Q & A Thursday: Incorporating Exercise


Question: I HATE exercising. I know I should do it, but it’s really hard to start. I even bought a membership to an expensive gym to motivate myself, but it still isn’t happening. I’ve been once and never went back. How do I incorporate exercise into my life?

I completely understand! It can be hard to create new habits and integrate them into our life. And while we’ve all heard of people who are “addicted to the gym” or get a “runner’s high” that isn’t something that happens overnight. Technically, we get the health, energy, and mood boost we need with a mere 20 minutes of exercise per day. So don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you need to run a marathon. This issue comes up for many of my clients and friends. Here is what I tell them:

1) Change how you see it. 

Stop viewing it as “exercise” and start seeing it as “movement.” No, this isn’t just a play on words. The way you view it will change it from a pain in the @$$ to a fun activity. Try new activities and see what feels good. Do something you enjoy. You don’t NEED to run, you don’t NEED to go to bootcamp , or anything else like that. Why not shop around and find something you like!

  • Try Classtivity.com where you can try new classes in everything from Broadway dance to rock climbing for as low as $2 per class!
  • Or if you’re the type of person who wants to begin privately, take a dance break and rock out to your favorite song at home or at the office.
  • Chances are hunching over your computer is not doing you any favors.  Take 10 minutes to do some office yoga. It doesn’t need to be anything crazy, check out a few moves you can do at your desk here. 
  • Want to exercise at home on your schedule? Check out yogaglo.com for great yoga videos. You can even check out the options on Netflix and Youtube.

2) Schedule it in.

The key to incorporating a new habit is determining where it fits into your current schedule and lifestyle.  Set phone reminders and enter your workouts into your calendar the same way you would a meeting. This creates a greater level of accountability. 

3) Play mind games. 

Whether it’s exercise or anything else, it’s helpful to play games with yourself.  For example, when that reminder goes off and you still don’t feel like going to the gym, tell yourself that you’ll use the elliptical for 10 minutes.  If after 10 minutes you want to go home, allow yourself to do just that. Often, the real challenge is simply getting started.

Note: The point of physical activity is to feel good, not to look good.

For many of us, exercise is something we do to feel accomplished. When we are not tuning in to why we are exercising and focusing more on the volume, speed, or time, we are not exercising for self-love, we are doing it for self-esteem.

So I ask you, why are you exercising?

If it’s to reach a certain goal, is it coming from a place of abundance or from a place of lack?

There should be 2 voices in your head speaking at equal volumes: "I want to motivate myself," and "I am already enough." Tune it to which voice is louder. If the voice sounds like a drill sergeant, tell them to shut up.

How do you incorporate fitness into your routine? I’d love to hear from you! Share your experience in the comments section below!