Beijing Olympics Starts Today: Motivation to Exercise

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Image by Jimmy Harris on Flickr via Creative Commons

Image by Jimmy Harris on Flickr via Creative Commons

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” Carol Welch

I’m doing well with my Healthy Living Plan (which I am currently researching and experimenting with, but hope to turn in to posts and an eBook later). Part of this plan involves exercise (as you would expect). Everyone knows that they need to exercise. In fact most people probably need to do far more exercise than they currently do. With the Olympics starting today, maybe that will motivate you to dust off your running shoes and venture out.

There are plenty of good reasons to exercise.

  1. Health Benefits. OK everyone knows this, but hard though it may seem to start,  you will soon look and feel better and that will motivate you further.
  2. Get out. Exercise is a great way to get away from your computer, your phone and the distractions of life. You can just focus on the one activity and that is a rare situation for many people in the modern world.
  3. De-Stress. Exercise releases hormones that reduce stress and relieve tension.

There are issues with exercise that people find difficult.

Starting

This could be starting to exercise (i.e. stopping being a couch potato), or starting a run because it is raining. I find that it is best in this situation to just do it, don’t think about it, JUST DO IT! (see my blog post about this here.)

Maintaining

  1. Don’t skip more than one day without exercise. Make this a personal rule. If you miss a day of exercise (excluding one rest day per week that you should have), make sure that you exercise the next day. No excuses.
  2. Reward. Give your self a reward for hitting a exercising target or goal. Perhaps best to make it something constructive rather than a big cream cake (that would kind of defeat the object of healthy living).
  3. Take Little Steps. There is the saying “Don’t run before you can walk”. Build up gradually otherwise you will get too tired or injured and lose you motivation. Set realistic but challenging goals, and don’t increase by more than 10% per week (that’s time, intensity or weight lifted etc).
  4. Accountability. Make yourself accountable for your exercise. Sign up for a 5k run or a super-sprint triathlon. If you are fitter but need to keep your motivation going, sign up for something bigger like a marathon. Make yourself accountable to yourself and others.
  5. Training Plan. Put together a programme for yourself or find one online. If you plan and set out a training plan it will be easier to maintain. Also it is a good idea to keep a record of your progress as a motivator and to look back on your achievements.

Finding the time.

Set up getting fit (or staying fit) as a personal goal, simplify your goals and eliminate what you don’t need to do. Bring it forward in your consciousness and make time (put it in your diary as an appointment you must attend). If it is important enough to you, you will find the time and make time. Maybe you need to force yourself a bit? Get a training partner or sign up to a local club or group.

GO FOR IT!

Here are some links you might find useful:

Leo’s Tips on Minimalist Fitness – fresh off the ZenHabits press (note I drafted my post above in a meeting yesterday before Leo’s posted this morning!)

Cool Running Couch to 5K plan

Tim’s Geek to Freak Programme

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2 Responses to Beijing Olympics Starts Today: Motivation to Exercise

  1. Health and Fitness August 8, 2008 at 2:01 pm #

    minute walk every other day is a great beginning for those not used to exercise. Health and Fitness

  2. John Davis August 9, 2008 at 7:22 am #

    Thanks! Really interesting. I wish i could spend my time on writing articles…just have no time for it.

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