To make the idea of exercise less painful you can work on making it a habit. Just like brushing your teeth. It will take a few conscious steps to make this happen but after a few weeks you will find that this becomes a habit and even look forward to your new activities.
First of all make your daily fitness routine a priority. Understandably you are busy but you know you can always find the time for a dentist appointment or even the time to get the car to the garage for an oil change. Consider this just as important. It might be helpful to pull out your scheduler and block off the times at least two weeks in advance. Set the alarm on your phone and don’t let anything else take priority.
When you feel compelled to put work ahead of your physical well-being, just re-negotiate that feeling and stick to your decision.
When scheduling don’t feel you have to block off an hour a day. If you can – great. If you can’t – you are among the majority. Just start with 10 minute blocks and work up from there. You may not think 10 minutes is worth anything but it is. It will help to form the time and activity habit. Rebounding on a mini trampoline is one great example of an exercise that has great benefits after only a few minutes.
If you find you are slipping and have gone back to finding excuses not to exercise and are erasing the blocks off your schedule, don’t despair. Take a deep breath and start over. Maybe you don’t like the activity you chose, maybe you can find a few friends to join you, maybe you can combine a favourite activity to make this new fitness activity more compelling.
For example, one of the things I love to do for outdoor activity like hiking is to listen to my books on my iPhone. I buy mystery books by authors like Stephen King, Sue Grafton, or any of the writers that spin a visual story and suspense. The RULE is I cannot read the book or listen to it UNLESS I am doing my chosen physical activity. I can tell you from experience that my active time increases during the more suspenseful narratives.
Dress for Success
Another motivating trick you can do is to invest in some nice exercise garb to wear. A new walking jacket or pants can make you feel good. Don’t try and trick yourself to lose weight by buying what you want in a smaller size. Get the right item right now. Good shoes will make a big difference too. If you have never invested in a quality pair of cross trainers then you are in for a treat. Go investigate the local running shoe store and ask them to fit you with a pair appropriate for your feet and anticipated activities.
If you chose to exercise outside pick well-lit paths and wear reflective gear.
New exercisers should speak with their health practitioner of course and if you already have known physical issues like high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes etc. you will also need to monitor this with your doctor. One of the main reasons for this is often times people are on medication that they will not need or have to change as they get fitter and lose weight.
Start every activity with a warm up. This can be incorporated into your activity. For example if your chosen exercise is a power-walk or hiking, starting with a slower pace can be considered an effective warm up.
End every activity with a cool-down. Similar to the warm up it can be part of your activity. If you have spent 20 minutes jogging then make sure you spend a few minutes walking to keep the blood moving as your body begins to slow down.
Take the time to stretch. This is one of the most often ignored parts of physical fitness because it takes time and is boring to many. By stretching you are keeping your muscles limber so you will be able to continue to benefit from physical activities. Keep the stretching gentle and frequent.
Drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Drinking water helps with weight loss efforts too. Your body needs the water to break down and remove stored fat from your body.
Have Fun Exercising
If your fitness is fun you will more likely stick to it. This is one of the reasons why aerobics classes took off so quickly. It is fun to go with your friends and jump around in new clothes.
I understand it might be MORE fun to hang out at the local pub and play darts, but aside from that, what else do you find “fun”?
Mentioned previously was listening to good books while exercising. What about dancing? You can listen to your favourite music and dance up a storm with a game specifically designed for weight loss.
To help figure out what you can do maybe try making a list of what it is you don’t like and what you do like. Exercise doesn’t have to be all-out crazy fitness like MMA or a marathon. outdoor games with family and friends can be fun and healthy. Host a weekly “Frisbee Football” game. Organize a bowling team. Take up a new dance class. Dig a hole in the back yard. Borrow the neighbours dog or get one at a shelter for nightly walks.