Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
5 Jan

Exercise Motivation That Works

There’s a lot of advice about exercise floating around out there. Everyone knows they need to work out, yet most of us don’t (well, everyone except you, dear Apples – right?). The big problem is motivation.

Let’s face it: we just don’t feel like it.

– We know we need to.

– Once we get going, we usually like it (or at least, it’s not a totally miserable experience).
– We always feel better afterwards.

– We sleep better that night.

– We feel really confident and light-hearted for the rest of the day.

– We love that good soreness the next morning.

And yet…we still refuse to exercise habitually.

Things that are officially easier than forming an exercise habit:

– House-training a puppy.

– Cleaning the outside of the windows on the second floor. With a broken squeegee.

– Spending the weekend with your mother-in-law. Alone. In a motel.

– Changing a flat tire in your best suit.

– Spreading cold butter on bread.

– Getting a real person when you call customer service.

– Peace in the Middle East.

If you aren’t going to exercise, you aren’t going to exercise – end of story. If you really want to get fit this year, or simply fitter, there’s one surefire way to do it: stop thinking about it and don’t wait until you feel like it. Nike is right: just do it. A lot of exercise advice focuses on convincing you that you need to work out. But please, you’re smart – you already know that much. And you know exercise is good for you. So, if you’re serious about finding motivation, here are 5 guaranteed motivation tips:

1. Click here to see what will happen to you if you do not work out.

2. Click here to see what can happen to you if you do work out.

3. Instead of swearing you’ll exercise or promising to stick to a workout regimen, commit to health the easy way: just commit to putting on your sneakers. Really and truly, that is 90% of the battle. Don’t think about working out; only think about putting on your shoes. Do that, and it’s instantly easier to start the workout. Even if you only do 10 minutes, at least you did something! We promise this works. So commit to shoes.

4. Ask us for encouragement. We are completely wrapped up in the thought of helping you get fit and healthy this year!

5. Don’t overestimate yourself. People set hugely unrealistic goals. We think we could all look like Cindy Crawford if we felt like it. We work out a few times, nothing happens, and…we’re back to lifestyle circa 2006. If you’re not really habituated to working out, it is harder than you think. That’s okay. It’s actually healthy to accept that. Set smaller, more realistic goals. And we mean small. 10 sit-ups a day. 5 push-ups. A jog to the end of the block and back. A walk to the store. Get used to simply moving every day – and do this for at least a few weeks before you try anything new.

It’s kind of annoying to start slow and small, because we naturally want big results and we naturally overestimate our abilities and commitment. Hey, holding too much stock in our capabilities is a huge blessing for the most part – it’s actually built into our DNA! But be aware of this tendency. You really do need to be gentle and patient with yourself. You really do need to go slow. And you really will get better results if you start small.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple