Despite knowing how good exercise is for the body, many of us have difficult starting or sticking to this healthy habit. Researchers estimate that 50% of those who start any sort of physical activity will stop doing so by the first month, an absolutely staggering number. Understandably, it is not easy to fit exercise into one’s day or always stick to a regiment, but for the sake of our health it is essential that we do. The best way to ensure that one commits to physical activity regularly is to get creative in motivating ourselves. Taking a “disciplinarian” attitude is hardly ever successful, and makes exercise seem akin to punishment. Instead, we need to find ways to cox ourselves into turning this seemingly arduous task into an enjoyable habit.
How we view ourselves influences many aspects of our lives and can play a crucial role in whether or not we decide to exercise. Some individuals give up on physical activity before they even start because of their self-perception. Even before we begin to motivate ourselves, we must, as cliché as it sounds, believe that we are capable of accomplishing the task at hand. This holds true not only for exercise, but for any goal we hope to eventually achieve.
The first step is to think positively about our capabilities to preform physical activity. Even if one is completely new to an activity, it is important to remember that even the greatest athletes started out as novices. The only way to understand and get better at something is simply practice, which is why being consistent is vital to any exercise regimen. Also keep in mind you’re not training for some type of high level event, but rather simply trying to improve your health. As such, even though one wants to remain positive, at the same time it is important to be realistic. Setting goals which are impossible to reach only ensures eventual disappointment.
As we mentioned before, lack of time can be a barrier to exercise. It is important that one plans out their day and develops a consistent schedule for physical activity. In that way habits begin to build which pushes a person to exercise regularly. But organizing one’s day not only helps them in this regard; it also makes completing other tasks easier. Planning around a single activity involves managing when an individual does other things during the day. As one starts to become more organized, they begin to see that their day overall becomes less chaotic, hectic and tiring.
Finally, exercising with others is always a good idea. Having other people around you enhances your ability to exercise and do physical activity in the first place. It is easy to let yourself down, but it is much harder to disappoint others due to the pressure we feel from social obligations. In many cases, a person will make friends in some activity they participate in, and this pushes them to keep exercising. Also with the right support group other people can positively influence one’s self perception, which as we mentioned before is crucial for the development of healthy habits.