As a beginner, exercise might look like an insurmountable task for you. If you look at it in terms of gym workout or sporty activities, it certainly is. Building muscles or having an athletic physique takes more time, effort, and an indomitable will to attain the success most people wish but can only see from afar.
But exercise works not only for people who want to have enviably toned muscles and fitter bodies. Exercise is for everybody, young and old alike. Regardless of the exercise regimen you plan to follow, you’ll reap the same benefits – enhanced energy, improved mood and sleep, and reduced feelings of anxiety and stress.
Exercise also works great for people who want to improve the state of their physical health. In fact, health experts recommend specific physical movements for their patients. If you haven’t exercised for a long time or if you have planned to exercise a long time ago but keep on putting it off for not knowing where or how to start, the following tricks might immensely help you.
1. Prepare your mind
All undertakings come with obstacles. It’s in overcoming these challenges that make the journey extra sweet and where you build confidence and momentum. The first obstacle you need to hurdle is your own mental barriers. A lot of things will ultimately come up in your mind, like a busy schedule, poor health or a dwindling motivation. You need to have a strong mind and be not swayed every time an obstacle pops up in your head.
2. Overcome self-limiting beliefs
The moment the idea of establishing an exercise routine pops up in your head, self-limiting beliefs might sabotage your good intentions. The inner voice might be saying you’re too old, too fat, or too weak to exercise. Don’t listen to these voices. All they want to do is prevent you from getting out of your comfort zone. The purpose or reasons why you want to exercise are to become more fit, more youthful and vigorous, and more energetic – the very things that can change the way you will look at yourself once you find success in your fitness goals.
3. See exercise from a different light
Exercise doesn’t have to be difficult. Some people avoid exercise because they think it’s painful or difficult. It can be when you choose high-intensity gym workouts. But if you’re able to see that light exercises like playing frisbee, walking in nature or playing with your kids can give you health benefits, then you can exercise any time of the day, whenever you want to. The point of exercising is to get your butt off the couch and beat that sedentary lifestyle that leads to underlying health conditions.
4. Have the right attitude
Regular exercise can become a habit, which you automatically do without thinking too much about it. Creating a habit takes time. You need to do it on a consistent basis before it becomes natural for you. However, there are times when you’re unable to do it. In a week, you might fail to exercise for a few days. Don’t consider yourself a failure should this circumstance happen to you. It doesn’t matter if you fail. What matters is that you started in the first place.
5. Be gentle with yourself
Be kind to yourself should you fail. There’s no need to beat yourself up. Look at the situation in a more positive note. Instead of feeling bad about your failure, look at the ways you can improve the situation and make the necessary adjustments.
6. Don’t set expectations that are too high
Knowing where you want to be in your exercise regimen is necessary for success. But it’s only a question of time. Don’t expect to get results too soon. Focus on what you do every day and have fun along the way.
7. Start with the activities you love doing
If you think you hate exercise, you might be wrong. As a person, you might have some physical activities you love doing. It can either be dancing, gardening, walking with your dog or playing baseball. All these things can make a great exercise for you. And if something feels like a routine, you can switch activities. As long as you keep your body moving, you’re building momentum.
8. Include exercise in your priority list
At times, your busy schedule may seem a valid excuse not to exercise. For health’s sake, don’t take exercise a nuisance to your busy schedule. If you won’t squeeze into your schedule a few minutes for exercise, you might regret it when stress takes its toll on you. Being too busy can be a source of stress, but exercise is the best way to manage it. Make it a point to prioritize your health. You don’t have to spend an hour in the gym. A 30-minute walk to your workplace five times a week can be your form of exercise. On days when the schedule is too hectic, a 5 or 10-minute physical activity will do it.
9. Make it easy
Not everyone is a morning person. Some people wake up with oozing energy while others just don’t. Check yourself and assess what part of the day you think exercise will work best for you. If you’re a morning person, you might be more empowered when you run, bike or go to the gym before work. But if you think you need more time to cool down and recharge yourself after work, then late afternoon exercises suit you best. The point is to make exercise less of a struggle for you.
10. Plan ahead
Planning ahead makes obstacles less of a struggle. For example, putting your running shoes and bottled water near the door will make it easier for you to put on your shoes and have that quick run after waking up. If your workout is after work, seeing your gym bag on the car seat would make it easier for you to head to the gym after work.
11. Find an accountability partner
Having someone to exercise with is fun. You not only hold yourself accountable for the other person but you’re accountable for yourself too. You’re less likely to skip exercise when your gym buddy is already outside waiting for you.
12. Involve your partner or family
Be a model to your partner or to your family. Encourage them to join you. Go for a swim and bring your family along. Kids love plunging on the pool or at the sea. Running or biking with your partner is not only a good exercise but strengthens your relationship too.