolism
Stronger heart
Stronger lungs
A healthier body overall
Better mood – Exercise releases endorphins, the feel good hormone, relieving depression even.
Improves appearance
Builds muscle which deteriorate at a more rapid pace with each birthday
Prevents bone loss
Better sleep

Still have a problem with exercising? Yeah, me too. I'm preaching to myself here. I have lost 50 lbs almost completely without exercise. I cannot hang my weight loss on exercising. I know it will boost my efforts but I have to separate exercising and losing weight in my mind if I even want to start exercising.
So our goal is TO CHANGE OUR MIND. My negative associations with exercise is what is defeating me. This is an experiment for me too. I'm going to be learning this with you.

Fear is a negative motivator. If you are using the fear of unpleasant consequences as the motivation to exercise or live healthier, stop right there. Fear doesn't last and it will not sustain itself. Find a positive motivator instead.
Motivation to Exercise

What you think about, you get more of

If you think about red cars, you will start to see red cars every where. Don't focus on what you don't want, think about what you do want.

Stop thinking:
I need to exercise.
I am not fit.
I am not an active person.
I don't like to exercise.
Exercising is hard.

I am an active person.
I like exercising.
I will exercise for 5 minutes today.
Exercise makes me feel great.

Replace negative thoughts with positive statements. It might not FEEL true at first but after you say it the right way enough times, it WILL be true.

And then... Try these tips:
Lower your expectations. Make small goals. Do 5 crunches or spend 5-10 minutes being active. Doing this will likely motivate you to keep going longer than you originally intended and will help you turn it into a habit (it takes only 21 days to form a habit).

Don't make it complicated.

Do something fun! Skating, biking, dancing, tennis, swimming, walking the dog, playing Frisbee...

Do something different each time if it helps. DON'T do Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred for 30 days straight. You WILL burn out (I speak from experience – I knew better).

Start with 2-3 times a week.

Make an x on your calendar for each day you exercise are active.

I will be doing this with you. Let me know how it's going for you!

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