By Bob Livingstone
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
3. Choose a sport that you like and if you are not sure what aerobic activity you enjoy most, try several: walking, running, tennis, basketball, cycling, swimming and basketball to name a few. You will probably not stick with an activity that you don’t like. If you treat your workout like a laborious task that you just have to power through; you will learn to hate it quickly. It may take lots of trial and error to find a sport you really love. Please be patient with yourself and this process.
4. Find folks to workout with if you prefer company or find solace in exercising by yourself.
You can seek out running groups, adult basketball leagues, cycling groups or you may prefer to work out by yourself. One of the reasons I choose running as my sport 35 years ago was because I didn’t have to wait around for anyone else to complete my workout.
5. Start thinking about exercising when you wake up in the morning: Focus on how good you will feel at the end of your workout. When you feel yourself losing motivation, read the second paragraph of this article-The Benefits of Exercise.
6. Feeling guilty is usually a state that is not helpful and interferes with life. In terms of exercise, telling yourself that if you don’t exercise, you will feel lethargic, overweight and restless can be a major motivator to get out of your chair and to the gym.
7. Listen to music when you exercise because it can be inspiring, motivating and healing. You can find joy in the act of creating a playlist. Downloading music that includes songs with high energy and tunes that bring back happy memories can lead to a euphoric experience. If you know that you will be hearing a new song from your favorite artist; that may be the kicker that takes you from being on the couch to heading out the door.
8. Mark your exercise accomplishments on the calendar with bright colors or star stickers in order to mark and watch your progress.
9. Surround yourself with people who will support your exercise program by cheering you on and sharing their highs and lows in this struggle to be a consistent exerciser.
10. Exercise can also heal emotional pain by focusing on an emotional pain question. When you are working out, the endorphins kick in, your brain chemistry changes and you feel confident that you can face any of life’s challenges. You can read more about this in my book The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise. http://tinyurl.com/96mskfy
– Bob Livingstone is the author the critically acclaimed Unchain the Pain: How to be Your Own Therapist, Norlights Press 2011, The Body Mind Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise, Pegasus Books, 2007 and Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager’s Healing Journey through Sandtray Therapy, Booklocker 2002. He is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker in private practice in The San Francisco Bay Area and has nearly twenty five years experience working with adults, adolescents and children.