This is a guest post by Abel Cheng of Parent Wonder.
If you have to drag yourself to exercise, then you’re doing it wrong.
I started doing exercise since I was in school. I did weight lifting, swimming, jogging and played tennis while in University. Now, I jog and more recently I’ve picked up jungle trekking.
I also started a fitness center a few years ago. Apart from my own experience and talking to members of the gym, I came to realize that it’s possible to make exercise something you can look forward to, hmm, like shopping?
I bet we all know that exercise is important to our health. But the biggest problem is getting ourselves into the action mode rather than mere talking.
To get you started and look forward to doing exercise, here are the 7 strategies you can follow. I have found these tips work for me pretty well.
- Make a commitment to yourself and give no excuses. Success is in the mind. You must tell yourself nothing can stop you from keeping your commitment. Exercise is something you must do – rain or shine. Treat exercise as a crucial appointment like a first date. Don’t excuse. Cut off negative inner talks and listen to the positive ones. Make a 100% commitment.
- Choose an exercise you love. And something fun too. Often, people fail to persist because they take up something they don’t like in the first place. They give up doing it after a short period of time. If you love dancing, then take up dance classes. If you love pumping iron, go to a gym. If you like playing tennis, get a partner and go for it. As for me, I love jogging. I love it because it’s a cardio exercise, it requires no partner, I can do it anywhere, nothing needed but my running shoes.
- Weave exercise into your lifestyle. Don’t sign up with a gym 30 minutes away from your home or office. If you do, chances are, you won’t go there. Why? Because going there itself is a chore. To make it work for you, you have to make exercise part of your daily routine. But before that, you must integrate the regime into your lifestyle seamlessly. If you have a sports club at your workplace, you can go there during lunchtime or after work. Or sign up with a gym nearby your home. Better still, like me, once I step out of my home, I can jog. The bottom line is you want to make your exercise routine automatic – just like brushing your teeth.
- Think of the benefits. Having a healthy body is an ongoing goal. When I think of the benefits, I don’t have problems waking up at 6am for my workout. When I exercise, I feel good. I feel that all the stress flushing out of my body. I feel light and alert after each workout which prepares me for the day. Sometimes, I get awesome ideas for my work during workout. As I run, I discover minor details about the neighborhood. If you’re into property investment, this is a good way to look for deals. These instant benefits will motivate me to get out of my couch and put on my running shoes.
- Find a partner as committed as you are. If your exercise needs a partner (especially sports), find one who is as committed as you are. Better still, look for someone who’s more committed than you. He can give you a whip when you lag behind. Both of you can motivate each other. Having a partner is perfect if you don’t want to do workout on your own. Plus it is more fun.
- Go as basic as possible. Don’t rely too much on machines or sophisticated tools you see on Sunday morning informercials. How many friends do you know whose machines are collecting dust at home now? The use of the machines will turn against you and it becomes an excuse especially when you’re traveling or not at home. Go as basic as possible to reduce the dependency. The best exercise is basic.
- Get a coach. All serious athletes have a coach. But for amateurs like us, do we need one? They are not without benefits. Some of the important ones are they act as motivators. If you’ve made an appointment with your trainer, chances are you will turn up for the workout. Another benefit is the trainer will show you the correct ways to do certain exercise or stroke. You will see better results and enjoy more when you apply the right techniques. And also to prevent injuries.
It doesn’t matter what form of exercise or game you choose. The rules still apply. The rules take you through the path of least resistance. So that you can stick to the exercise in the future.
Of course the main benefit of doing is health. But that’s not enough. You have to have a healthy lifestyle. Healthy diets play a vital part too. No amount of exercise can do the trick if you don’t eat well. And if you are smoking, quit smoking now.
Now where are my running shoes?
Besides his interest in personal development, Abel Cheng’s other interest is parenting. His work can be found at Parent Wonder.