Recently, I asked members of my Facebook Group what their biggest obstacles to exercising regularly were. I received a lot of interesting answers, some I expected and some I never thought of. But that’s why I asked. It is my job to help you, my readers, improve your healthy lifestyle one step at a time.
In this post, I am going to focus on one of the responses I got. One person told me that she has been out of the exercise loop for so long that she is afraid of starting over with exercise. This was an issue I haven’t heard before, but when I starting thinking about it, I realized that there are probably a lot of people who feel this way. So here is a 3-step process to help you overcome this.
Step #1 – Identify Your Fear
The first thing you need to do is figure out what you are afraid of when it comes to starting over with exercise. I mean, when I think about exercise I only have positive thoughts. So I’m sitting here wondering, are you afraid of feeling amazing? Afraid of having more energy? Afraid of losing weight? Afraid of getting stronger? I know that all sounds silly, so you need to identify what your negative thoughts are that are making you afraid. Are you afraid that you won’t be able to do what you used to? Afraid that you won’t stick to it? Afraid that you won’t like it? Afraid that you won’t get results? Whatever it is, figure it out so you can flush it away.
Once you have figured out what your fear is, it’s time to crush it.
Step #2 – Crush Your Fear
If you are afraid that you won’t be able to do what you used to, um you probably won’t be able to. You are right, but that is nothing to be afraid of. If you have been off the exercise wagon for a couple of years, it is going to take some time to get used to a regular fitness routine again. But if you don’t start now, it’s never going to happen. You need to accept that you may need to go slow and ease yourself back in. You’ll still be doing more than you are doing now.
If you are afraid that you won’t stick to it, come up with a plan to help you. Make an exercise schedule or calendar and put it in your phone or on your fridge. Call them “workout appointments” so they sound just as important as your other appointments. Another strategy is to find a workout buddy who will help keep you motivated and accountable. You could also use a reward system to give yourself a little treat when you follow through. Different things will work for different people, but you definitely want some sort of plan. Planning is the best way to be successful at something. For example, if you went on a vacation without a plan, you would probably waste a lot of time, forget things, and miss out on experiences. It’s the same with creating an exercise plan. Without it, you’re probably not going to get a whole lot done.
Another possible fear may be that you won’t like exercise. This is legitimate, a lot of people don’t like to work out. Two things to do about this. First, list all of the reasons why you should exercise, why it’s good for you and how it will change your life in a positive way. This will help you see the benefit of doing it even though you may not love it. You probably go to the dentist even though you don’t like it, right? But you know that you need to take care of your teeth so you do it. Same thing! Second, make your workouts something that you actually enjoy doing. You don’t need to be a slave to the gym to exercise. Some other options include dancing, gardening, bike riding, rollerblading, playing a sport, or hiking. Explore different physical activities and see which ones you enjoy, and then do them regularly. You may be surprised to find something that you truly love.
Lastly, if you are afraid you won’t get results, then I have to say that that is just silly. Are you going to get results by not exercising? No! You can only do your body good by exercising. Results may take time and may be slow to notice, but you will start noticing some positives right away. You will have more energy, feel happier, and your clothes should start fitting looser. If you are looking for weight loss or toned muscles, those things may take a little longer. The important thing is consistency and sticking to it. You also want to vary the type of exercise you do and continually challenge yourself to do more difficult things.
Step #3 – Start it up!
Now that you have crushed your fear, there is nothing left to do but get out there and start exercising. It is never too late to start, or start over. Do it for your health. Do it for your family. Do it for your happiness. Do it for yourself.
If you need further help getting started with an exercise plan, please sign up for a consultation here.
You may also like to read The Complete Guide to Starting Out at the Gym.