I’ll have to admit that I have my ups and downs with exercise.
Sometimes I’ll hit my goal of four times per week, and other times I’ll only work out once a week, just depending on how I’m feeling or how busy my schedule is. But the key is not beating myself up about it!
My favorite type of exercise is one that doesn’t feel like exercise– like hiking or kayaking. Nick and I went on a ten-mile kayak tour last month and we had a blast. I also enjoy yoga, pilates, running and weight lifting.
It took me about a year to fully ingrain the exercise habit into my brain, and it was hard! It may sound cliche, but don’t give up. They say it takes about 30 days to create a habit– so allow your brain the time it needs!
Exercise is not the easiest habit to form, and most people’s experiences consist of starting and stopping and starting again. The important thing is starting again. Why do most people have a hard time creating this healthy habit?
- Striving for too many goals at once: When I started my exercise habit a couple years ago, I wanted to do it all—yoga, pilates, run, lift weights, cycle, etc. After trying to become involved in everything, I became exhausted and my exercise days came to a sudden halt. When you have too many goals, you are easily overwhelmed. Start with one goal, reach that, and then add another.
- Thinking exercise is difficult: Having too many goals can be detrimental, but having too big of goals can do the same damage. For example, someone who hasn’t exercised in a long time saying “I’m going to run 45 minutes every day!”. This goal may be too difficult to sustain, and soon it will become a drag to run 45 minutes every single day. If you’re just starting out, choose small, obtainable goals, and once you reach those, you can add more time/weights/distance etc. Also, many people often have the misconception that “working out” means hitting the gym for hours a day. Being physically active means just that—being active. Going for a walk, gardening, cleaning, anything that gets you moving.
- Lack of motivation: Without motivation, an exercise routine is almost impossible to maintain. Track your progress, get a workout buddy, and reward yourself (non-food rewards!). I reward myself by purchasing new running shoes and/or workout clothes. Other ideas for rewards include mani/pedis, massages, going to see a movie, getting your car cleaned, etc.
What motivates you to exercise?
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!