Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Get Out of an Exercise Rut

by A. Grano 
Is exercise always “accidentally” falling off your to-do list? When working out becomes a dreaded chore  rather than an enjoyable experience, it’s easy to lose motivation and shrug it off as unimportant. Regaining momentum, especially after an extended hiatus, is never easy – but the benefits to your health far outweigh the initial challenges!
Besides helping avoid obesity, moderate regular exercise can help a variety of health conditions, from keeping blood pressure under control to mitigating the effects of stress and tension on your body.  People with emotional disorders such as depression can even see a lift in mood once exercise-induced endorphins start pumping through the body. Experts even say that symptoms of ADHD can be alleviated by exercise– which is a great motivator to go play outside with your kids!
Tips to getting back on track with exercise
  • Practice visualization. If it’s been a very long time since you’ve worked out, try picturing yourself at your ideal, prime fitness level. Be realistic in your expectations, but setting a specific mental goal for yourself (being able to finish a 10K, play a round of basketball with your son, or keep up with the instructor at a yoga class) can give you a boost.
  • Gear up for a good cause. Keep an eye out for charity walks, runs, and bike rides in your area, and be sure to give yourself enough time to adequately prepare in advance. It’s a lot harder to turn on the TV and bail on a workout when you know you have a charity event coming up. Bonus points for getting sponsored.
  • Adopt a “can do” attitude. Swap out excuses like “I’m too tired” or “I’m too busy” with “I can go to bed earlier so I am rested to exercise” and “I can make time for myself to be healthy”.
  • Find a workout buddy. Some people love exercise classes, others hate them – but if you struggle to stay on track, having a peer or even a group of peers can be helpful.
  • Keep trying new things. A boring routine can quickly kill motivation, so keep an open mind. Exercise doesn’t always have to be done in a gym – try something you’ve never done before, like indoor rock climbing or dance lessons.
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