Good Intentions

With all that is going on in the world and our lives, taking care of our health by exercising is a worthy decision.

Before beginning any exercise routine you should first consider three key points. Sort these, and you’ll be much more likely to stick to your plan and achieve consistent and sustainable results.

1. Choose which days you will exercise on. For moderate to intense exercise, this should not be every day of the week. Remember also that it’s easier to build up your goals gradually than it is to rein in your expectations. Picking a few days per week that you will absolutely commit to exercise (aside from, say, a family emergency or ill health) will largely increase your chances of keeping it up.

2. Choose the time of day you are going to move. Pick a time that you are normally awake and alert. If you usually wake up at 7am, for example, it will be counterproductive for you to plan your exercise time for 5:30am. This is because you will then be lengthening your normal ‘awake time’ as well as needing to train.

3. Eliminate as many factors as possible that will hinder your routine. If you are reliant on the perfect time of day, weather, travel, lots of equipment or other factors, then it is less likely you will start your routine and keep to it.

So to ensure success, take your time to get organised. If you need to reschedule your week first or communicate your plans to others, do that before you head out the door. If you’ve been out of action for a while, be kind to yourself. Crucial behaviours such as discipline, focus and consistency are also needed, but provided you are committed to the long-term vision of improving yourself, then these will come.

All the best with your journey!

Whether you are starting something brand new, picking up an old sport or trying to create a fresh routine that you’ll stick to, it’s worth mentioning that the fact you are really trying to make exercise part of your life is something to celebrate. This is because the world has become much more sedentary – tasks have simply become easier to do. As a result, opportunities for incidental exercise have become less common and less obvious.

I’m not talking here about the fact that we no longer need to run after our food to eat, but rather about the general lack of day-to-day exertion. Furniture is now lighter, doors are easier to shut, taps can be turned with minimal effort, and even closing a car boot can simply require pressing a button or waving a hand. This means that we absolutely must make even more effort to exercise regularly, not just for the sake of our physical health but also for the sake of our brain.

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