Have you heard the phrase “use it or lose it”? That is 100% true. Your body is meant to move, bend, jump, squat, run, walk, you name it. We are designed to use the muscles we have or they will experience muscular atrophy. Inactivity will cause our joints to become stiff and injured easily. Our bones will become weak. Even your internal organs like your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently. Being sedentary has as much of a health risk as smoking. Sitting is the new Smoking!! Thinking about that makes me want to get up out of this chair right now and start doing jumping jacks!
Most of us know the benefits of exercise and still find it hard to squeeze in a quick 30 minute workout three times a week. Why? Well there are a number of reasons and excuses my clients will give me for not exercising on their own. They range from being too tired, not having enough time, not being motivated, not knowing what to do, and my favorite one, it’s boring. We brush our teeth every day, most of us 2-3x and it’s the same thing back and forth, up and down, pretty boring right?
Yet we make the time to do it because having rotten teeth is not an option. What about a rotten body? This is what is happening to your body if you are not moving and exercising. Think about that for a moment.
I know you are busy and you may think there are more important things to do in a day. Let me ask you a question, what is more important than your health? You aren’t going to be able to get your to-do list done if you are sick and in the hospital. Oh, I know many of you think that couldn’t possibly happen to you, and I do hope you are right. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a little more proactive and make sure you are taking part in your own self-care? No one is going to do it for you. So, what is stopping you? What makes us take action and what keeps us on the couch surrounded by all of our excuses?
Well I remember something I learned once that helped me. I read that everything we do is to either gain pleasure or avoid pain. That being said, if you link more pleasure to exercising then you will be more inclined to do it.
Below are three ways to get yourself to workout…
1. Here is a visualization technique for those times when you just don’t want to exercise.
Close your eyes and imagine that you just had the most amazing workout of your life. Your blood is pumping through your veins and your whole body is buzzing with energy. Your skin is a little flushed especially on your face so you look about 10 years younger. Your brain is full of oxygen, too, so you are able to think clear, wonderful, positive thoughts with no effort what so ever. Your metabolism has kicked into high gear and you are a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. You now have much more energy and a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
Now that image and feeling you have created in your mind is exactly how you will feel when you are finished with your workout. In Steven Covey’s book “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” one of the habits, “begin with the end in mind” really applies here. I believe that using this powerful image that evokes how amazing you will feel after the workout will motivate you to take action.
2. The words you choose can have a huge impact on your desire to take action or avoid something.
Using the words “I have to exercise” sounds like a chore to me. How about “I get to exercise”? Now you may think that sounds silly but if you asked someone confined to a wheel chair they would probably agree with me when I say that moving your body is a privilege that we often take for granted.
3. Ok, one more little secret to get you going.
Your workout doesn’t have to be the longest hardest workout you have ever done in order to reap the benefits of exercise. All you have to do is get your heart rate up and breathe heavy for 30 min a day 3-4 times a week. Even if you don’t have 30 minutes, you can split the workout up into a couple of sessions a day.
This is easy stuff my friends.
You can do it!!