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The Motivation to Exercise

The Motivation to Exercise 960 640 Geoff

“80% of success is showing up” Woody Allen

It’s hard isn’t it? Long day at work, a thousand things to do, too tired – exercise becomes the “job” that doesn’t get done.

But what if your exercise is not a chore, is not just another thing that needs to get done. What if we reconnect with why we knew we needed to exercise in the first place?

If we don’t exercise – we slowly die. Humans evolved through exercise. Our brains developed until we reached the top of the food chain while we were moving. If we don’t exercise our bodily systems don’t work. We don’t digest properly, we don’t eliminate properly, our spine doesn’t get nourishing fluids, our cardiovascular system withers, our muscles disappear and our bones become fragile. Our posture succumbs to gravity and brain does not get the signals it needs to operate effectively. We expose ourselves to a significantly increased risk of chronic disease. We get fat.

But you know all that. That’s why you got an exercise program in the first place.

“Learn more about anatomy. When you have a better understanding of how the human body works, exercise can become a fascination. Your body is an amazing machine – pay it respect by treating it well and getting to know how it moves, why it moves and the best way to move it for you. When you really love food then cooking is a pleasure. When you really appreciate the amazing machine that is your body then exercise will become a pleasure”.

So how do we stay motivated to exercise? How do we get changed and pick up the dumbbells when we don’t feel like it? How do we jump on the bike and not the lounge chair?

Our clients actually have the answers to these questions. The ones who are succeeding and achieving their goals have their own stories. They too get tired, busy and occasionally dispirited. But they remember why they started to exercise in the first place and they wave the magic wand of consistency.

Being consistent with exercise is perhaps the biggest secret to success. Consistency breeds success. Consistency equals momentum. Once you have momentum great things happen. You start realising your goals. You start winning. Stay consistent and it will happen. If you don’t feel like working out, do it anyway. The sessions you do when you don’t feel like it are the most satisfying and psychologically the most important.

Here are a few of the strategies that our clients use to stay on track.

  • Setting goals. A few clients have worked towards getting fit for fun runs. Some just want to add a little bit of weight each week to their programs. Some are driven by the scales. Some want better posture or to do more chin-ups than their husband. We even have Masters athletes targeting national championships on bikes, on the tennis court and myself on the track. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, but it sure helps to have one. Set a long term goal and also monthly goals. We can help you do this.
  • Appreciating the way it makes them feel. Without question, a good workout makes you feel better. It makes you feel alive and satisfied. You will know that you have done your body and your health the world of good and you are one step closer to your goals. You cannot replicate that feeling in any other way.
  • Treating the exercise session as time for yourself. We all need ”me time”. It can be hard to get. Exercise gives us a great excuse to go and do our own thing for a while. Or it can also be “we time”. A number of our clients work out together and cherish the time they get together away from everything else.
  • Imagining how you will look. Most exercise programs start off with some sort of aesthetic goal in mind. Keeping to that vision when it all gets too hard works for some. Consistency requires patience and self-belief. We can guarantee one thing for sure – it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you stick with it!
  • Rewards. Nail your exercise program for week and give yourself a reward.
  • Stress relief. Stress is a killer – far more so than most people realise. Do yourself a favour and make your exercise time your relief valve. Consciously feel the stress dissipate and use the time to reflect on how you can deal better with the things that are causing you stress.
  • Learn more about anatomy. When you have a better understanding of how the human body works, exercise can become a fascination. Your body is an amazing machine – pay it respect by treating it well and getting to know how it moves, why it moves and the best way to move it for you. If you really love food then cooking is a pleasure. If you really appreciate the amazing machine that is your body then exercise will be a pleasure. You may have noticed – we always explain why we giving a particular exercise and what it is doing for you. Learn from us and do some basic research.
  • Make it social. A number of our clients exercise with a friend or friends so that they feel a greater sense of commitment to getting it done.
  • Do the right exercise and keep it fresh. Your Thrive Health exercise program was designed to meet specific goals at a point in time but if those needs have changed or you haven’t been in for an update for a while it might be time to change things up. Those clients who are progressing their programs every 6-10 weeks without fail are the ones who are achieving their goals and getting great satisfaction. Once this starts to happen – you become unstoppable!

We can all make excuses why we don’t get to our exercise. The most common excuse we hear is “I don’t really have an excuse. I have just been lazy”.  Say no more.