Everyone knows the proven benefits of exercise and the fact it can increase your wellbeing and quality of life both physically and mentally. However, what many may underestimate is that getting into an exercise routine and sticking to it is half the battle.
Exercise is proven to have numerous health benefits, from helping symptoms of depression and anxiety to boosting energy and increasing lifespan. But, for many adults, exercise is at the bottom of the to-do list, and no matter how many new years’ resolutions you make to start getting in shape, it never seems to happen.
The reason we stay in our sedentary lifestyle and the seemingly impossible idea of creating an exercise routine, despite knowing how vital it is, all boils down to habit. Starting at a young age, sitting at a desk all day is accepted as a way of life. Eventually, we become comfortable and content in this state and get used to not moving much throughout the day. This becomes routine, which is hard to break.
To make it even worse, deviating from habit to move your body in ways you are not used to or necessarily prepared for is uncomfortable and maybe daunting. So we revert to old habits and stay in our sedentary way of life because that’s what feels right. Many people are unable to get over the hump of the new and uncomfortable to be able to create a new habit.
In the beginning, it may just feel like doing something new and will not become a habit for a while. Some research suggests it takes six weeks, four times a week, for something to become a habit, which is daunting for just about anyone.
Another problem with creating an exercise routine that people run into is doing too much too fast. Exercising, even for people who do it every day, can seem like a chore on some days.
When just starting, setting your expectations too high may lead to burnout or just plain misery as you force your body to overexert itself. That leads to disappointment and feelings of failure that make you want to quit your new exercise routine early on.
To combat this, you can try starting with exercises that are not only easy but enjoyable. This will make it seem less like exercise and then, as you become comfortable with that, you can transition to more traditional exercises.
For example, try some mindless morning dancing in your kitchen as your “cardio” at first. Then try a walk around the block. Once that becomes routine, turn it into a jog. Before you know it, you may be in the routine of going for a run every morning.
It’s important to remember that starting anything new will not come right away. It might take a few tries to even begin to create a routine for yourself. Maybe you’re on track for one week, but you miss two workouts the next week. The important thing is to keep going instead of throwing in the towel once you miss a workout or it gets tough.
One way to combat thoughts of giving up is to prepare before your workout, which will make you more likely to do your workout. Maybe you change into your sneakers after breakfast or pull out your yoga mat as your coffee brews. Studies show that preparing for your exercise, such as getting on your workout clothes, makes you more likely to follow through.
Exercise has a lot of benefits, both physical and mental. It can combat disease, increase energy, aid in weight loss, and help boost your mental health. But it’s also important to take care of your wellbeing in other ways as well.
Self-care includes not only prioritizing physical but mental health as well. It’s important to reach out for help if you’re struggling and find help for any mental health issues. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy provided at The TMS Advantage can make sure that you are prioritizing both physical and mental health.
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