Exercise can be fun, it can be fulfilling, and it id without a doubt, great for our health and physique. But, it requires the right approach for consistency and success. Sticking with it is the hardest part of exercising and even professional athletes feel the urge to take it slow once in a while.
If an Olympian can feel unmotivated, then you should not beat yourself up about feel unenthusiastic towards exercise. You are in good company. Take a deep breath and dive into the ‘why’ of what is stopping you. You may find that the real reasons stopping you are not because you’re ‘lazy’ or because the gym is too out of the way.
You may have internalized feelings about body shape or size that may require some therapy to overcome. It might even be that you do not feel like someone who exercises. This can be easily remedied by getting yourself the uniform. Invest in an exercise outfit from new sneakers to men’s and women’s stylish athletic headbands so that you feel like you look the part. This can be a huge help in getting you in the right mindset.
It may even be that you are not eating nutritious food. Some foods fill you up but give us few if any benefits. Refined carbs like white flour and white rice only provide a feeling of satiation, but they add to feelings of lethargy and do not have much in the way of nutritious content. A few weeks spent adjusting your diet might give you the energy you need to exercise.
Make It Achievable
Reject the idea that you need to have perfect stamina and form from the first moment you start to exercise. Reduce your fitness goals to small achievable units. Starting big sounds great but may end up with you feeling overwhelmed.
Having a larger goal is great but make it something that is for the future you who has become consistent with exercise. Do you want to run a marathon? Would you like to hike the Grand Canyon?
Start by taking a walk around your neighborhood 5 days a week. Gradually increase this to a light jog every other day, then start running short sprints followed by fast walks and repeat. You will slowly but surely work up the stamina and muscle strength to reach your goals.
Make a list of healthy foods that are prepared in a way to preserve as much nutrition as possible. Slowly begin incorporating these clean meals into your regular diet. Eat these meals one day a week or simply replace one meal each day with a nutritious option. Meal prep ahead of time and simply pop it into the oven to heat up before lunch or dinner time.
Carry a water bottle around and begin using dehydrated fruit as a way to flavor the plain water. This will help to make it more palatable and encourage you to increase your water intake.
Stop doing exercises that you dislike and find something that you enjoy. No exercise is inherently better or worse and you will still feel the positive beneficial aspects of an exercise even if you are having fun while doing it. Join a hip hop class or a yoga session that happens in the park or even get your best friend to start jogging with you. You may dislike jogging but spending quality time with your best friend will motivate you to put on that cute running outfit every day.
Finally, you must always question any guilty feelings that come up with regard to food and exercise. Every time you feel bad about eating a cookie or skipping a workout, ask yourself why you feel bad about it. No food is truly ‘bad’ food. It can be bad for you depending on the quantity you eat or your health status.
A person with diabetes can still enjoy cookies, they simply have to find a substitute for the refined sugar which is unhealthy for them. A healthy young teenager can enjoy a cookie made with refined sugar but it will be bad for them if they finish off a dozen cookies in one day. Moderation is key to enjoying foods without deleting them from your diet.
The concept of ‘guilt’ associated with food and exercise is unhealthy and must be rejected. It is not a weakness to enjoy something delicious or skip a workout. Feeling the urge to not follow your routine could be a signal from your body that you need rest. Working out despite tiredness or muscle pain is a big mistake. That is how people end up with bad sprains or injuries that could take you away from exercising altogether for months at a time. Trust your body to know its limits and give yourself a treat once in a while. You deserve it.