We can all agree that exercise is extremely important. However, we often lack the motivation to do so. We simply don’t feel like it because we convince ourselves that we’re just “way too busy” or incredibly tired. Some may have already bought a gym membership or a yoga package, only to have it suffer neglect and ultimately expire. Sounds familiar?
The reason why such incidents become commonplace is that many individuals continue to look at fitness as an accoutrement instead of a fixture. If fitness were to remain as nothing more than a lifestyle accessory, it will always remain a secondary consideration when it comes to making priorities. In order to turn fitness into something more permanent, you must first understand and agree that it is something important to you. Not only does it keep you physically fit, it helps you achieve mental clarity and think better. Exercise has also been proven to help combat and prevent depression.
You do not necessarily need to attend expensive spinning classes, or commit to a year-long Zumba or yoga membership. HIIT bootcamps are not necessary and heading to a gym is also not compulsory. While all these can serve as a point of motivation, exercising from the comfort of your home can be just as effective. There are plenty of tools and free resources are available online to get you started. Making small adjustments to the way you do things can also pave the way to bigger changes. Instead of taking the lift, why not take the stairs?
The most crucial thing is to form a habit. The Stanford marshmallow test showed that delayed gratification and willpower are the two biggest indicators of success and fulfillment. Like your muscles, both need to be trained to grow.
Forming a habit takes three things – a cue, a routine, and a reward. Waking up can be your cue. After which, set a routine that enables momentum. For instance, you can place your mobile phone beside your exercise clothes or the yoga mat before you sleep. This way, you’ll have to go all the way to your exercise clothes to get your phone when the alarm wakes you in the morning. After your exercise, give yourself an immediate reward by having a delicious oven-baked salmon drizzled in lemon, or an avocado toast.
Start small. Even taking five or ten minutes from your hour-long lunch to do a few stretches and dips at your chair is a good start as compared to inactivity. Cementing a new habit will undoubtedly feel strange at first but with enough time, your mind and body will adapt and you’ll find it easier to get into the groove of things!