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  • Dena Lampert

Change Your Mind About Exercise

I am a strong believer that regular exercise is essential to both mental and physical health. Regular physical activity has made a positive difference in my life, yet I recognize that for many people, it can be a HUGE chore.  Here are some strategies to help you get to the gym…

Change Your Thinking!

Many people are motivated to start an exercise regimen to lose weight or change how they look.  Does this sound familiar?

“I want to lose 10 lbs., so I will go to the gym everyday to burn off 600 calories a day”

“I want bigger arms and flatter abs so I will workout 5 times a week and drink protein shakes”

“I hate the way I look.  I have to get back to the gym”

So you have these thoughts and it motivates you to get to the gym… for about a week.  Every day after that, it seems that more and more obstacles emerge that stop you from going.  Why does this happen?

When our only motivation for exercise is to change the way we look, it becomes almost impossible to sustain this lifestyle change.  Although it is true that our bodies do change for the better when we are exercising regularly, it can take weeks, or sometimes months to achieve that goal.  When we set new exercise goals, they are often unrealistic.  Unless you are in the fitness industry or a professional athlete, most of us do not have the time or energy to burn off 600 calories at the gym everyday.  When your goal is to change your physical body, here’s what generally happens:

  • You show up to the gym for three days in a row.

  • On the fourth day, your body feels sore and tired.

  • On the fifth day, you decided that sleeping in would be a better choice.

  • Two weeks later, you find that you haven’t gone back to the gym and you haven’t lost an ounce of weight

  • You feel angry, frustrated, and you find a way to tell yourself that exercise is not for you.

  • Several months (or more) later… repeat the cycle.

Don’t let this happen to you…Change the way you think!

Think about exercise as a tool to make you feel good and get stronger emotionally!

When you increase you heart rate, your brain produces dopamine and other “feel good chemicals”.  You don’t need to run on the treadmill for an hour to achieve this effect.  Sometimes, you will only need 10 minutes to change the way you feel through exercise and it can be as simple and easy as walking around the block.  When you set your goal to change your mood through exercise, you will achieve it almost immediately.  You get that instant reward for your positive behavior.

Exercise is a highly effective tool for reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.  When you think about exercise to change your mood first, it becomes easier to stay motivated so that you can maintain this behavior.  More motivation translates into more time at the gym, or at yoga class, or walking around the neighborhood.  Soon you will find that you crave your exercise time because it makes you feel better. 

Focus on using exercise to change your mood and before you know it, you’ve lost 10 lbs.

Posted on January 18, 2018 by Dena Lampert.


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