Exercise is one of those activities that gives you an outsized return on your investment.
When you spend time exercising, you experience benefits that are not necessarily contained in or confined to the time you are exercising.
Some of these benefits are physical or mental, and other benefits are social or emotional. You might improve your endurance or strength (or both). You might reduce your stress level. You might also make new friends or improve your emotional intelligence.
That all sounds good, right?
The list of potential benefits goes on, though understanding the benefits doesn’t always translate into action.
In order to see a return, taking action is imperative.
When you are ready, taking action becomes easier…or, perhaps, you are able to overcome any potential resistance because you are motivated and determined to take action.
Understanding why you wish to be healthy and fit can help you to start and continue taking action toward your goals, even when you aren’t feeling motivated or are otherwise struggling to make progress.
Here are some additional ways to keep yourself moving through to action-taking mode versus staying in thinking-about-it mode when it comes to your fitness goals:
- Decide how, when, and where you will exercise; then, put the activity on your calendar and show up when the time comes
- Consider planning your exercise activities on a weekly basis; have an alternate option in mind in the event you need to adjust your plans
- Prepare your exercise gear (attire, shoes, equipment, water, fuel/nutrition, etc.) the night before, so that you can grab your gear and go
- When you aren’t feeling up to exercising (providing you are not under the weather, in which case rest may be warranted), set a timer for five minutes and give yourself permission to stop exercising after the timer goes off (if you feel like continuing, consider any additional time a bonus)
- Enlist a friend and commit to regular exercise dates
- Set a realistic training goal and follow a plan to reach your goal in a defined amount of time (e.g., weeks or months)
- Try a new fitness activity once a month (or quarter) to explore and potentially find other enjoyable ways to exercise
Moving at your own pace and aiming for consistency (rather than perfection) will allow you to build a strong exercise habit over time.
When you start where you are and remain focused on the present, you can challenge yourself without creating a feeling of overwhelm.
Setting goals that are achievable can give you milestones to work toward while allowing you to build confidence in your ability to succeed.
…And building confidence in your ability to succeed with fitness goals will help you to set and reach goals in other areas of your life.
That’s an outsized return right there!
Developing a strong exercise habit starts with a single aligned action, repeated on a regular basis. Get good at the basics, and reap the rewards of your investment.