So you’ve decided it’s time to get in shape and build a healthier lifestyle? Congratulations! That’s the first and most important step. There are numerous articles (including this one from the Mayo Clinic) on the benefits of exercise. You won’t regret your decision!
Sticking with a routine is the hard bit! I believe the most important factors in sticking to an exercise routine are to understand WHY you’re doing it, and then to choose activities that match your goals and personality.
Why 1: Why do you want to exercise? Seems obvious, but often overlooked! Keep your reasons for exercising at the forefront. Choosing exercise that will help you reach your goals will keep you motivated to stick to your routine.
Why 2: Think about times when you were active (got your heart rate up and sweated a bit) and absolutely loved it so much that it didn’t feel like exercise. What were you doing? Were you outside or inside? Who were you with, or were you by yourself? What one word describes the activity? WHY did you enjoy it so much?
Why 3: Now think about times when you were active and absolutely hated it, and couldn’t wait for it to be over! What were you doing? Were you outside or inside? Who were you with, or were you by yourself? What one word describes the activity? WHY did you not enjoy this experience?
I think you can predict the next step. You’ve identified activities that you enjoyed for whatever reason, as well as ones that made you feel less than enthusiastic. Your next task is to look to recreate those positives in new ways, while avoiding the ones that made you cringe. You may need to try some new things, or re-try them, but look for options that might bring about the reason why you enjoy exercise. For example, you may have loved playing rugby or netball as a child for the camaraderie and skill challenge. Whilst the body might not cope with competitive sport any more, it could be okay with a new sport with less physical rigour, whilst delivering on social and skill aspects.
Remember – our preferences will change often. Our core values – not so much. Find activities that will meet your goals and fit your personality and you’ll be on the road to a healthier you in no time!
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN
2x PushMe Personal Training sessions and a 1 month membership at the RecCentre valued at up to $159 comment on this post before 5pm on 9 February 2017, telling us about one of your why’s!