Stay Physically Active: Rethink Your Workout
It’s not easy for everyone to stay physically active. Before you blame yourself for lack of motivation or willpower, consider how you view exercise. The real reason you feel unmotivated may be your expectations undermining your success and happiness.
The traditional way we define exercise is that it takes working out at a high intensity. However, that kind of thinking only motivates a small minority of the population, according to a new study from the U-M Institute for Research on Women and Gender.
Staying physically active is important whether you’re trying to lose weight or keep the pounds off after weight loss surgery.
Ask yourself these two questions: What do you consider a real workout? Is it enjoyable?
If it’s not – you might be among a group of people who don’t feel motivated to work out because it means spending your leisure doing something you don’t really like when you think you should be decompressing during your downtime.
Here are three main reasons why expectations about exercise can work against women feeling happy and successful:
- They believe “valid” exercise must be intense, yet they want to feel relaxed during their leisure time.
- They feel pressured to exercise for health or to lose weight, yet during their leisure time they want to be free of pressures.
- Success comes from achieving goals, yet their expectations about how much, where and how they should be exercising means they can’t achieve these goals.
Stay physically active: love your workout
So how do you get past that to stay physically active? It’s partly redefining what you consider physical activity, according to the study. Instead of forcing yourself to push through a punishing workout, find movement that makes you happy.
The goal is to exercise because you really want to, not because you feel like you should be working out.
Consider these tips:
- Physical activity and exercise can and should feel good to do.
- Physical activity can help you connect with others.
- Any kind of activity counts and it worth your time
Source: University of Michigan news release
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