Making exercise a lifelong habit
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore; in fact it should be part of your daily routine. Exercise is great for the body, mind, and soul. It re-charges our bodies to help us work harder, become more alert, increase energy, and improve performance. How can you go from a sporadic exerciser to making it part of your daily routine? Here are some tips that can help:
- Make a list of the reasons why you want to exercise. Are you doing it because your doctor said to? Do you want to get in shape to keep the romance alive in your marriage? Is your employer going to start charging you more money for being overweight? If you really don't want to exercise, make a list of reasons why you need to exercise. Here are a few things you should mention: increased energy, improved stamina, reduced risk of diabetes and cancer, sleep better, improved colon health, increased flexibility, and improved muscle tone. The reason why you want to exercise should be personal to you if you want to find the inner strength to actually follow-through with it. If your employer or doctor is forcing you to do it, chances are you won't consistently do it. In fact 1 out of 10 patients that has heart surgery actually follows the order laid out by their doctor. This shows us that you need to have your own reasons to exercise, not someone else's reason.
- Create some goals for yourself and some dates as to when you will achieve them. Make the goals short-term and long-term so you actually have time to achieve them in a realistic manner. Space the goals out over one year, this will give you enough time to actually commit to them and you can track your progress. Use a journal to track your progress. Many online sites like Weight Watchers actually track your progress and they provide you with tips on how you can push yourself harder to achieve the results you are looking for.
- One of the best ways to track your progress is to take pictures of yourself. This will allow you to see how you have lost weight and toned up your body. Purchase an outfit that you want to wear in 12 months. Try it on when you first get it so you know how far you need to go. Once you reach 6 months, try it on again to see how much improvement you have made. This is a great motivator and it can help you continue working hard to achieve your goals.
- Don't let your exercises become stale. If you start doing the same routine over and over, you will get sick of it and before you know it, you are back to sitting on the couch with a bag of chips. Mix up your exercise routine to you always have something to look forward to. For example, if Friday is your day off, spend every Friday trying a new hike. This gives you something to look forward to Monday-Thursday when you are sitting behind the computer. The exercises you do should be fun and make you feel good. You need to work hard enough to make sure you are actually releasing endorphins. The endorphins will immediately improve your sense of well-being.
- Use a personal trainer to stay motivated about exercise. It can be hard to go to the gym and try new exercises on our own. To combat this, hire a personal trainer to guide you along the path. They will create an exercise program that is specific to your needs and it can help you lose weight and tone up. The other benefit of a personal trainer is that they often push you harder than you do on your own, giving you extra motivation to work harder because someone else is counting on you.