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How’s your exercise mojo?
Do you feel motivated, or do you struggle to puzzle together a solid three-month exercise program?
Canberra winter is just around the corner. It’s time to start putting your exercise foundations down now, so there’s no excuse when the frost hits.
Let me step back a moment and ask you a question: when was the last time you did a puzzle?
The thing about puzzles is that they’re difficult at first. You have to be patient and gradually chip away and put it together piece by piece. Then suddenly, it all starts coming together, you’re in the flow and you feel excited.
Your exercise program is exactly the same: you must be patient, consistent and motivated.
The problem with motivation is that too often it’s fleeting. So, how can we sustain it?
Make it work for you
Firstly, you must find an exercise program that suits your body. Think about how you recover, and what your energy is like the next day. A gradual increase in load (progressive overload) is what your body is looking for.
Find your ‘why’
Think hard about what you want out of the program. It has to be an intrinsic motivation – really meaningful to you as an idividual, on a deep level. Ask yourself, ‘why do I want to exercise?’. For example, I’m currently training for a half marathon while running a business, and I have two kids under three. Running is like my own form of stress-relieving moving meditation.
Do it for yourself.
Don’t do it for anyone else. If you have a training partner and they get sick, what then? Doing it for yourself means that you can stay focussed and keep your program alive.
Make it fit into your lifestyle
Figure out what’s best for you and your family or work commitments – are you a morning person or a lunchtime warrior? How about a pre or post dinner workout? Maybe a sneaky circuit after the kids go to bed? You only have to find 30 minutes, four days a week to make a physiological difference!
That’s only 1.11% of your week – surely you can find that! Once you’ve achieved that, you can work up to reaching a higher percentage. Ultimately, we want to get up to 45 minutes a day, five days a week to get the most benefits for your body.
Learn how the particular exercise program will help your body. Is it helping your balance, strength, mobility or cardiovascular fitness? Is it helping with your aches and pains? Perhaps it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, make sure you’re aware of how it’s affecting your body. Knowledge is power.
Remember: motivation instills movement, and movement instills motivation.
Find your barriers to exercise, and piece together your puzzle. I know you can find you 1.11% and find the motivation to be consistent.