Imagine waking up and stepping on the scale, looking in the mirror, or finding yourself breathless after climbing a flight of stairs. Congratulations! You've noticed an opportunity to begin exercising, and you need to figure out how to motivate yourself to exercise!
One of the hardest things to do is to make a decision to change. Once the decision or a commitment is seriously made, the only thing left is to execute!
We need to move through three stages in order to strongly #CommitToExercise:
Belief in the importance of exercise
Confidence in exercising
Commitment to an exercise plan
First, people who believe truly and deeply that exercise is important will find it so much easier to commit to exercising. One of the best ways to desire exercise is to arm yourself with knowledge about why exercise is so important. For me, the #ExerciseIsMedicine movement is such a large part of why I exercise everyday. I want to reduce my chances of getting cardiovascular disease and diabetes. I want to ensure I can be independent and healthy throughout the whole of my life!
Second, people who are confident about how to exercise find it that much easier to commit to exercise. You can build confidence by learning the specifics of how to exercise, or by delving into the negative emotions that make you not want to exercise. Deep down inside, some people are guilty about not exercising and this is making them even less likely to exercise because it erodes their confidence! For others, feeling confident while exercising has more to do with finding a way to feel confident and comfortable in your own body (I highly commend the #BodyPositive exercise movement for helping people get past this type of barrier). Often, older or unhealthier people don't identify with exercise by telling themselves that they were not born athletes. This is tends to make it that much harder for them to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Everyone is differently challenged when it comes to #ExerciseEmotions.
Finally, committing to exercise plan is its own challenge. Even if you deeply believe that exercise is important and feel confident about a variety of ways to exercise, you still need to take time to think about when and where you are going to exercise. It's hard to commit to an exercise plan unless it is realistic and practical for you, and if it plays on your strengths.
Try to create and follow an exercise plan. If you can't seem to stick to it, it means that something is wrong - and it requires some thought into why things went wrong. Some people aren't confident about how to create an exercise plan so they need to step back and learn just a little bit about how to create an exercise plan. Sometimes, an exercise plan fails because it was too impractical. Other times, it's because unforeseen circumstances got in the way of exercising (like, you had to stay late at work and it threw off your exercise schedule). The key is to react to these issues productively and find a work-around. One of the biggest reasons why people can't commit to exercise is because they forget to exercise.
In summary, figure out where in the process you're at. Do you not clearly know what the health benefits of exercise are? Read about it on my blog. Do you not feel so confident about exercising? Arm yourself with practice and knowledge (guidance on this will also be available on my blog). Do you find it difficult to plan exercises or commit to a plan? It's time for some trial and error to see what sticks!
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