We do go on about the value of exercise a lot, don't we? We do for a very good reason - exercise is one of the best, if not the best, efforts anyone can make for improving their short term and long term health.
We've written about the benefits of exercise in many previous blog posts - benefits such as improving your mood thanks to a release of feel good hormones, by challenging your heart and increasing blood circulation you are improving your cardiovascular health - reducing your chances of developing chronic disease, the list goes on and on...
Despite awareness of these tremendous health benefits many people still do not exercise regularly. The word 'awareness' here is key for creating new and positive habits in your life.
Developing greater awareness, not just about the benefits of regular exercise, but also awareness for what is preventing you from taking up a regular physical activity.
Many people I speak to have seemingly good reasons for not being able to commit to a daily or regular routine - the number one 'excuse' being the limitations of time in an already very busy life.
I am suddenly reminded of this profound quote:
“Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~Edward Stanley
I am not disputing people live very busy lives and that they may indeed have little or no time available for exercise.
However, here is the most important point - there are numerous, creative ways to squeeze higher levels of activity into a busy day and even the shortest time can return a much higher benefit return on your time investment.
When you want to achieve something in life you need to develop a degree of awareness around your intention. You need to consider:
Our beliefs, especially beliefs we may have unconsciously formed, are some of the most powerful influences on our success - with both negative and positive influence.
An example of a negative belief could be simply that "I'm too busy therefore I don't have time for exercise"
You reinforce such a belief every time you tell yourself or someone else such a statement. If you dig a little deeper into your thought patterns you may realise that your belief is that exercise is only worth doing if you do it for a minimum of an hour, for example, or that the type of exercise that bests suits you requires a lot of preparation - travel, equipment, etc.
Such a belief about exercise only reinforces your belief about not having enough time.
Turning this example around you could reassess your thoughts on what is worthwhile exercise - finding an activity that requires much less preparation, is convenient for your individual situation, and that requires a lot less time to do.
There are endless possibilities when you are prepared to be a bit creative. Where there is a will there is a way.
Here is a simple but valuable tip for developing your awareness around a specific goal:
Know your strengths, weaknesses and individual preferences for expressing yourself (your personality) Knowing more about you helps you realise what motivates you and what doesn't.
What is happening around you that is affecting your good intentions - colleagues, family, daily routines or habits, etc. Which of these factors are more influential and which are easier to adapt to in aid of your goal?
Developing this awareness doesn't have to happen in a single day. You can begin by brainstorming the factors you identify when considering You and your environment. Note down your ideas and review them, adding more, enhancing detail, etc, all the while your awareness is growing.
These personal insights are powerful pointers towards the daily patterns which are enforcing your reality.
Being aware of them is the first step to consciously adapting or reaffirming them to help you achieve the important goals in your life.
I wish you the best with your brainstorming and sticking to a regular exercise routine.
Take care, Robin.
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / www.freedigitalphotos.net