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What’s your attitude to exercise? Love it? Hate it? Go through phases? We’re all different, but what’s clear is that our attitude to exercise makes all the difference. For me, I used to feel like I ‘should’ exercise to control my weight. Did it work back then? No, because I had the wrong attitude. Now I exercise because I know it controls my mood (read more here).

A spin-off of that is that it helps control my weight also, but that comes firmly second, and that’s what finally changed my attitude to exercise and made me actually enjoy working out more.

Start with These Simple Steps to Change Your Attitude to Exercise

1. Exercise out of kindness/not punishment: Listen to your self talk. A lot of people have very negative self talk around exercise, for example, “I am too tired, old, unfit, unwell, fat, stressed to exercise today’.

Would you talk to others that way? And do you actually think this will encourage you?

Not a chance.

Start by being kinder to yourself and telling yourself ‘I can do this!’ and ‘I deserve this time’!

2. Less fuss: It’s only a bit of exercise! I used to make such a big deal of it in my head. I had to go to the gym for an hour a day or it was pointless. Did that work? No! I only psyched myself out of it. Now, I count even a twenty minute walk to the shop as exercise, and it is!

3. Make it fun: Believe it or not, but exercise should be fun! Even when you’re pushing yourself to the limits, don’t take it too seriously. You may like to push yourself, but don’t go hard all the time.

Try to mix pleasant, fun activities in with your harder sessions for balance. Or if you simply hate the grueling sessions, then don’t do them! Exercise can be at a moderate level, such as walking, and it’s still hugely beneficial to health.

4. Don’t stress if you miss a session: It’s okay to have an off day, or to decide it’s more important to rest than to exercise. Rest is crucial to help rebuild muscle.

Half of all people who start a new exercise programme ditch it within the first year. It often happens because they can’t keep up the extreme pace they’ve set for themselves. It’s better to work within your limits, and gradually get stronger.

5. Get inspired: If it takes listening to the Rocky sound track to get you excited, then ‘do it!’ Also, a workout buddy can make all the difference. I often walk around the hill of Howth with my sister-in-law. I know if it was just me, I would feel every minute of those ninety minutes or more but, with her, it goes by so quickly and we have a great chat. Studies show you’ll also work out longer when you have a pal along. Read our blog on this here.

6. Be who you want to be: Look at your past results in fitness, and in other areas of your life. Are you happy with the results? If you are, then great, keep at it. But if not, you need to make a conscious decision to change something. One thing is certain, if you don’t change your behaviour then your results won’t change either.

Make a choice.

Be the person you have always wanted to be.

Embrace that choice and choose it fully.

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