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Learn to Love Exercise

Even if engaging in exercise can elevate one’s mood and promises a longer life, this may not spur enough enthusiasm on your part to make it a priority. To create real motivation, rather than to “just do it,” be programmatic about it. You’ll stand a better chance of making exercise a more permanent part of your routine. Here are some ideas: 1) Decide where you will insert 30 minutes of exercise into your day four or five times per week. 2) What form of exercise is most gratifying? Can you combine exercise with another pleasurable activity like listening to music, reading a book, or other learning? Don’t rush this step. Googling “fun exercises to stay in shape” will lead to many options. 3) Test the exercise for 5–10 minutes. Stop short of the normal discomfort from any muscle resistance exercise entails; for now, you are only gauging your personal satisfaction with your choice of exercise. 4) You’ve set aside 30 minutes per day, but when you first begin, shorten this time period and work your way up to the allotted time. 5) After a week, examine how you are feeling. Do you feel proud of your achievements so far? What about your energy level? Any gains there? Has this motivated you to sit less frequently? Any improvements to your diet choices? Has exercise helped you switch your focus or detach from stress or worries, at least temporarily? Think of all the small and large benefits gained. Don’t overlook the less obvious ones. They all add up to the motivation necessary to reinforce your decision to keep an exercise program going. New Resource: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming Your Own Workout Motivation: Discipline, Desire, and Getting It Done; September 2021; James Kelly

UR Medicine EAP is brought to you by Well-U, helping eligible individuals to assess issues, and provide short-term counseling and referrals.

Keith Stein | 3/9/2022

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