Exercise! How to stay motivated! You can do it if you keep it new and interesting and most importantly – FUN

This blog is from Barb Kuhn RN;BSN;MBA nurse manager of Provena Saint Joseph Hospital Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Cardiac Diagnostics and Robin Luzin MS,Ed exercise physiologist at Provena Saint Joseph Hospital. Robin and Barb have a combined experience of over 20 years in the Cardiopulmonary Rehab field.

We all need motivation at times to continue with exercise.  Below are some tips that you may find helpful at times when you would rather quit than continue. Use whatever works!!

 Find 1-2 activities/exercises that you enjoy.  If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you won’t do it.  By varying your activities between 1-2 exercises, you not only prevent boredom by changing activities each day but you also work different muscles with various activities which further challenges the body to burn more calories and increase the metabolism.

  1. Plan your exercise into your day to ensure that it is done.  Many times exercising first thing in the morning prevents interference later on during the day.  Make sure that your exercise time fits in with your lifestyle so that it becomes part of your day.
  2. Be prepared.  The night before, lay out the clothes, shoes and other equipment that you will need to exercise the next day.  This way your equipment will be “staring” at you and remind you to exercise!
  3. Do other activities at the same time to distract yourself from the exercise if necessary (i.e. watch T.V. while on the treadmill, listen to music while on the stationary bike, etc.).
  4. Exercise with a buddy.  Make an exercise date with a friend, family member or neighbor to do your exercise.  You are more likely to exercise if you know that someone expects you than if you try to just do it on your own. 
  5. Think more like an active person.  Build exercise into everything you do.  Take the stairs instead of elevator or escalator, park at the far end of the parking lot when going to the store or mall, walk or bike instead of driving.
  6. Set short term goals for yourself.  These goals should be realistic and the rewards should not include food.  Develop a sense of pride when the goals are achieved and you are able to reward yourself.
  7. Know your limitations with exercise and try not to exceed them.  Doing too much too soon can lead to someone becoming tired, sore and discouraged.
  8. Recognize the benefits from exercise identified elsewhere in this packet and remember them in the middle of a grueling workout.
  9. Try to elicit a support system around you.  Talk with family members/friends about how important it is to you to exercise and make lifestyle changes and that you would like them to support you rather than sabotage your efforts. 
  10. Here are some suggestions for types of exercises to try.  There are endless possibilities!

*walking                                           *weight training

*jogging                                            *stair climbing     

*racewalking                                     *biking(in or out doors)

*hiking/nature walks                         *canoeing/kayaking

*jump roping                                    *rollerskating/blading

*swimming/water aerobics                *skiing (all kinds)

*dancing/aerobic dance                     *sports

*exercise videos or t.v. shows

  1. Make sure that you are exercising for you, not because someone else wants you to.  The motivation needs to be intrinsic, not extrinsic.  
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3 Responses to Exercise! How to stay motivated! You can do it if you keep it new and interesting and most importantly – FUN

  1. sandy krug says:

    I also want to recommend JAZZERCISE as a wonderful option that provides great cardio workout with stretching and weight bearing exercises. I love the daily TIME commitment that requires I get out of the house THEN AND THERE without thinking I will doit ‘later’ or some other excuse when left to my own planning. The women are friendly and supportive and become great pals I look forward to seeing. I know getting an ‘exercise partner’ works for a lot of people, and my partners are these ladies. Several times throughout the year they run special ‘attendance promotions/giveaways’ and it is fun incentive on top of everything else. Can go to jazzercise.com and find all the locations close to you! Just ‘keep moving’! Sandy

  2. Thanks, Barb and Robin. Great tips! I’ll use them. Off to the fitness center soon . . .

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