This blog was inspired by the legendary social commentator and marketing guru Seth Godin who introduced me to the term cognitive load.
Cognitive load simply refers to how much thinking we have to do to reach a decision. When it comes to exercise this may include thoughts such as when? will I have time? how much? what type? with whom? what will I wear? when should I eat? etc..
The process involved in reaching a decision about exercising can sometimes be quite stressful. How do we know if we have made the right decision? Fretting about exercising can negate many of the potential benefits.
Then if we decide not to exercise when we know perhaps we should, it’s the feelings of shame and guilt to contend with!
So how can we make it easier for ourselves?
The answer is to create exercise habits, which for the most part you stick to. Habits remove the cognitive load, behaviours that have become habits just happen. I think of my morning movement practice for example. Having done this every morning for as long as I can remember I now don't have to think or motivate myself, it just happens like brushing my teeth.
They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. When it comes to exercising I’d suggest starting small and simply, maybe a few stretches in the morning or after work, or a walk around the block each evening. Try to make it as easy as possible to get into the habit and once you’ve started, don’t stop if at all possible.
Once you have some basic good exercise habits locked in, you can expand a bit, add in a weekly PhysioPilates, Yoga or Tai Chi class or maybe a strength training session in the gym? Good exercise habits have a vast array of benefits which also include meeting and mixing with like minded people...I am reminded of all the laughing and banter I hear from our Pilates studio each day.
So what are you going to start making a habit of today?
In good health,