In my first post we talked about the many benefits of exercise, the second covered the benefits of incorporating it into your daily activities, and today we’re going to talk about why its important to enjoy your exercise routine.
Did you know that exercise actually increases your serotonin production? The benefits are magnified even more if you’re doing something you enjoy. If you stress over your workout routine because you think you’re not doing it right, or you worry about all the other people at the gym watching you, or you just plain don’t like it, that will negate some of the mood elevating effects of increased activity. Find something you enjoy doing, and start there.
A Sustainable Routine
If you look forward to your workouts, you’ll do them more often and for longer periods of time. Most people say that getting started with a routine is one of the hardest parts of regular exercise. If you love to dance, make it habit to go out when you can and get your exercise that way. If you’re a nature lover, find a local park where you can get out and kayak, bike, swim, run, play ultimate frisbee, or whatever else it is you love. Make it part of your routine as often as you can, and because you enjoy it, you’re more likely to stick with it.
People stress a lot about exercising, maybe its our puritanical roots, but we have a lot of guilt associated with how often we do (or don’t) get to the gym. If you commit yourself to doing a routine you don’t enjoy, you’re going to end up stressing out about it when you go. Then you’re less motivated to go, but feel guilty when you skip. Do yourself a favor and ditch the guilt trip.
Hope you enjoyed this series on exercise. If you have any other topics you’d like to see in an upcoming series, feel free to drop me a line at leah(AT)owningwellness(DOT)com