15 Quick Tips for People who Don't Like to Exercise by Susie Cortright
We've all had days when we don't have the energy to tie our athletic shoes, let alone bounce around in them. But exercise can give a daily blast to your mind, body, and soul. Here are fifteen quick tips to get you moving:
1. Don't get intimidated by the prospect of a daily exercise regimen. You don't have to run a marathon. You need only get your body moving each day. Once you tone your muscles, you'll naturally find yourself wanting to do more challenging workouts.
2. Reframe the way you think about exercise. Begin to think of each workout as a gift you give to yourself instead of just another "should," "ought," or "must."
3. Make sure you enjoy your exercise program. Some people like classes. Some people don't. Choose what's right for you so it becomes something you actually look forward to.
4. Make sure your workout is convenient. Schedule it for a time of day when you typically feel the most energetic. Have your gym bag packed and ready to go by the door or in the car.
5. Make your workout weather-proof. If you run or walk outside, get the right workout gear so weather conditions are never an excuse.
6. Make sure you're doing it right. One reason for wanting to quit exercising is injury or pain. Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program so you know you're safe in the workout you choose. And check in with trainers, too, if you're working on equipment at the gym or trying a new sport.
7. If you're having a low-energy day, tell yourself you have to exercise for only ten minutes. That will get you moving, and once you're in the exercise groove, you'll usually want to finish your workout.
8. Go with friends. Start a group for walking, running, or training. The camaraderie (and peer pressure) can do wonders for your daily motivation.
9. After a really good workout, write a few notes in your journal about how good you feel. Use it as a reference the next time you don't want to begin.
10. Start with small goals. If you want to run for 30 minutes, for example, start by walking fast. When you can do that, make a goal to spend those 30 minutes running for one minute, walking for one minute. When you build on these smaller goals, you'll be running in no time. And you'll give your confidence a boost, too.
11. Recognize that some days it will be easier to exercise, and some days you'll have to struggle through the workout. This has to do with a lot of factors, including mood, hormones, the glass of wine you had last night . . . Take the pressure off by understanding the fluctations. And exercise anyway.
12. Try behavior modification tapes. Mike Brescia has a good one for exercising. This audiotape is not self-hypnotizing or subliminal. You'll hear every message, but these messages are subtle and, for many people, effective.
13. Use a visible reward system. The effects of exercise are cumulative and long-term, so sometimes it helps to see your results on a daily basis. After each workout, put a big red star on the calendar as a symbol that you completed the day's workout. Take photos of yourself every month in your workout gear so you have a visual record of your results, too.
14. Get to the bottom of your exercise aversion. For women, if it's the run-of-the-mill gym you can't stand, try a women-oriented fitness center, such as Curves. This is a fast-growing fitness phenomenon, and many women feel like their workout becomes a 30-minute vacation--like a girls' night out at the exercise machines.
15. Be gentle with yourself. Take a day off at least once a week. And if you do skip a few workouts, don't beat yourself up, but do get right back in the routine. The fewer consecutive days you skip, the more likely you'll be to make your workout a lasting gift you give to yourself.