NB Allied Health

Six steps to become more consistent with your exercise.

Most people find creating and sticking to an exercise program really challenging. I know I have!

You know the reasons you need to do it and the benefit it has but there is always the invisible resistance holding you back from being consistent with it. Thoughts go through your mind ‘I don’t have the time’, ‘I am feeling too tired’, ‘I didn’t get a good sleep last night’ or my personal favourite ‘I can’t be bothered’.

Over the years, helping people create exercise plans and personally remaining committed to my own exercise, I have gained a few knowledgeable tips which I hope will help you:

 

STEP 1: Motivator

Find the real reason you are engaging in exercise e.g. want to increase walking distance to be able to shop or visit a friend, lose weight to feel healthier and build self-esteem. Write it down and review it regularly. Now use this as motivation, how will you feel if you were to achieve the end goal? Break this down into small achievable steps, so you can track your progress.

 

STEP 2: Small Steps

Start with really light exercise that isn’t challenging. ‘Something is better than nothing’ is a great analogy for exercise. You are less likely to talk yourself out of doing it if the sessions are light compared to high intensity. When you feel ready add a little more intensity. This can be done by increasing reps, distance, weight, sets and much more.

 

STEP 3: Have fun with it

Incorporate things you enjoy e.g. walking, hydrotherapy, stretching, dancing, yoga, etc. As they say ‘any movement is good movement’. You are more inclined to stick with it, if it is enjoyable.

 

STEP 4: Schedule it in

Make sure to set time for your exercise in advance and schedule it in weekly.  I personally leave extra time (10 – 15 minutes more than needed) just to stop myself from saying ‘I don’t have time’.

 

STEP 5: Accountability

Avoid doing exercise alone. When we exercise with someone else, we are more likely to stay committed. Exercising with a friend, joining a class or working with a family member/support worker with the guidance of a health professional are great ways of remaining consistent.

 

STEP 6: Record your progress

Make small achievable goals, every time you achieve them you will feel a sense of confidence that you are moving in the right direction. This will help motivate you further.

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