Make The Decision
So how do you “create” a desire—to want something bad enough that you will act consistently? The answer is that you must understand what’s at stake, and then you must make a decision to incorporate exercise into your life.
But there is another step: You must reinforce this belief. Seek to understand a little bit about psychology and how your brain works. It will help you stay on track. A key component of motivation is creating a sense of urgency to exercise. If you survey a room of regular exercisers, you will discover something interesting. Many people will have a strong sense of urgency to continue. It isn’t just for fun, however. They will suffer if they stop. An old injury may begin hurting again. A chronic illness may flair up or another illness will grow worse. The key is finding what makes you feel motivated, and then reinforce this belief with repetition, affirmation, and intention until you respond automatically in the way you want to behave.
Keeping It Simple
One of the biggest mistakes you can make, the one that derails most people, is to over-commit, to start too big. You set your goal too high and take on too much. But there’s a simple, easy, yet very effective way to exercise that doesn’t feel like torture: walking. It rarely makes you sweat, it burns calories and it shifts your metabolism into high gear. If you can make the time to walk for only 30 minutes three times a week, you’ll jump start a fitness program that will soon turn into four and five times a week.
The Secret Weapon Of Exercise
The secret weapon of exercise is to do it with someone else on a regular basis–in other words, a workout buddy. Not only does it make the time pass quicker and with more reward, partners hold each other accountable in a way that helps get results.
You already know you need to do it. You may even know what it looks like, complete with routines and goals and perhaps even your own personal trainer. But you know this, too: knowing and doing are different things. Hard as knowing is, doing is even more challenging. Real life gets in the way. You work hard, and the last thing you want to do is fill your free time with exercise!
Don’t Exercise – Play!
Don’t like walking? Then here’s something more fun: take up a sport. Golf without the cart. Swimming. Tennis. Even weight lifting, which is one of the best ways to change your metabolism for a leaner life. Or, try mall walking in bad weather – set a goal of two laps around before you stop into your favorite store.
Finally, if you just can’t make an exercise program work, make some little lifestyle changes that add up to more calories burned each day. Take the stairs. Park further away. Look for ways to move around more. Burning 10 to 25 calories at a time several times a day is just as good as setting aside the time for a formal “workout,” especially if you tend to sabotage your exercise commitment.
The Great Change In You
Any exercise program works best if accompanied by healthy lifestyle changes. It doesn’t have to be rocket science, just eat better (less sugar, less white flour and starchy foods, less red meat, more veggies, and less quantity of food overall), stop smoking and cut down on the alcohol. You don’t have to become a poster child for clean living, just take it up a notch and clean up your own act and you’ll reap huge benefits from whatever exercise you do.
Not only will you look better, you’ll feel better and live longer, not to mention having fewer medical issues and a much more pleasurable life. Exercise is not a matter of time and energy, it’s a matter of choice. By now you know that nothing worthwhile is easy. And there’s nothing more worthwhile than your health, which makes the choice easier than you thought.