Why is committing to exercise so hard? We all know that it will make us happy, reduce stress, improve our health and prolong our life. Even though it is a real ‘no-brainer’, many of us struggle putting it into practice.
Unfortunately, whilst one part of our brain might desire to be healthier and happier, another part wants to conserve energy. So, on the one hand, we want to be as fit and healthy as can be, but at the same time, we gravitate towards doing absolutely nothing. Unfortunately, the biggest obstacle to getting exercise lies between our ears.
Therefore, we have to find ways to trick our brain into getting moving. How do we do this?
Firstly, plan your exercise in advance. Lots of research tells us categorically that people who write down ‘when’ and ‘where’ they are going to do something are more than twice as likely to actually make it happen. It’s like setting an appointment with yourself. You might not want to attend, but you will do it anyway.
Secondly, set realistic, achievable and easy goals. To begin with it doesn’t matter how much you are doing, it is more important that you are actually doing something. It’s about making that crucial transition between ‘Knowing’ something and ‘Doing’ something.
Thirdly, keeping track of your exercise can give you a real sense of making progress and taking control. This sense of control is a key success factor. Small, simple steps done over a period of time will build up momentum and help you keep on track.
Finally, remember that exercise is a keystone habit. That means that once you start taking control of your exercise habits, you can expect to see positive knock-on benefits in other areas. You know it makes sense.
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