Cynthia Madison 's Entries

1 blog
  • 18 Aug 2020
    It's easy to start making plans to exercise. Either it's your New Year's resolution for the fifth year in a row, or maybe you watched a motivational video and told yourself you're going to start going to the gym. Several weeks later you either never started, or you're on an indefinite break. You're not alone. We've all been there. Motivation is very finicky and usually deserts us when we need it the most. Part of the problem is the way we view motivation. We keep thinking it will just come to us. One day we wake up, and suddenly we'll feel like it. From that moment everything will change. Reality, as you probably already know, doesn't work that way. In fact, more often than not, if we feel even a tiny bit of enthusiasm, what immediately pops into our minds is some excuse why we should postpone it. When it comes to exercising, the truth is that, at least in the beginning, you're never going to feel like it. Motivation will be something you need to create for yourself. Breaking Down Barriers The first step to creating motivation is to break down your mental barriers. What's stopping you from exercising? We're all too familiar with our excuses: we're too tired right now, it's such a busy time at work, it's raining today and tomorrow it will be sunny, it's better to start on a sunny day, it's sunny today, but it's too hot, etc.  But what are the real reasons you don't exercise? Let's look at some of the common ones. It's Unfamiliar If you're not used to exercising regularly, it can be quite intimidating. Unfortunately, any workout routine is hardest in the beginning when you're out of shape. Perhaps you've started and quit several times because you felt exhausted. Then, whenever you're going through a stressful period, you ask yourself: How am I going to fit this into my already busy schedule? And the answer is you don't. What's the solution? Start with manageable goals until you form a habit. Once you find a routine that you can manage both in terms of time and energy, you won't be as tempted to quit. As your fitness level increases, you will find it easier to increase the intensity of your workout without losing motivation. Life Is Sedentary Our modern lives don't give us many opportunities to exercise. You can't get a lot of things done without much physical activity. You work in an office, so you sit all day. You're not moving that much, but it's intellectually demanding and leaves you feeling drained. Then you drive home. You're too tired to cook, so you order takeout. Actually, you can even order your groceries. If you were raised in an active family and you're used to an active lifestyle, you won't have as much difficulty sticking to your fitness goals. But if you don't have that foundation, you have to start from scratch. We View Exercise as a Luxury   Although we know that getting enough exercise is essential to maintaining our health, we still view it as a luxury. As an adult with more responsibilities than you could ever dream of and endless to-do lists, you almost feel guilty when you take the time to go jogging or to a Zumba class. It feels selfish. So you tell yourself you get enough exercise running after the kids and cleaning the house. Then you start thinking about shortcuts. Pills, diets, gadgets, plastic surgery – anything that promises to deliver the same results but without actually exercising. We have to start thinking about regular exercise as a necessity rather than a hobby. The same way you need to brush your teeth, you need to exercise. Give it Meaning Once you've broken down your barriers, you'll want to set some goals. Most people have some sort of goal in mind when they decide to start exercising. Maybe it's losing weight, building muscle mass or simply staying healthy. It's good to have future goals, but if you want to stay motivated, you need more than that. You need to give it meaning. What does losing weight, building muscle mass or staying healthy mean to you? What value does it have? Since it may take many months to achieve these goals, you need to find something that can keep you going every step of the way. You'll also want to focus on the more immediate benefits of exercising like how it reduces stress, gives you more energy, helps you focus and sleep better. Then you'll want to write down daily and weekly goals. For example, you can start by walking 20 minutes per day for a week, and the next week you'll increase it to 25. You need to always know what you're working for – small goals, big goals and why it means so much to you. Our last tip is to experiment and find what works for you. Most people just try to imitate the mainstream idea of exercise. If that doesn't suit you, it doesn't mean you have to give up altogether. Let's say you don't like going to the gym. You don't have any good gyms close by, and you don't have the time to commute. Moreover, having to exercise in front of other people makes you uncomfortable. Then don't go to the gym. That's not the only option. The same technology that keeps us sedentary can help us find new ways to become more active. You can try virtual fitness classes, maybe play fitness video games, find video tutorials you like. If you get bored while exercising, you could get a treadmill or stationary bike and watch your favourite TV show while exercising. This works even better if you allow yourself to watch the show only when you exercise. You want something more social but still not the gym? How about taking dancing classes? Forget the rules. You need to start with something you like. Something that doesn't feel like a chore. As we said before, gradually your fitness level will increase, you'll have more energy, and you can build more intense workout routines.  
