How to Start Exercising and Stick to It

Everyone agrees that while exercise is so very good for us, it’s not always easy to get into the exercise habit. We’ve all got jam packed schedules… we’re tired and easily distracted… or we just don’t think the results are measuring up to our expectations… whatever the reason, getting ourselves to start exercise and stick with it on a regular basis is a struggle.

 

Girl running in woodsH

You already know there are many great reasons to exercise—from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. And detailed exercise instructions and workout plans are just a click away. But if knowing how and why to exercise was enough, we’d all be in shape. Making exercise a habit takes more—you need the right mindset and a smart approach. Whatever your age or fitness level—even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life before—there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and painful and more fun and instinctive.

What you can do

  1. Understand what’s stopping you from exercising
  2. Learn how much exercise you really need to improve your health
  3. Decide which activities are right for you
  4. Plan to start small and reward yourself
  5. Learn how to make physical activity more enjoyable
  6. Find ways to add more movement into your daily life
  7. Learn more by reading the related articles

What’s keeping you from exercising?

If you’re having trouble beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.

While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are mental. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your motivation quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.

Here’s what you can do to break through mental barriers:

Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.

Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.

 

Read more: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/exercise-fitness/easy-ways-to-start-exercising.htm

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