Dread exercise? It’s tough, you know how important active lifestyle is to your long-term health and wellness but you simply don’t enjoy exercise.
You’re not alone. Often patients report that despite their best efforts, working-out isn’t for them. This is a real issue.
There are many reasons patients struggle to exercise daily. It’s tough to know where to start. Some are bored by exercise. Others can’t find the time. Many report pain or discomfort.
Fortunately we’ve had success working through the reasons our patients avoid exercise to craft personalize wellness plans they find fun, rewarding and achievable. You can too. And, your long-term health and wellness depends on it.
Listening to patients I’ve discovered that the number one reason they dread exercise is expectations. Most people that dread exercise have tried to implement a plan but have become discouraged by what they perceive as lack of results.
If you dread exercise, think about this: What are your goals? How are you defining success? In other words what do you expect to get out of an exercise program and how quickly do you expect those results to happen?
I encourage all my patients to:
• Develop an exercise program that compliments your lifestyle. Turn your favorite activities into opportunities to be active. You are much more likely to start and stay with an exercise program that incorporates the things you already love to do.
• Stay encouraged every time you exercise by having realistic expectations and an achievable plan. That means making attainable short-term and long-term goals. Creating small goals allows you to feel good because you’re seeing tangible results over time.
Here are the steps we take to help our patients through the process:
1. Make exercise play instead of work. We’ll make a list of the things you love to do and then develop exercise activities based around them. For instance, if you’re an ‘outdoors person’ join a walking or running group rather than a gym. Do you love watching TV? How about a treadmill or stationary bike that allows you to enjoy your favorite shows while you workout? It’s all about creating a fun and enjoyable exercise environment so that you’ll stay with it.
2. If you’re experiencing pain, stop exercising and seek professional help. You need to know if the pain is indicating a serious health issue or, it’s the expected soreness of exercising. Understand that as your fitness increases, your body will reward you with less soreness. The good news is that we all get better at exercise no matter where we begin.
3. Make an achievable plan. Knowing where to start and finding the time is tough. I’ve found walking to the best place to begin. It’s easy to work walking into what you already love to do and, just 20-minutes a day can make a big difference. Increase your walking time by five minutes every two weeks until you are up to 45 to 60 minutes a day.
When you’re ready to enjoy exercise, give Dr. Dukes a call. She’ll help you find the health and wellness you deserve, and have fun doing it.
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