    987 Posted by Cynthia Madison
  • It's easy to start making plans to exercise. Either it's your New Year's resolution for the fifth year in a row, or maybe you watched a motivational video and told yourself you're going to start going to the gym. Several weeks later you either never started, or you're on an indefinite break. You're not alone. We've all been there. Motivation is very finicky and usually deserts us when we need it the most. Part of the problem is the way we view motivation. We keep thinking it will just come to us. One day we wake up, and suddenly we'll feel like it. From that moment everything will change. Reality, as you probably already know, doesn't work that way. In fact, more often than not, if we feel even a tiny bit of enthusiasm, what immediately pops into our minds is some excuse why we should postpone it. When it comes to exercising, the truth is that, at least in the beginning, you're never going to feel like it. Motivation will be something you need to create for yourself. Breaking Down Barriers The first step to creating motivation is to break down your mental barriers. What's stopping you from exercising? We're all too familiar with our excuses: we're too tired right now, it's such a busy time at work, it's raining today and tomorrow it will be sunny, it's better to start on a sunny day, it's sunny today, but it's too hot, etc.  But what are the real reasons you don't exercise? Let's look at some of the common ones. It's Unfamiliar If you're not used to exercising regularly, it can be quite intimidating. Unfortunately, any workout routine is hardest in the beginning when you're out of shape. Perhaps you've started and quit several times because you felt exhausted. Then, whenever you're going through a stressful period, you ask yourself: How am I going to fit this into my already busy schedule? And the answer is you don't. What's the solution? Start with manageable goals until you form a habit. Once you find a routine that you can manage both in terms of time and energy, you won't be as tempted to quit. As your fitness level increases, you will find it easier to increase the intensity of your workout without losing motivation. Life Is Sedentary Our modern lives don't give us many opportunities to exercise. You can't get a lot of things done without much physical activity. You work in an office, so you sit all day. You're not moving that much, but it's intellectually demanding and leaves you feeling drained. Then you drive home. You're too tired to cook, so you order takeout. Actually, you can even order your groceries. If you were raised in an active family and you're used to an active lifestyle, you won't have as much difficulty sticking to your fitness goals. But if you don't have that foundation, you have to start from scratch. We View Exercise as a Luxury   Although we know that getting enough exercise is essential to maintaining our health, we still view it as a luxury. As an adult with more responsibilities than you could ever dream of and endless to-do lists, you almost feel guilty when you take the time to go jogging or to a Zumba class. It feels selfish. So you tell yourself you get enough exercise running after the kids and cleaning the house. Then you start thinking about shortcuts. Pills, diets, gadgets, plastic surgery – anything that promises to deliver the same results but without actually exercising. We have to start thinking about regular exercise as a necessity rather than a hobby. The same way you need to brush your teeth, you need to exercise. Give it Meaning Once you've broken down your barriers, you'll want to set some goals. Most people have some sort of goal in mind when they decide to start exercising. Maybe it's losing weight, building muscle mass or simply staying healthy. It's good to have future goals, but if you want to stay motivated, you need more than that. You need to give it meaning. What does losing weight, building muscle mass or staying healthy mean to you? What value does it have? Since it may take many months to achieve these goals, you need to find something that can keep you going every step of the way. You'll also want to focus on the more immediate benefits of exercising like how it reduces stress, gives you more energy, helps you focus and sleep better. Then you'll want to write down daily and weekly goals. For example, you can start by walking 20 minutes per day for a week, and the next week you'll increase it to 25. You need to always know what you're working for – small goals, big goals and why it means so much to you. Our last tip is to experiment and find what works for you. Most people just try to imitate the mainstream idea of exercise. If that doesn't suit you, it doesn't mean you have to give up altogether. Let's say you don't like going to the gym. You don't have any good gyms close by, and you don't have the time to commute. Moreover, having to exercise in front of other people makes you uncomfortable. Then don't go to the gym. That's not the only option. The same technology that keeps us sedentary can help us find new ways to become more active. You can try virtual fitness classes, maybe play fitness video games, find video tutorials you like. If you get bored while exercising, you could get a treadmill or stationary bike and watch your favourite TV show while exercising. This works even better if you allow yourself to watch the show only when you exercise. You want something more social but still not the gym? How about taking dancing classes? Forget the rules. You need to start with something you like. Something that doesn't feel like a chore. As we said before, gradually your fitness level will increase, you'll have more energy, and you can build more intense workout routines.  
    Aug 18, 2020 987