Wednesday, 13 October 2010

How to learn to love exercise...

There have been a few blog comments and tweets recently, asking an age old question -

"How can I find the motivation to exercise?"

It seems a common theme - we all know we should do some exercise.

We all know we would benefit from moving more.

Most people are aware of the health benefits of exercise (both physical and  mental.)

But the struggle to get started, to stick at it, to gather motivation and stay motivated to keep doing that seems fairly elusive?

We are time poor, I know that. Children and jobs and families and homes all bleed us of our time.

BUT, if you want to exercise and you want to remain motivated to just keep on doing it, day after day, week after week, month after month, here's how:

- Opt for exercise that you think you could learn to love. Don't pick an exercise regime that you cannot imagine doing ongoing. Pick something that has the potential to be "easy" for you, in your life.  Chose something that you don't hate. 

- Whilst Nike says "just do it", I'd suggest a little planning can go a long way to forging a relationship with a new activity that you are going to get loved up with: Learn, plan, prepare, then do. Even if this just means buying a new sports bra and loading your iPod with exercise tunes. Get organised. This will give you the self-confidence that, in turn,  will give you a sense of comfort & even excitement about your new activity, and so will increase your likelihood of sticking at it.

- Start slow and easy. Whatever exercise you pick, start at a pace that doesn't hurt. Don't go at it like a bull at a gate. Don;t hurt yourself. Start easy, knowing you are going to gradually work your way up gradually to push yourself. There is no rush. This is not about weight loss. The goal here is learning to genuinely love exercise and to be in a place where you genuinely WANT to do it every day.

- Once you have started, you need to be really aware of the influences that make it easy to want to carry on doing the exercise. When something good happens during or immediately after exercise then you will be willing to do it again, yes? Watch out for the good things, the good feelings. You may feel lighter of step. You may feel a delicious smugness of having exercised. You may get an endorphin rush. You may feel tingly. Hold onto those good feelings. Relish in them.

Either way, even if you can't envisage feeling these good things yet, you will, if you just start....


  1. I think those are all good tips Lucy. I used to be a " gym junkie " ( i went 6 days a week most weeks ) but now, after a pregnancy and the first 9 months of my sons life, i'm just now getting back into exercise. I KNOW i've loved it before and i KNOW i can/will again.... its just starting slowly and getting back into the swing of things!

  2. Curvaceous QueenOctober 13, 2010

    Perfect Lucy. I'm beginning with incidental exercise and working my way up from there. Just need to get that spark going again.

  3. mymindoverfatterOctober 13, 2010

    Create advice. I for one this round started slowly and doing something most people can do, walk. Now walk/run. When I feel strong enough and know my plantar facia won't flare up again I hope to run. This is my passion > you have to really find something you are keening interested in.

  4. Unknown MamiOctober 13, 2010

    Great advice!

  5. Holly @ Good Golly Miss Holly!October 13, 2010

    Another fab post Lucy! I didn't believe you when you said that we can grow to love exercise ... but here I am, a month or so in and I am actually enjoying it! Who'd of thunk it? ;)

  6. Gillian @ Finding My WeighOctober 14, 2010

    Great post! These are all fantastic tips and I've done all of them on my path to loving exercise!

  7. Hmmmmm food for thought here... mmmmm food

  8. Food like tuna. Food like eggs and salad. Food like fruit. Fuck, I know I am evangelican about it all......sorry. xx


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