Inspiration

Keeping active

Embarking on a new physical activity program is a significant step and making it a habitual part of your life can be challenging. If exercise feels like just another task on your endless to-do list, it’s unlikely to stick. However, finding an activity you enjoy and can easily incorporate into your daily routine increases your chances of making a lasting change.

Dealing with Fluctuating Motivation Even the most dedicated exercisers experience dips in motivation. Accepting that there will be setbacks or days when you’re not in the mood to exercise is crucial. These moments aren’t failures; they’re simply life’s interruptions. Prepare for these eventual disruptions by planning strategies to overcome them and continue where you left off. Stay resilient; everyone faces these challenges.

Consulting Health Professionals Before starting any new exercise program, especially if you’re overweight, over 40, have not exercised in a long time, or have chronic health conditions, it’s important to consult with your doctor.

Choosing the Right Physical Activity

  • Pick activities you enjoy that are also feasible physically and financially, and fit your lifestyle.
  • Set realistic goals such as committing to four activity sessions per week instead of focusing on weight loss.
  • Start small, initially aiming for just 10 minutes of continuous exercise per day and gradually increasing to 30 minutes or more.
  • Exercise with a friend to keep motivated and make the process more enjoyable.
  • Replace the mindset of ‘no pain, no gain’ with ‘no fun, no future’. If you don’t enjoy an activity, it’s not sustainable.
  • Make exercise a priority, marking it as an ‘appointment’ in your diary until it becomes a habit.

Just Start Exercising Stop overthinking the pros and cons; just dive in. Schedule exercise sessions and stick to them.

Monitoring the Benefits Keeping a training diary helps you track improvements and maintain motivation. Note how exercise makes you feel and celebrate milestones, whether through small rewards like a magazine subscription or a manicure, or by simply acknowledging that the activity itself has become a reward.

Keeping Physical Activity Interesting

  • Mix up your routine by trying new activities or setting new fitness goals.
  • Join group activities or find a training partner to maintain enthusiasm.
  • Invest in new equipment or workout clothes to refresh your motivation.
  • Engage with your surroundings during exercise to enhance the experience.

Overcoming Disruptions Life’s unpredictable nature can disrupt your exercise routine. Here’s how to handle interruptions:

  • Illness: Ease back into exercise with gentle activities like short walks.
  • Injury: Focus on recovery first and consult professionals about safe exercise options.
  • Vacations: Use local facilities like hotel gyms or swim at the beach.
  • Busy work schedules: Incorporate short exercises at your desk or take the stairs.
  • Bad weather: Adapt your routine to indoor settings or challenge yourself to face the elements.

Flexibility is Key Stay adaptable with your fitness routine. Fit in exercise whenever possible, whether it’s waking up earlier for a morning workout or walking during lunch. Remember, even short breaks from exercise can be beneficial, akin to the ‘down time’ scheduled by professional athletes.

Remember, physical activity not only alleviates stress but can also combat feelings of sadness or depression. So, on those days when you’re not feeling up to it, remind yourself how much better you’ll feel afterwards. Get up and get moving—it’s worth it.

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