This blog was written by Mechelle Meadows. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
The fact that exercise is beneficial for your health is common knowledge these days. It would be hard to find someone to say that he or she shouldn’t exercise. The problem lies in mustering up the motivation to begin a routine and stick with it week in and week out.
This article provides tips for parents on setting healthy examples for children when it comes to exercise. The ideas could be applicable to anyone, though. One of the most important tips it touches on is to stop thinking of exercise as a chore. We all have never-ending to-do lists, parents especially, but exercise can be a stress relief and something you do to better yourself. Yes, it should be planned for, but rather than seeing it as the next chore in your list, think of it as a personal time-out.
The article offers other valuable lessons, too—planning ahead for your exercise, setting realistic goals, and bouncing back from setbacks. As a corporate fitness professional, the advice that struck me the most was the importance of finding your personal motivation or your reason for exercise. Knowing that you should isn’t always going to help you get off the couch, and in fact, can lead to feelings of guilt and shame when an exercise program isn’t adhered to. Material rewards can be nice, for instance treating yourself to a massage or a new pair of jeans, but those prizes can also cease to spur you on day after day. An intrinsic desire to be healthy and a personal drive to stay committed yield the best results.
As a visual example of motivation, poll some of your corporate fitness center members and ask them what their reasons for exercise are. Post this on a bulletin board along with their pictures for all to see as examples of sticking with it!