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Some people have a more difficult time with motivation to exercise than others. There is a small group of people for which exercise is automatic and natural. But most of us find it to be a challenge, burden and time-sensitive extra task. To help the majority of us over the hump, there are several ways to make it less of a burden and to support success, both physically and emotionally.

If we are willing to spend the time on exercising, we will see the results of that effort.

These tips will also help you get off the exercise rollercoaster:

Inclusion and Exclusion

What you include in an exercise program is as important as what you don’t include. It’s key to make the right choices based on your personal experience, athletic abilities and fitness level. There’s nothing worse than biting off more than you can chew, which is certain to set you up for failure.

Include exercise you enjoy, yet be aware that it can be a benefit to include exercises that are different or less comfortable to do. Sometimes our body needs a “different” challenge or something we’re not used to in order to improve. Take time to review what you truly want in your exercise program and what you would like to eliminate. Carve your exercises down to what provides results and what helps you to enjoy the effort.

Schedule

Exercise is as important, if not more important, than many of the things we prioritize in life. Realizing that exercise provides a wide variety of benefits and has nearly immediate impact on our health is important. Place exercise into your schedule with as much priority as you use for other commitments. If we always view exercise as a lower priority on our list it becomes easy to skip it or move it out of the way for other activities.

Be Resilient

We all fall off of our exercise schedule now and again due to illness, vacation and other reasons. I’ve always viewed the skill of bouncing back from exercise setbacks as a practiced skill. The more often we successfully rebound and start exercise again, the easier it will become. We realize that those breaks in exercise don’t determine who we are. We begin to believe we can do it and that we are successful with exercise rather than thinking we will always struggle.

Be Strategic

Find ways that keep you engaged with exercise. We’ve all seen these strategies in a variety of places.   Strategies such as finding a fitness partner or group that not only motivates you, but also can hold you accountable. Try different workout groups, exercises or environments to see what motivates you the most to be the best you can be. Keeping an exercise log is good motivation for some people. The time and effort you’ve invested in being and feeling healthy is right there in black and white.

I’m a firm believer that the motivation to exercise is already in you. It’s just a matter of tapping into that area in which you may be unfamiliar. We can each do anything our minds focus on. If we are willing to spend the time on exercising, we will see the results of that effort. My children often say “it’s a waste of time” about various things. I always answer back: “It’s not a waste of time if it’s something you want and love.”

If you’ve been on a rollercoaster of ups and downs with exercise, how have you been able to stay motivated to achieve better health?

Contributed by

Phil Hardesty
Exercise Physiologist

Have a healthy, happy and fit week!!

Better Health Begins With You...

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