by Mary Chase
Exercise adherence is an obstacle many people face. New Years Resolutions come, and most time they go by the way side long before the goal is reached. So, do you adhere? And if you are like the majority of the population, what are some reasons why, and ideas for, adhering to your exercise regimen?
For me, I adhere religiously to my exercise regimen for two reasons. The first is I feel better when I exercise. If I carve out a small section of my day to exercise, the rest of my day plays out better. I have more energy, more patience, a better attitude, and feel better going about day to day activities. That being said, figure out the time of day that not only works best for your schedule, but you will be most likely to stick with daily exercise. For example I exercise first thing in the morning. I am a morning person and have found that if I wait until evening to exercise, I will be more likely to find a reason to not exercise at that point in the day. So I adhere by exercising first thing in the day, so I make sure it always happens.
The second reason I exercise is for my health and well being. I have an autoimmune disease that I will have for the rest of my life. Unless they find a cure for diabetes, exercise for me helps keep me in the best physical condition for dealing with the day to day realities of living with an autoimmune disease. Plus, the better I take care of myself, the less likely it is I will have complications resulting from poor management of my diabetes, as exercise is one of the best ways I can manage and maintain blood sugar levels.
This is not only true with diabetes but countless other diseases. I could fill this entire article with statistics about how exercise can prevent the onset of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and countless other diseases that plague our population. I figure this is the only body I will ever be given, so I should treat it well, if I want it to perform well for me. Plus, I love going to the doctor and having them tell me that I am the “picture of health.” Who doesn’t like to hear that?
You may find exercise adherence simply because of the fun factor. I know if you’ve read my column before you have heard me say you are more likely to stick with something if you are passionate about it. Most of the time if you are passionate about something you also find it to be a fun activity. If you think running is fun, you are more likely to go out there and run. So find your passion, find your fun, and exercise adherence will be easy.
Find a goal. If you have a goal of weight loss or running your first 5K race, you have a goal. If you have a goal and want to complete the goal successfully, you realize that exercise adherence is necessary in order to attain it. Finally here are a few tips I give clients. Schedule your exercise like you would schedule a dentist appointment. You wouldn’t cancel the appointment because it is for your welfare, so why cancel your exercise appointment with yourself? Another idea; bribe yourself. If you have a goal that you are finding a hard time sticking to, reward yourself. For example after twenty bike rides, buy yourself a new jersey to wear while bike riding. I hope this has given you some ideas why you should adhere to your exercise regimen. Now go on, get out, and do it!