It can be tough to discipline yourself to exercise, especially when you have little or no interest in it other than wanting to be more active because you “should.” Exercise should be an integral part of your life. You don’t have to do it all the time or make it overly strenuous, but the health benefits of walking just 30 minutes a day are well worth it. It can help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke, along with helping you maintain a healthy weight.
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Take the plunge. The real trick to motivating yourself to exercise is to not think about it, and just throw yourself into it. Taking action and getting moving can stimulate a response in you emotionally and encourage you to keep at it. You might be dreading going for a run or lifting some weights, but generally once you’re going your feelings will change.
- Exercise allows more oxygen into your brain, which in turn releases more chemicals that make you feel good.
- Once you’re exercising you will have more positive feelings, and your mood will improve.
- This is why exercise is a great natural anti-depressant, and is often recommended for people suffering from mild depression
Have fun. One of the most important factors in maintaining your motivation is finding something that you actually enjoy doing. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore that you have to force yourself to do. It might start out like that, but finding forms of exercise that you like will make a huge difference in getting motivated. Keep an open mind and try new things.
- Don’t be put off by the memory of freezing cold cross-country runs when you were at school — there’s more to exercise than this.
- You could do anything from a ballroom dancing class, to badminton, horse riding, or martial arts.
- When you find something fun, keep it in your routine, but still look for some variety.
Turn your commute into exercise. This won’t be possible for everyone, but if you live within running or cycling distance to where you work, turn your commute into part of your exercise routine. Often people struggle to put time aside to exercise, but by exercising on your way to and from work you are being active without having to set aside any extra time.
- Running or cycling to and from work will also help you clear your mind in preparation for, or to recover from, a stressful day in the office.
- Cycling to work is a great workout and will help you get into the habit of cycling and exercising more generally.
Try to exercise at the same time each day. If you are busy it can be tough to find time to exercise, but you are more likely to stick to it if you firmly book it into your schedule. Go through your diary carefully and try to carve out a regular window that is free most weeks, if not every week. If you do exercise at the same time and on the same days every week, you have a better chance of maintaining it.
- Sooner or later the exercise will become as deeply embedded in your schedule as everything else.
- You’ll even find yourself looking forward to it as a break from the everyday grind.
- Habits and routines take a while to form, but they can be very powerful once they are in place.