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exercise

Physical health is as important as mental health. Excercise makes our bodies stronger and healthier, but did you know that it does the same for our minds? It’s true!

Several studies have shown that people who are physically active perform better on cognitive tasks such as reasoning, memory, and vocabulary compared to not especially active individuals. Other studies show that exercise boosts mood and positive emotions after just about five minutes of performing it. What’s particularly amazing is the fact that, on a long-term, working out is a powerful tool for combating depression and anxiety.

But if exercise is so good for us, why is it so damn hard to do it?

Despite numerous benefits of physical activity, many people find incorporating working out into their daily lives incredibly hard. Have you ever caught yourself finding excuses not to hit the gym? Although you know how exercise is important for you, even if you know that you’ll feel great after it, laying on the couch is somehow hard to resist. Perhaps you say you don’t have time. Or you’re too tired. Or any other excuse you creatively came up with.

Experts say that making exercising a habit is hard for various reasons. One of them is that some people start too hard, with too high expectations regarding their performances, that they soon “burn out” and convince themselves it’s too difficult for them. Another reason is that they expected the change in their looks or performance too soon. Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment and drop of motivation.

A Few Ways to Help You Excercise Daily

Although it’s difficult to make it a habit in the beginning, remind yourself why daily exercise is so good for your physical and mental health. Otto gives a great metaphor for it: “Failing to exercise when you feel bad is like explicitly not taking an aspirin when your head hurts.”

Try implementing a workout regime into your daily lives; set a SMART goal for a duration (how long) and frequency (how often) you’re going to work out per week.

Be sure to implement a tracking system to help monitor your progress. By tracking, you’re better able to see your progress and use it as positive encouragement! When you see your photos/number of reps/distance/anything else you set as your tracking system, after a couple of months, it’s a fantastic motivation to keep going! You’ll feel awesome!

Lululemon posts a great blog on why it’s important to sweat once a day: http://lululemon.com/community/blog/sweat-once-a-day-recap

 

References:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/workout.aspx

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise.aspx


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