From improved well-being and increased energy levels to better sleep, enhanced confidence and a more resilient attitude to stress – exercise can provide a range of mental health benefits. A study from Harvard showed that physical activity can decrease depression by a remarkable 26%! However, for many individuals, regularly exercising can prove to be a challenge. Some popular offenders that impede our ability to regularly exercise might include:
Does any one or more of these blockages resonate with you? If so, a practical question to ask yourself is, “What might help?” While you ponder that question, I’m going to help you understand the stages of exercise. By identifying the stage of exercise you are in, and setting appropriate goals, it is easier to create consistent habits. You really can set yourself up for positive results with your exercise routine!
Understanding the stage you are currently in, and taking practical steps to develop it, are surefire ways to set yourself up for success. But that’s not all that can help you achieve the mindset and motivation you need to exercise regularly! Here are a few powerful tips to help give you the extra edge you need to win:
Make It Enjoyable: When we pick things we like to do, we are more likely to stick with them. Physical activity does not have to be all ‘grind.’ Discover the thrill of exercising with a friend or group in the great outdoors! Choose from a wide range of activities like sports, dance, boxing, spinning, intervals, yoga and more – the possibilities are truly endless!
Have an Accountability System: If you’re serious about getting in shape and reaching your fitness goals, enlist some help. From having an exercise buddy to hiring a trainer, signing up for a competition, committing to a studio or classes by paying in advance, or finding an accountability coach – the options are plenty and the rewards will be too!
Keep Exercise in Perspective: Stay fit and healthy without stress! Exercise has numerous undeniable benefits for your physical and mental health, but don’t worry if you miss a day – it’s not the end of the world. Also, keep in mind that 80-85% of our appearance is a result of our nutritional routine. Do your best and have a plan to get back on track whenever you might get derailed.
The bottom line: It is essential to understand your current stage of exercise to create an effective strategy tailored to you. Make sure you’re having fun, staying accountable, and keeping the right perspective. And if you do happen to slip off the wagon, don’t worry—have a plan in place to get back on track!
Are you ready to make exercise a priority in your life, but don’t know where to start? I’m here to help! I can show you how to make exercise part of your lifestyle, even if you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of practice. How we think about and approach exercise is the first step! Book a 1-on-1 coaching session with me today to get started on your journey to wellness.
PAGE LAUER, LMFT, CEDS
Behavioral Health Director