Hate Exercise? Here are Ways to Trick Your Mind

For years I hated exercise. I couldn’t be bothered, I didn’t see the point and seem like such an endeavour and there was too much sweating involved! Then I got sick and everything changed. It had to change and thank goodness I was yanked out of my ignorance.

75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week and 150 minutes of moderate exercise, is what the American Heart Association recommends. A study actually shows that 65% of women who do 150 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly sleep better than those who don’t.

I’m sure this can sound overwhelming for mothers who are already juggling so many things daily. Trust me, I get it. But we cannot downplay the importance of the endorphin rush and how it affects our overall well-being. 

The truth is, the majority of mums just feel way too guilty to start working out for fear of leaving behind and neglecting their children as reported by this study from Sport England saying 6 in 10 mums would rather not exercise in order to focus more on child care responsibilities. 

Working mothers benefit from regular exercise both mentally and physically. It helps improve sleep quality, boost energy and best of all, to dissipate high levels of stress and for women of a certain age, it is fantastic for bone density. So, fight that temptation to give up your fitness dreams just because the daily demands are not allowing you some me time.

Here are 3 mindset changes you can incorporate for a healthier and more active lifestyle.

1.        Exercise “must” be a priority

‘Should’ is completely different to ‘must’. Exercise should be a must. Don’t entertain any mental excuse for you not to make it a priority. It needs to be in that to-do list of yours, firmly scheduled in that calendar not as a “maybe if I have time for it”, but rather as, “No excuses, I will make time for exercise.”   

Taking care of yourself should never take a back seat, your well-being is everything. You can only be at your best when you feel good mentally, physically and emotionally and exercise helps with all three.

2.      Make it a family thing

Instead of making parenting an excuse to not have time for exercise, involve everyone in the process. Instill the importance of being active into your kids, and hold your partner accountable for also making his or her health a priority.

Make achieving a healthy lifestyle a common goal for the family. This helps you form a stronger bond with your kids and your partner. There are tons of ways you can include them in your exercise routine, find what works best for you individually or as a unit. It really doesn’t matter, as long as everyone understands that exercise is a must and not just something you do when time permits.

3.      Anticipate the bad days

Keeping in mind that some days are going to be easier than others will help you maintain focus. There will be days when you have a lot of energy, but some days it will feel like a chore. Anticipate these days, and find ways to keep your enthusiasm at a high level.

For example, a slight change in your exercise routine might help. If you usually jog, maybe do swimming some days. If you do Pilates and you don’t feel like doing it for the day, maybe you can have a race game with the kids or any activity that will burn calories and keep your active lifestyle momentum. No matter how you feel on the difficult days, remember the objective is to do something and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

As a final thought, just don’t give up too early when it gets hard. Find the best way to blend exercise into your life that works for you and your family. This is not something to put off for later, it is really imperative that you make it a part of your lifestyle. Delaying is the same as compromising your future health, you want to purposely aim for a life that’s both healthy and filled with meaning.

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