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Making exercise a regular part of your life

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The benefits of regular exercise are huge. From controlling weight to preventing disease, to improving mood to boosting energy exercise. .So making exercise a regular part of your life is a no brainer really!

Dont make excuses

It’s very easy to persuade ourselves that we don’t have enough time, are too tired, that we will start tomorrow or next week. All of these reasons are usually excuses from the part of us that is resistant to change! Resistance is usually fear based and fear is often imagined rather than based in reality. In order to change your internal record and attitude to taking regular exercise there are a few helpful things that you can put in place that will support you along the way. The best way to approach increasing exercise or introducing exercise into your life is by small steps. These little steps can lead to change in habit that can result in permanent change in lifestyle.

Motivation

To start yourself off, practice developing an inner attitude of ‘move yourself more’ . In reminding yourself to get your body moving more during the course of each day, you will make changes in the way you do things like standing and stretching more rather than sitting still,  walking across the office to a colleague rather than emailing them and taking stairs instead of lifts. Once you’ve done this, try committing to a regular activity. Take this commitment as seriously as any other and mark the time out in your diary. Choose something you are drawn to rather than something that you think you should do, go for walking if that’s what you enjoy or swimming or badminton if that’s your thing. If you are unsure experiment. Maybe you like the idea of yoga or a martial art? Within these categories there are loads of different types so have some fun trying out different classes or following different clips on you tube! Think about whether you prefer to exercise alone or with others, find an exercise buddy and go from there.

Once you’ve established what you enjoy think about setting some goals for yourself.exercise Plan whether you would like to improve the amount of time you spend each week on exercise, or whether you would like to become faster or stronger in particular practices. See if you can incorporate things that increase your strength as well as improving your cardio-vascular ability. Increasing your strength will change how you feel, help you get through your workouts more easily and give your self-esteem a real boost. As you move down the road of developing your relationship with exercise note all the benefits that you start to see. Are you feeling more energised? More optimistic? Funkier and happier in your jeans? Make sure that you both notice and appreciate yourself for putting the time into yourself and bringing about these great benefits.

Keep your focus

Avoid indulging the feel bad feelings such as guilt or regret about what you have or have ‘t done exercise wise in the  past and instead focus on the hear and now as what is going to create your future. Every step you take today paves the way for a healthier tomorrow. During exercise sessions you can also use the practice of focusing on the present moment to give your mind a healthy work out too! Bring your attention to your breathing or to the sensations in your body and away from thoughts of work or how hard the class is! This way , everything will settle down more and your mental attitude will match your physical enhancements.

Watch out for the stop start demon! Its common when you first begin something to have a lot of enthusiasm in the beginning and for that to fade at some point and for voices of discontent and doubt to take it’s place. If this happens, recognise it as part of the process but don’t go along with suggestions of dropping or missing classes. Its just an avoidance ploy! Instead remind yourself each day why you are doing what you are doing and what benefits you are getting from it, make it a habit to think positive thoughts about what exercise you are going to do each day so that it starts to form strong positive associations in your mind.

If you reach a point where you feel stuck or in danger of giving up it may be worth considering investing in a session with an exercise or life coach to explore what your deeper resistances are about. You can search through google to see who is available in your local area or you could contact your local sports centre to see if they have a member of staff who offers sessions.

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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