When you're up against a
work deadline or the kids are sick, you may feel you can't handle one more
thing, including exercise. But taking time out for yourself to go for a brisk
walk or complete a quick workout is one of the best things you can do during
those stressful times. Participation in regular exercise has been shown to help
us better manage stress, reduce anxiety and depression, and elevate mood. It
short, it enables us to better cope with life's many challenges. Remember: Even
a very brief bout of exercise (as little as 10 minutes) can be beneficial. The
bottom line is that some exercise is always better than none.
People who are new to
exercise often become frustrated when they don't experience dramatic results
during the first few weeks of starting a fitness program. They may be ready to
throw in the towel because they haven't dropped two dress sizes or developed
those washboard abs in 10 days. To avoid this pitfall, set realistic goals, be
patient and focus on steady progress.
Don't wait for the end
goal -- say, a 50-pound weight loss -- to recognize your progress. Instead,
notice when your workouts start to feel easier, you can tolerate longer-duration
and more challenging workouts, and you find daily activities (such as household
chores, work-related physical tasks and climbing stairs) easier to perform.
Celebrate these early indicators of success by treating yourself to some new
workout gear -- such as clothing, an activity tracker or a fitness DVD -- and
use it for future motivation.
daily workouts without appropriate amounts of rest and recovery time won't help
you reach your goals faster. Instead, it will undermine your progress.
Overtraining occurs when there's an imbalance between how often, intensely and
long you exercise and how much time you allow for recovery. Overtaxing your
body's physiological systems this way will ultimately hurt your performance.
You need a day or two off from vigorous exercise each week for optimal physical
and mental recovery.
5. Unexpected Interruptions
You were planning to hit
the gym after work, but that late-afternoon meeting is running over. Or, you
scheduled a Saturday hike but forgot about your child's weekend soccer
tournament. Life happens to all of us. We can either throw up our hands in
frustration -- or we can resolve to adjust and move forward. Resilience is the
ability to bounce back quickly from life's surprises and setbacks. You can
improve this ability with practice. Try practicing good self-care by eating
well, getting proper amounts of sleep, exercising regularly, cultivating
healthy relationships, adopting an optimistic attitude and taking decisive action.
As we become more resilient, we're less likely to allow life's frequent
surprises to derail our workout efforts. Instead, we'll be able to quickly
modify our plans and move forward.
'I Can't' Syndrome
"I can never seem to find time to exercise." "I'm so
undisciplined." "Why do I even bother to make resolutions?"
Sound familiar? If so, ask yourself if you would talk to a friend or loved one
this way. Listening to negative self-talk isn't motivating. In reality, it's pretty
much a complete waste of time and always counterproductive since it chips away
at your confidence and motivation to the point where you can't imagine yourself