How to Make Exercising a Happiness Habit
Do you begin a stringent exercise plan only to fall off the wagon and give up?
Most of us do. And continue to throughout life!
We all want the benefits of exercising and starting a new program always seems so exciting.
We imagine how we are going to look and feel. And then the painful reality hits! We are not as good as others in the gym or we begin to find body parts we didn’t even know existed that hurt/ache. Or we quite simply find after a few classes that we really don’t enjoy that particular form of exercise.
What to do?
The best way to exercise is to find something that you love. Absolutely love! Not the latest fat-burning, muscle-rippling, easy-to-do-at-home plan. But something that you enjoy doing.
And that, like anything else, is personal.
The key to exercising is to move your body regularly.
Over the years I have tried many different types of exercise, from swimming, all types of dance, going to the gym and even forking out a fortune for a personal trainer. Each type of exercise brought its own benefits. But I didn’t stay with them for one reason or another.
The one thing that has been constant over the years is yoga.
Why? Because I love how it makes me feel, I can do it anytime anywhere, I don’t need any special equipment and I don’t have to wear special clothes.
That works for me! But maybe not for you, so read on.
Think back to a time in your life when you were exercising regularly. How did it make you feel?
- Exercise improves your mood. When we exercise the body release endorphins, which are chemicals that actually lift our mood. Most medical doctors prescribe exercise for depression. When you feel better, the bonus is you start to look better too.
- Exercise gives your self-confidence a lift. By actually making the effort to exercise, we can start to feel that we are taking control of our lives and making positive changes to feel good and look good.
- Exercise improves strength and stamina. We feel more powerful when we exercise regularly. And that spills over into all aspects of our life. We feel more in control.
- Exercise helps you sleep well. Getting plenty of rest is important to health and well-being. So many of us don’t get quality sleep. A good exercise plan helps you get to sleep and the body shifts to rest and repair mode.
All types of exercise will help you feel better.
The trick is to stay with something because of the other benefits it brings to you.
I love to swim, but I hate having to scrub the chlorine out of my hair and off my body and after a while there seems to be a build up and I smell of chlorine. So, I find I’m less likely to go swimming as I don’t enjoy the smell of chlorine on my skin.
Once a week doesn’t seem to be a problem, but that’s not enough. I know to feel my best I need to exercise more than once a week.
The personal trainer had me working my butt off and I loved it, but it was a weekly huge time commitment to get to the gym, work out, shower and back to the office. I needed to go more often but couldn’t take the time out of my schedule.
Notice, I said my schedule, I know these exercise regimes work for others!
Over the years I have listened to hundreds of clients and students make excuses for not exercising—seriously, I think I’ve heard them all. And I always say ‘the key is finding something you love to do’.
So today I’m going to share some of my tips to making exercise more fun:
- Don’t do it alone. Go with a friend. The buddy system works so well. If you are not feeling motivated, maybe your friend is, or vice versa.
- Don’t over do it! The temptation to get stuck in and work like mad because you haven’t exercised for a while is so strong. Resist! Go gently. As we say at Feeling Absolutely Fabulous, ‘gentle change leads to permanent results’. Take it easy and you won’t injure yourself. You have all the time in the world.
- Don’t commit to an exercise regime until you have tried it for a while. Sometimes the initial endorphin rush is mistaken for loving the exercise. See if it works for you and your lifestyle first. Then make the commitment.
- Do schedule exercising into your daily planner. If you make an appointment with yourself you are more likely to keep it than saying ‘I’ll get round to it when I’ve done everything else’.
- Do something you can afford. The stress out-weighs the benefits if you cannot afford to do it. Walking is free. Running is free. Doing the housework vigorously is free, which brings me to my final tip for today:
- Moving your body is exercise. You don’t have to wait until you can join a program or pay for a gym membership. Get physical and clean the house. Get physical and go shopping: park the car away from the mall entrance and walk vigorously around the mall. Make love with enthusiasm—teehee! Get down on the floor and play with the kids/grand-kids/pets. Move it or lose it!
Most importantly remember to have fun and you will come up with some form of exercise that works for you. And do let me know how exercise is improving your life.