Two of the most common barriers to starting a regular exercise routine are simple: lack of time and motivation. These barriers can sometimes feel impossible to overcome, especially after the cozy ‘comfort food’ lifestyle of winter. You have no doubt heard the saying ‘staying on top of your health and fitness is a lifestyle choice’. This is easier said than done, but people who stick to exercise for the long-term (think of the most successful athletes and entrepreneurs) all have one thing in common: they all have a strong enough reason for ‘why’.
Is your ‘why’ is compelling enough? It’s not enough to think “well I should, everyone knows you should exercise” – make a direct connection between exercising and a Life Goal you hold dear to yourself. This makes for some very powerful motivation. Turn this connection into your mantra and every time you feel your motivation decreasing address your mantra, make the re-connection between exercise and your goal and use the end goal as the motivation you need to fuel your desire to keep going
How to choose your goal? Think about what you believe strongly in. Is it family? Is it being the best you can be? Does staying fit and healthy give you more energy and help you become a more effective leader? Are you happier after exercise making you a better team member at work and family member at home? Do you have a family history of heart disease and have a spouse and children who depend on you? Do you have a tropical holiday approaching and you want to look and feel your absolute best? Are you simply bored with life and looking for a new challenge, such as competing in a half marathon, running the City to Surf, or even the Iron Man?
So the next time you put your sneakers away, remember it is the small decisions you make on a daily basis that can have a major impact on your overall wellbeing. It’s your choice to make it happen.
Tips to help you exercise your way to the top of your physical and mental well-being.
• Incorporate incidental exercise. Fitting in 3 x 10 minute sessions is equivalent to 1 x 30 minute session in terms of caloric expenditure. Walk more, drive less. Try squats and push-ups in front of your TV.
• Incorporate interval training, the most proven method to increase cardio fitness and burn calories fast.
• Get good quality sleep.
• Try exercising in the morning and feel energised for the rest of the day.
• Build up to a routine and block out specific times you want to exercise in your weekly schedule. Do not compromise the time you invest in yourself!
• Create a new health and fitness goal – speak to a qualified exercise professional that can help you set up an individualised training program.
• Find an activity you enjoy!
• Exercise with friends and family. It’s more fun that way and you can keep each other motivated and accountable!
Russell Cox B.A (Human Movement Studies), Dip Ed (Physical Education), UTS, is a Director of Regenesis Fitness http://www.regenesisfitness.com.au/ located in Edgecliff in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Regenesis Fitness is a specialised fitness and Personal Training Facility, with Highly qualified staff that cater to all levels of fitness, and experience levels.