Health Topics

Exercise Paralysis
Dr. Heather Boyd-Roberts

We all know about the benefits of exercise. You get increased energy, improved stamina and strength, a more youthful appearance, a better mood. Yet we are still not doing what we know will make us feel better. We are missing motivation. To help kick start your motivation and change you lifestyle one last time for good, you need to have a plan in place. Here are some steps to activate your motivation and move past exercise paralysis.

1) Decide

First thing that is a must is to decide that you are going to start to move. Now maybe exercise is too strong of a word. Either your schedule is so busy that you feel you donít have the time, or you have the energy of a log and just the thought of exercise is draining or you have memories of the yuck of exercise and you can't get yourself to imagine doing it. Whatever the reason I want you to change your thinking. Instead of defining it as exercise I want you to set a goal to move every day. Decided that for 15 minutes a day you are going to move. Move as in walking or yoga or a dance you tube or jump on the trampoline with your kids. Whatever it is just move in some fashion. I have attached some links on some mellow free you tubes that are stretching and relaxing and they require very little time and energy. This leads us to goal number 2.

2) Set a realistic goal of action.

I WAS an avid exerciser. I went through some very hard times and exercise went out the window for a number of years. So now I'm needing to use this time in my life to really pay attention to what motivates me to reach this goal of being active. I used to set goals that would last for about 3 weeks and then I would get injured and have to stop. This year I am choosing to do things differently and I would encourage you to as well. My goal is to set a time that I do some sore of movement self care. I have included a link to a short easy work out that can progress into more as your body craves more. And yes that will happen. One day the initial stages to your movement time will feel like its not enough and you need a little more.

3) Put the time on your calendar.

If we have an important meeting or an appointment that requires our presence we put that on our calendar and we make sure it gets done. The same commitment can be done with that time slot for movement. If your day is too full then try doing 15 minutes in the morning.

4) Create a plan of action

If you haven't exercised in awhile and you are hesitant, then start with this free you tube on the 7 minute work out. It is a great scientifically sound work out that will start to get you going and its only 7 minutes. Or 8 minutes if you count both sides in the end.

Fitness Blender 7 minute work out

Or if you are like me you get bored easy. Here is another option by Popsugar. It if 15 minutes instead of 8. You can also go through the 7 minute work out two times.

The Best 15 minute Beginner Work out By Popsugar

5) Count your days of success, something the kids call Streaks.

It works to count. I don't want to lose my streaks and start over so I make sure I do something so I can keep moving forward. I started on the say day I started to learn Spanish so my Duolingo app is counting for me. My goal is to do something 5 days a week, but I still keep counting if I was successful 3 days a week. I have a very busy schedule with kids and a lot of responsibilities so I am setting myself up for success. You should too.

6) Set the action as the goal.

If we start to exercise and our goal is to lose 5 pounds, then if we are not successful with the weight loss, we stop. Or once we lose that 5 pounds, we stop. Set your goal as being successful when you choice to be active, which is something that you have actual control over. I would love to lose 5 pounds, but I'm not exercising to lose the 5 pounds. I am exercising because I want more energy, I want to be stronger, and I want the longevity impact from exercise. I will not be the person who needs a chair to help me stand up when I get older. So movement is about freedom for me.

7) Find your Why.

In order to keep being active you have to have a why that is bigger than any vanity issues. Look for the long term gains, not the short term gains.