“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. This quote rings true about our daily lives. Life is all about perspective and how you look at each and every situation. Although, this mantra certainly applies to one thing in particular, exercise and fitness. Are you a couch potato? If the answer to this question is yes, it is not too late to change your lifestyle.
Everybody knows exercise is great for both body and mind, so why do so many of us stay rooted to the couch? Simply put, getting motivated to exercise isn’t always easy. You may already enjoy a life filled with watching television, reading, and surfing the Internet, and might cringe at the thought of hitting the gym or running a 5k.
Chances are you or someone you know is affected by heart disease, the top cause of death worldwide. Fortunately, we can control about 80 percent of the risk factors, such as high blood pressure and obesity, largely through exercise.
Although taking these first steps to exercising regularly can be difficult, here is a guide that might lead to finding your own routine that works best for you:
· Start slow and small:
There is magic in just starting for five minutes a day. Every day. This changes the wiring in our brain and gives us motivation. One of the mistakes people make is doing too much too soon, and then giving up. If your body isn’t used to exercise, start with just 10 minutes of light activity each day. Walking, biking, and swimming are all great exercises for beginners. Start with small sessions and then, over time, slowly increase the length of the sessions.
It is all about holding yourself accountable, but also remember to be kind to yourself. Use an exercise diary, or a supportive friend who’ll hold you accountable, an online app can all keep you on the straight and narrow may also be the answer.
· Reward Yourself:
You can be creative with this. It’s your journey – you get to make up your own rules! Using reinforcements is a good way to see how far you have gotten on your fitness journey.
· Change what you say:
Change your “I can’t” into “I can.” The more positive you are, the more motivated you will become. It is all about perspective.
· Make it enjoyable:
Adding music exercise sessions really makes a difference. Exercising with a friend instead of meeting for coffee can also be a fun way to burn off some calories and provide the motivation to exercise regularly.
The biggest challenge may come in getting yourself back in an exercise frame of mind. Try to keep confidence in yourself when you are not having the easiest time. Instead of expending energy on feeling guilty and defeated, focus on what it’ll take to get started again. Once you have a routine in motion, you’ll be amazed at how quickly it will begin to feel natural.
To find out more information on how to develop your own exercise routine and stay of the couch, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880 or fill out our online appointment request form.