How to find your love for exercise
It’s known as the ‘miracle drug’ by health professionals, makes you look and feel good and can even put the spark back into a lacklustre sex life.
So why, even though we’re fully aware of the benefits, can we find it difficult to muster up enough enthusiasm??
We’ve looked at the latest research into the biggest barriers to starting (or restarting) an exercise regime and why approximately 50% of people who start to exercise drop out within the first 6 months.
Knowledge, attitude and beliefs about exercise influence how likely you are to participate in regular sessions, so we’ve come up with a few top tips to help boost motivation and get you back on the right track.
1. Find an exercise you enjoy and understand your why
This may sound obvious, but if you take pleasure in an exercise you’re much more likely to keep doing it. You also need to find your ‘why’ – the reason why you’re doing this . Research what’s around locally and online, speak to personal trainers and class instructors and ask them what their sessions will do for your body.
2. Find a group / exercise buddy
Exercising with others can improve motivation and make sessions infinitely more fun, so find people with similar goals and you’ll help each other towards being fabulously fit. Plus if there’s someone waiting for you you’re much less inclined to cancel. An example of an excellent group exercise – Nordic walking of course!
3. Find your tribe
There’s no need for lycra clad sweat sessions or pushing yourself so hard you feel half dead! Find people of your age and look for activities that fit your current fitness level. Start slowly and as you feel fitter you can push yourself harder. Pilates, swimming and Nordic walking will enable you to progress at your own pace (end of shameless NW plugs). Maybe you have a sportier friend who can gently take you under their wing?
4. The future is closer than you think
Even when we know the possible long-term consequences of not exercising including weight gain, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, it may not be enough to spur us into action. If your body is currently working well that’s wonderful, you just need to keep it that way.
We all want to be healthy and mobile as we age but your body is an engine that needs servicing. If you’re feeling unfit don’t feel guilty for where you are now, just acknowledge your fitness level and recognise your personal responsibility to maintain your body from this moment forward. No-one will do this for you.
5. Challenge yourself
If you suddenly feel a wave of motivation wash over you (yay!) why not cement it in by signing up to a challenge and telling everyone you know. Being encouraged will spur you on, it’d be embarrasing if you pulled out and maybe you can raise money for good causes as an extra incentive.
One of our Bath Nordic walkers Jane Phillips decided she wanted to do exactly that and is now over half way towards her impressive target.
“MISSION POSSIBLE?? AUGUST 100 miles challenge.
Hi all! Most of the Bath Nordic Walking group know me as the person huffing and puffing up ’the hill’ in Victoria Park – usually at the back! – but at the end of July I decided to challenge myself (and raise funds for a very worthwhile local charity) by Nordic Walking 100 miles in August!! For those of you who don’t know me, I have been NW for a couple of years but having put on weight in lockdown needed a quick start to get fitter and healthier and maintaining a walk everyday!
I am now thirteen days in and have walked 63 miles with the fantastic support and encouragement from lots of the Bath group! My fitness has improved as has my pace per mile (according to Map My Walk)!!!
The charity I am walking for is www.voicescharity.org. A Bath based charity founded in 2014 by women who have experience of domestic abuse. VOICES supports victims and survivors to recover and thrive, and works to have their voices heard by services and agencies, improving responses to their needs.
If you would like to donate then please follow the above link. It’s via Local Giving and other than a small admin fee VOICES receive the whole amount.
Thank you for all your support and I’ll report back at the end of August. This challenge is changing my life!
Moving more will make you feel alive, give you more confidence, strengthen your body, calm your mind and transform your life. One of the best things about being an instructor is watching hesitant beginners turn into confident and adventurous Nordic walkers.
Think of exercise as a must and find a way to bring it regularly into your life. Good luck 💪
Owner, Bristol & Bath Nordic Walking