Overcoming procrastination in exercise
It is vital to our health and happiness that we keep ourselves fit. Right? However it’s not as easy as it sounds. We’re busy with work and family… we’re tired… we slept in. If there is one thing we are good at, it’s making excuses for skipping exercise. We put things off for later and then keep on putting things off. What we need is the proper motivation to nudge us to do what we know is right. Here are a couple of simple solutions to helping keep us on track and stick with a healthy exercise routine such as goal setting and working out with a friend.
Set Goals you can reach
When thinking about exercising, most people consider things they’ve seen on TV or heard about from others. Even doing research on the Internet may not be the solution. While these could be very good workouts, they may not be tailored to you or not realistic for your lifestyle. When the exercise is wrong… it’s hard to stay motivated. If exercising makes you sore for days, or is so daunting that you dread doing it, your motivation drops to zero and you quit. Finding something you like to do and is not too strenuous to start is the proper first step. Especially if you haven’t exercised in awhile, it’s better to start slow and then gradually move to more challenging workouts. Success encourages your motivation.
There’s not one solution that fits all. If you haven’t been exercising in a while, or are older, start off with a short daily walk. Try increasing the distance after a week or so and see how much easier it gets. Remember, if you do this with a friend, you can keep each other accountable and it makes the exercise go quickly.
You may have a gym membership but haven’t been going on a regular basis. It’s always easy to use the “too busy to go” excuse. Make exercise a higher priority. Decide that your health is truly more important than anything else… because let’s face it, without our health, life is really tough. Set realistic exercise goals and start slow. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment you get from completing your workout, even a simple one. When ready, add more reps, or different exercises until you achieve a full body workout. Cardio, arms, legs, back, shoulders… you’ll start feeling better and looking better. Two great motivators and two ways to beat procrastination every time!
Have a minimum time of exercise
When exercising, everyone has a time in mind. 20 minutes? 30 minutes? – An hour? This time commitment varies from person to person and exercise method to exercise method. You need to set a minimum time that you can stick to. Never go below this minimum time. Once you start cutting back… your motivation starts to lag too. Experts in the self-help will tell you the best way to fight procrastination is to set a minimum time devoted to a particular task. If you can do more time than you allotted, this will actually motivate you even more. This is due to the momentum that is gained when you are pushing yourself and reaping the rewards of more energy and better self-image.
Pick exercise forms that you enjoy
Don’t pick forms of exercise that you may feel threatened or bored by the action. You need to identify the type of activities that you actually enjoy. As an example, if you dislike the sweaty feeling after a work out, you could consider swimming. Another example is that if you don’t like to work out indoors, consider going out for a run or walk. Doing activities you like will make the routine more effective and it will also motivate you to stick to it.
Exercise with a friend
Many people feel that exercising is a lonely task. If you feel this way, it can really help if you can exercise with a friend. This will spur you on as you know that the friend is waiting for you and vise versa. Do activities that you both like at similar fitness levels. If you go to the gym, your friend could help stay with an exercise circuit and keep you on track. Working out with a friend is one of the biggest motivators there is. You’ll discover that together you’ll experience more synergy and better results when exercising.
A mistake that is frequently made by people who exercise is they don’t get a reward when they meet their goals. This is why it’s OK to set up something special if you stick with your program. It can be as simple as a healthy meal after exercise, or relaxing with friends after the workout.
If you set realistic goals and routines and stick with them, you’ll not only feel better about yourself, the health benefits will continue to reward you for years to come!
To your good health!
Drew Avery, Health Investigator