The secret to adhering to any exercise plan is in the details.Try thinking of your workout as organized pieces of the larger puzzle of life and enjoy it in snapshots!
Break it Down
If you can take a seemingly insurmountable task before you (losing 25 pounds, walking 5 miles, even tackling housework) and break it down mentally into manageable portions, it is far less intimidating. Try not to think of it as a mountain before you, rather as rolling hills to navigate. Your workout will not seem so daunting if you can imagine even the first few steps of a thirty minute treadmill session.
Permission to Start Small
Allow yourself the freedom to do just fifteen minutes of any kind of exercise. Often times, once you start, you will likely continue beyond a quarter of an hour. If it’s the treadmill, try not to consider the whole workout, but just the first few minutes. Tell yourself you can quit if you just can’t arrive mentally. You may be surprised to learn you feel great after you begin and just might want to walk or jog another fifteen minutes.
Your workout is all part of the master plan. Exercise increases your energy and inspires creativity. Picture yourself getting stronger with each workout. Embrace sweat. Pretend it is negativity leaving your body, and allow your concerns to melt away. Think about your overall health and the satisfaction you are gaining with each trip to the gym or walk around the neighborhood.
Savor the Solitude
Beyond keeping your heart healthy, exercise is an escape. It serves the purpose of much needed time away from the daily grind, allowing you to process responsibilities and consider time management. A brisk walk, a few laps in the pool, or sitting on a recumbent bike can offer some much needed solitude from the noise of the world around, allowing you to reorganize your thoughts and prioritize your week. Think of your active time as the perfect way to regroup.
As basic as it sounds, try booking your workout. If it is in ink on your calendar, you will be less likely to skip it, like any other important appointment. Record the type of workout you did and for how long, to reinforce how great you feel. Read over your calendar at week’s end and give yourself a pat on the back for three or more days that included twenty minutes or more of exercise.
The First Step
It is easy to lack the motivation to start an exercise program if you already feel insecure with where you are starting. Regardless of your current jean size or fitness level, any measure of exercise counts and is a success. Even on days you feel overwhelmed, overworked, or just exhausted, the first step can be the hardest, but the last is the most rewarding.