Do you tell yourself you should move your body more? Do you
feel guilty at the end of the week for not exercising enough?
This guilt-driven “should” mindset is a clue to why you
might not be incorporating enough movement into your day.
Too often we turn exercise into yet another thing we have to
do. Or, worse, yet another example of how we’ve failed.
Instead, start to change the way you think about movement
and exercise and how it can make your life better.
Follow these steps to motivate yourself to move your body
1. Create a list of reasons WHY you want to exercise
Does it simply make you feel good? Does it help you with
stress or sleep? Do you want more energy?
2. Imagine your life once you’ve achieved those outcomes
Take a moment to visualise your future self once you’re
reaping the benefits of step 1. Imagine what your life would be like when you
have lots of energy, or when you get better quality sleep, or when you feel
3. Understand the real reasons why you’re putting it off
What’s actually stopping you from moving more? Unless it’s a
medical condition or injury, there is something else stopping you from
prioritising exercise. And it’s not time. We all have time for things we really
want to do, even if it’s just scrolling through social media for half an hour
For example, you might be embarrassed about how unfit you’ve
become. Or, you might not be prioritising self-care because
work/family/personal issues have taken over. Find out what the problem is, so
you can address it head-on.
4. Make it easier
Too often we take an all or nothing approach. We tell
ourselves we’re going to run for an hour every day before breakfast. And then
when we inevitably fail, we give up.
Yet, research shows that movement “snacks” can be just as
effective. Start by finding 10 minutes to move your body: a brisk walk, or
simply stand and roll your arms and shoulders to get the blood pumping.
Make it so easy that there’s no excuse not to do it.
The motivating magic of music for movement
Next time you take a movement break, pop on some headphones
and blast some music. Numerous scientific studies have shown that music is not
only motivational but can improve your exercise performance.