Taking the Work Out of Your Workout
Are you having second thoughts about exercising? Good. Have some third thoughts, fourth thoughts and fifth thoughts as well -- positive thoughts.
The way you think about exercise can be the crucial factor in sticking with your fitness program. If you look on it as a disagreeable chore, it becomes one. But if you develop an image as an active, dynamic person, you'll be more likely to stick to your fitness program.
Some exercise advice:
• Build in reinforcements, such as working out with someone else. If you work out on your own, you may end up being less active because you don't have a reinforcement. But if your spouse or a partner goes with you, it has positive connotations. You're not the only one exercising while everyone else watches TV.
• Break it up. Cruise through a short jog, for instance, instead of struggling to run three miles. Too many times, people take on a large task that can't be accomplished. They build in failure because they have expectations that are too large.
• Reward yourself. Complete a half-hour walk five days in a row? That could mean a trip to the mall to buy some new clothes. Make fun of something that could otherwise be boring, experts say.
• Talk to yourself. Baseball players keep up a constant patter in support of their pitcher. You can do the same for yourself. It assures you that you're doing the right thing, stimulates an interest in your activity, and influences you to stay with the program.
• Before your workout, visualize what you'll be doing. This works for tennis players, downhill skiers and other top athletes. Try to imagine what you'd look like doing an exercise. It lets you see in your mind's eye that exercise is beneficial.
• Realize that only you can control your well-being and your destiny. The best way to change your attitude about exercise is to just do it. Do something a little more each time and recognize that you accomplished something, something to feel pleased about. You build on your accomplishments. You feel pleased with every little step.
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