Exercise Tips - For People Who Hate to Exercise
By Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS, RKC11, CK-FMS, PN-L1 / August, 2011

Hate to exercise? You are not alone. We all know how important it is to exercise. We all know that regular exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself and can significantly help prevent a number of major life- threatening diseases, such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. If you dread the thought of beginning an exercise program, here are a few simple tips that will help get you started:

Get leverage. You've got to find a reason why you MUST exercise. You already know that you SHOULD. This is not enough. You will never do the things you should do, but you will do the things you must do. Find a way to get leverage and turn your should into a must.

Don't be intimidated. Yes, getting started can be an intimidating task, especially if you're not sure what exactly to do. When getting started, don't over-think things. Keep it simple -- pick a day, time, schedule exercise, and begin.

Reframe your thinking. Instead of dreading the thought of exercise, reframe how you think about it. How will you feel ten to fifteen pounds lighter and leaner? How proud and more confident will you be with your physical appearance? Visualize your results and you will be much more motivated and excited about your exercise program.

Have fun. No matter what you decide to do, you've got to have fun and make exercise enjoyable. The options are limitless. You have many great training methods to choose from, although some are better than others. The bottom line is you have to find something you enjoy.

Make it automatic. At some point in your new success ritual, as I call it, exercise will become an effortless part of what you do and not a chore for you. This is the holy grail of forming any new habit, when it becomes automatic and effortless.

Invest in a mentor. I can't emphasize this one enough. Find a good coach who can mentor you and help you get the proper instruction and guidance you need to succeed.

Eat for energy. If you don't feel like exercising, maybe you're not eating the right foods you need for energy. You may need to make a few simple adjustments or you may need much more, but eating properly for energy will enhance your motivation to exercise and also significantly improve your training performance.

Be clear on what you want. This is very important. You've got to know exactly what you want out of your program. What are you training for? Do you want to lose fifteen pounds? Do you want to go down two dress sizes? Whatever it is you want, be very clear on your desired outcome. Your clarity is your power.

Reward yourself. After you begin your exercise (and nutrition) program, be sure to reward yourself for your accomplishments. Having a reward system for simply completing your first month of workouts can be a very powerful tool for you to have success. Celebrate your achievements.

Recognize every workout doesn't have to be a championship workout. You're going to have good days and bad days. As a legendary strength coach I know points out, some workouts are going to be "punch the clock" workouts and that is okay. With a master's degree in physical therapy, Scott Iardella is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and certified sports nutritionist, among other titles and areas of expertise.

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