There is really nothing that compares to the health benefits of exercise-other than eating a healthy diet that is right for your unique biological makeup. Diet and exercise together have the biggest impact on your health more than any other single thing you can try. Most people know this, but few people live by it. If you want to be as healthy as you can in mind and body, you have to know how to get motivated for exercise, because Let’s face it, we often don’t feel like doing it! The following 5 tips include concepts that I have learned from one of the top clinical hypnotherapists in the world when it comes to internal motivation.
We all know that for optimum health we need to be exercising. In this post I will give you 5 tips on how you can find more motivation for exercise.
It starts with your mind. One of the reasons you may not be exercising is because deep down you associate it with more pain than pleasure. We are naturally wired to move away from pain than we are to move towards pleasure as part of our survival instinct. When ever we try to make a change in our lifestyle or habits, it feels uncomfortable to us because it is unfamiliar to our mind and body, and therefore even if our habits are not serving us, we are naturally inclined to continue the same old habits. The way to overcome this is to start associating pleasure with exercise. How do we do this? The first step is to see yourself doing the exercise you are thinking about doing before you even try to start doing it. As you see yourself exercising, say to yourself “I really like this, I like oxygenating my body more, I like using the muscles that I have, it makes me feel good and it makes me proud of myself.’ The reason why this is effective is because your brain only responds to 2 things: The pictures you make in your head and the words that you tell yourself. So when you think about exercise, be sure to notice your subjective reactions to those thoughts and ask yourself whether you are associating pain or pleasure to the activity.
Tip # 2
In reality, to get effective health benefits from exercise, all you really need is 20 minutes a day of the right kind of exercise for your body. If you were to commit to 20 minutes daily, the change to your life would be dramatic. No one is too busy that they can’t find 20 minutes to take care of their body, so saying you don’t have enough time is not an excuse. It is not about being too busy, it is about how focused you are and what you put as a priority in your life. If you do find yourself saying you don’t have time, go back to tip number 1 and ask yourself if you are associating exercise with more pain than pleasure. As I said-it all starts in the mind.
Ask yourself if you are associating exercise with something external such as a desire to look better or have a certain body shape. If so, this is what is known as an extrinsic motivator, and will not serve you when you inevitably lose will power to stay in an exercise routine. Decide to make your exercise about FEELING good, rather than looking good because this comes from the inside-an intrinsic motivator. The better you FEEL, the better you will look anyway. It can’t be any other way. And even if your first motivator is to look better, you have to get honest about why you want to look better anyway: it is because you want to FEEL better about something. We only want anything in life because at the most basic level we believe we will FEEL better in the having of or being that thing. So, tap into the feeling state before the external physical state.
Find an exercise that you either enjoy or find really easy to implement into your lifestyle. For example, if you have young children at home it is more difficult to get out of the house to exercise. There are many online home based programs (insert beach body amazon link) that give you a wide choice of a range of different kinds of exercises you could be doing at home rather than having to step outside of your house. Also, you may have certain physical limitations or injuries that you are dealing with, so you need to find an exercise that is appropriate for what your current physical condition is. It doesn’t matter where you are starting from, the most important thing is that you start!
Do exercise first thing in the morning. If you really struggle to be inspired to exercise, plan to get it done first thing in the morning before you do anything else. There are many reasons for this. The longer you leave exercise during the day the higher your chances of not doing any. From a scientific basis, exercise in the morning is more effective when it comes to fat burning because you are kick-starting your metabolism from the get go. You will also have more energy for the rest of the day and your mind will be in a more elevated state before you tackle anything else.
Does it feel too hard to get up in the morning?
And, if you find it hard to get up that little bit earlier to make this part of your life, go back to tip number one where you decide to associate getting up earlier with more pleasure than pain. After your alarm goes off, lie in bed for a second and visualise yourself getting up and exercising and tell yourself something like: ‘I like getting up earlier to exercise. It makes me feel good. I enjoy feeling more energised after I have exercised first thing in the morning. It makes me feel proud of myself’, and so on. Talk to yourself like this over and over and sooner or later your brain will say ‘ok-this is something you obviously associate with more pleasure than pain, so how about we do this?’
Switch your brain over.
You want to get to the place where you have switched your mind to associate NOT getting up earlier to exercise with more PAIN than pleasure so you are motivated to get up! Remember-your mind only responds to 2 things-the pictures you make in your head and the words you tell yourself.
So there you have it. If you enjoyed these tips on how to get motivated for exercise, and you want to further explore these concepts to help you have a higher level of health and functioning, check out this link
for a free online masterclass with clinical hypnotherapist Marisa Peer. Also, feel free to comment below and let me know what your biggest struggle is when it comes to exercise motivation and be sure to subscribe to my youtube channel here
for more tips on how to manage your energy and some bioenergetic exercises you can do such as qigong.