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November 03, 2020
Whether you’re just trying to get back to your pre-Covid body, get moving again, or achieve those muscle gains; starting to exercise again can feel hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Like anything our bodies enjoy that our heads don’t, (EG. Eating choccy bars and the guilt that comes with it), you just have to break the habit, so you’re not having negative inclinations and your exercise goals are reprioritised.
It only takes three months (66 days) for a habit to become automatic. Meaning all you have to do is ignore the voice that gives you every excuse to not exercise, and just do it. Once you separate your goals from that voice in your head, you can dig your feet in for 66 days, and at the end of it, exercise will be a part of your lifestyle again.
Remember - You will never regret getting up to exercise, and three months will fly by.
Getting into your active wear is a very key step toward exercising again. Simply by putting on your exercise gear, especially at the start of your day, your brain will release chemicals that naturally boost your mental health. The neurotransmitters that are released such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and endorphins, create an elated sense of purpose, drive and motivation. Your brain will also subconsciously be thinking about being active all day as it notices what you’re wearing, and in turn implanting a conscious desire to do so. Without even doing any exercise, your brain has already made great leaps toward turning exercise from a nuisance to a lifestyle habit.
SET A TIME AND GO
Set a time that you know is perfect, such as before work, after an early bedtime, or on a sunny morning. Have your active wear prepared at the end of your bed or in your car, so all you have to do is slip it on it on and go! Going with a friend or trainer, or even just telling a friend you’re going creates the perfect added commitment to prevent you from cancelling. Once you’ve woken up and you’re on the move, that voice filling you with excuses has also normally stopped.
ONCE YOU’RE THERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!
Research proves the power of simply getting dressed up and going to the place you exercise, then leaving! There’s no pressure to do anything, you’ve motivated yourself to get up, you’ve taken the time to go, and you’ve re-instated your goals to yourself by doing so. It’s all about starting the habit and realising the importance of seeing exercise as a part of your lifestyle rather than a chunk of time out of your day. Remember, anything’s better than nothing.
SCRATCH YOUR “ALL OR NOTHING” MENTALITY
One push-up is better than none. Ignoring your ‘all or nothing’ mentality allows you to break the cycle of not wanting to exercise, because there’s no pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. There’s no pressure to do the same killer workout you did last time, and it’s pretty hard to tell yourself you can’t be bothered to do one push up.
Release all your guilt about the workouts you didn’t do and those extra reps you left out. What’s the point? Anything you do is progress and is something to be proud of, so putting yourself down when you’ve actually done a lot, is very pointless.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
As a wise woman once said, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” The hardest part of exercising again is starting and the boring part is forming the habit, which means the most exciting and rewarding part is next! You know you’re going to reach your goal, so keep getting up working for it. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming and you’ll be there in no time at all.
All you have to do is start the habit, and your body will do the rest.
You got this!
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