I have been exercising regularly for decades. Even though I’m getting up there in age, I still exercise 2-3 times a day starting right after rising at 4:00 am.
I’ve come to identify seven keys to starting and sticking with exercise. With a few tweaks, these same keys can also be applied to other lifestyle improvements like healthy eating.
Advisories: (1.) Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. (2.) Learn the proper way to do any type of exercise to avoid injury. (3.) Take these warnings seriously.
Here they are the seven keys to start and stick with exercise.
- Truth – Face the truth about your fitness. Look at your body in the mirror. Evaluate how you feel physically and emotionally. Consider what your medical reports say.
- Learn – Research the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. Study how to exercise safely and effectively. TIP: Do not procrastinate here. This education is continual.
- Envision – Picture your body as you want it to be. Bring up this image to get yourself to start exercising and during exercise to finish it.
- Begin – No matter how many excuses you come up with and no matter what fears you have, simply begin! BTW: Joining a health club or buying a home gym is not beginning. It’s preparing.
- Maintain – Exercise daily no matter what. Put it in your schedule as a requirement. It may be hard at first. But soon you’ll begin to look forward to
exercise. Why? To see more body improvements and to feel the euphoria (endorphins) after exercising.
- Expand – Gradually increase exercise time and frequency, resistance exercise weight and repetitions, and the type of exercises you do. Build on your knowledge of the benefits of exercise and the best ways to do it.
- Reward – When you achieve significant milestones, reward yourself. These rewards might be new clothes, a special dinner out, or a short vacation.
I came up with a mantra to get myself to exercise that may work for you too. I simply say to myself “No excuses!” to any rationalizations I may come up with for not exercising.
You’ll have days when you really will not want to exercise for whatever reason. Maybe you had too many beers the night before or you’re depressed due to a romantic breakup. Force yourself to do it anyway. You’ll feel better, guaranteed. And you’ll develop the habit of overcoming discomforts.
When it comes to starting and sticking with exercise, it does not matter how young or old you are. It c