The secret to lasting Fitness Motivation
If you pay attention to what you say - both in your mind and out loud - you might get some really good clues as to why you're finding it a struggle to get out and exercise. And even more telling - whether you create an exercise routine that works, or find you manage only one-off sessions.
Sustainable routines lead to lasting benefits
But it all sounds like a lot of hard work doesn't it?
Routines, WORKouts, make an effort, put in the hard yards, no pain no gain...
What about all the times we tell ourselves in no uncertain terms that we are failing or don't want to do any exercise? Is this kind of language or thought pattern familiar?
- I'd better drag myself to my workout
- Oh gosh I just can't find time for my fitness
- I've been so slack lately, it's not worth going today
- Agh I'm just packing on extra weight and not doing anything about it
- I'll start working out more often soon
Did that last one sound more positive? Nope - it's a trick we play - because your brain hears "I will start" which is some time in the future, which means "We aren't doing anything now".
Changing how we talk to ourselves about exercise
We know that using the right words (internally and out loud) helps rewire our neural pathways in our brains - we can literally re-shape our brain through thoughtful, intentional use of language, creating thought patterns more conducive to fitness and health.
Shifting our language is called Reframing. We can change from statements of negativity to speaking positively. Instead of saying we don't want to workout, we're not good at exercise, we aren't starting yet, we can actively reframe our language to focus on the benefits of exercising, our pleasure at what we achieve, and our knowledge that we will be healthier, longer because of the activities we do now.
Reframing is often used in cognitive behavioral therapy and we think it is seriously useful in the studio too. Reframing thoughts about exercise really can change your brain, your waistline, and your life!
Here are 4 fantastic ways to reframe your words
Ditch the future tense and own your intentions, now.
Instead of: "I will workout more / I should workout more"
Say: "I enjoy working out three times every week / I feel great because I workout every Wednesday and Saturday / I am a regular at the Thursday Pilates classes."
Replace the words workout, or exercise, with movement
For many of us, simply thinking Workout or Exercise invokes feelings of it all being too hard. What images do you have in mind when you say them? Sweaty lycra and clanging weights, or mud and chill out on a run?
Movement is something we can do all day, from walking the kids to school, to mowing the lawns, and doing a Pilates class, even chopping vegetables for dinner. All the movement in a day combines to create a day where you did a lot of good for your body. And we all know movement keeps bodies healthy and flexible. Nice!
You have the choice - what a privilege!
Take note of how you feel when you think I have to workout this morning vs I can workout this morning! How lucky are you to be well, physically able and to have made time for yourself. Changing the words "I have to" to "I can" puts you back in control, and acknowledges that the ability to workout is something to treasure.
Health care is the new self care
We live by this mantra! Caring for our bodies helps support well minds and keep us happy and physically healthy. We only get one precious body and looking after it is a wonderful way to care for our own wellbeing. Prioritising your fitness and health contributes to mental wellbeing and greater happiness - which in turn flows on to benefit everyone around you.
Do you want personal support?
If you find it hard to prioritise yourself, we would love to help. You may want to check out our online wellbeing programme Time to Thrive and discover tips and techniques for goal setting, exercise, nutrition, mind-body connection, and much more - or maybe you would prefer to book a Kinesiology session with Susie and get some insights into what is preventing you from really embracing looking after your body, and what your body really needs as far as nutrition and movement.
We're here to help.