Exercise because you want to, not because you should do!

There is abundant information telling us that exercise promotes good health. Even with a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, or a heart condition, it’s important to have some form of physical activity every day. If we’re unable to move around, it can create a downward spiral of feeling tired and bored which only gets worse as time goes by. To feel better, we need to be able to stop the downward motion, and get going in an upward spiral.

One tool we can use is to stick to baby steps. If we make a huge effort to get much needed exercise and then overdo it, we can cause injury and pain which result in disappointment. This may form a block and we don’t attempt to exercise again until we’ve forgotten about the effects of the last unfortunate effort. Baby steps are an answer to developing a successful exercise program because they allow us to achieve what we set out to do and feel good about what we’ve done. We move forward at a steady pace and soon we can look back at how far we’ve progressed. It’s like climbing a staircase – one small step at a time.

Another tool to help us is to choose an activity we enjoy, so it creates a positive mental attitude which pulls us towards success. It doesn’t matter what activity we begin with, what matters is that we start moving, and have fun doing some physical activity so we’re motivated to do it again.

A friend told me that her doctor suggested she lose some weight through diet and exercise. She’s planning to change her eating habits, but really doesn’t like exercising. I can relate to that; I don’t like exercise either, but I’ve found activities which fit in to my lifestyle.

When my friend and I talked about exercise, we discovered that she used to dance and can take dance lessons again. Since she laughed about the fun she had with dancing, she’s more likely to achieve positive results from this form of exercise because she can focus on having fun. If we create an activity program we enjoy it has an added bonus of producing positive emotions. These emotions generate positive hormones which create the kind of chemicals in our bodies to promote well-being. Physical activity becomes an experience which makes us feel good.

Exercising the body is also a mental game, so if we want to increase our activity level, it’s wise to spend some time thinking about it first. We can ask ourselves if we’re ready to commit to an exercise program. If the answer is yes that’s great, but if the answer is no then it may be best to wait before we begin. Hopefully our thoughts will change and move us forward to some form of activity; so if we’re mentally prepared, our chance of success will be high.

Regular physical activity helps us to reach our best possible state of wellness. The key is to find an activity that makes us happy so we’re able to build it slowly and maintain it over time.

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