This Will Make You Exercise

By: Katiejay
I still hate to exercise sometimes.

Some mornings I wake up knowing that if I exercise at all, it's going to be a chore getting myself to the gym. I don't know why I'm this way.

Sometimes, it's probably just exhaustion. Other times, it's the anxiety of getting everything done and not being able to sort out when is the best time to exercise.

Sometimes, I'm not in the mood to sweat. But I say to myself, "Well, tough. You chose to have weight loss surgery and lose 190 pounds. This new life has set you free. So get moving."

A Critical Tool

One thing I have learned and taken to heart is that exercise is critical to maintaining my weight loss.

The bottom line is that exercise builds muscles, and muscles
burn calories -- even when I'm at rest. In that regard, exercise is a no-brainer.

But How Do You Get Motivated to Move?

Motivation to exercise can be illusive, but it is not impossible to find. Try these things to build your motivation.

1. Make an exercise chart. Believe it or not, charting your exercise progress can spur you into action. Make a chart for each month. Track the things that matter to you. The days you exercise, how long, whether you did cardio or weight training, whatever you will find interesting.

Post your chart in a place where you'll look at it every day. As you see it fill up, you'll feel more determined than ever to continue.

2. Ask someone to exercise with you. I am a hopeless extrovert, so for me, having a buddy to exercise with makes a huge difference. I walked with my neighbor every evening at 8 pm for my first two years after having weight loss surgery.

I still get the itch to walk every evening at 8 pm. Of course, that wasn't my only exercise, but it was my foundation and it built my stamina.

3. If you can afford it, hire a personal trainer. Early on, I invested in a personal trainer. She was wonderfully sensitive and helped me work through my pure hatred of exercise.

She would say things like, "Katie you are choosing to do this, because you want to be healthy and free yourself from the burden you've been carrying all these years." She also taught me how to do weight training safely.

4. Sign up for a class. Any class will do: dancing, water aerobics, tai chi, pottery. The goal is to get out of your house and move. The more you move, the more you'll want to move.

Make it fun and start small. This is a lifetime habit you're building, so start gently and enjoy it as best you can.

5. Listen to music. Music can give exercising a whole different feel. Buy yourself an MP3 player and learn how to download your favorite songs from the Internet.

Or just put on an LP (yes, I still have my collection!). Either way, moving to music will spice up your exercise routine.

Not matter what, don't give up. Talk to yourself nicely and say, "I can do this. It's okay to start slowly. Today I'm going to set the timer and walk for 5 minutes around the house."

Really, starting small is okay. Establishing the habit of moving is the key. You can always build on your foundation over time.
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