For feeling and looking good
"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live."
- Jim Rohn
Exercise gets a bad rep, especially when we do not feel like exercising. We can make up all sorts of excuses as to why we just can't fit it in on any particular day. Some people exercise religiously, like a well formed habit built into a daily routine. That's some people. Most people, including me, have to make an effort to keep their body in shape and reap the many benefits of a regular exercise routine. Even though I have experienced being in excellent shape both mentally and physically by exercising, I sometimes get into an exercise funk by avoiding it. This leaves me feeling out of shape both mentally and physically.
Has this ever happened to you? We know it's good for us. Actually, we know it's great for us! Not only are we able to maintain a healthy weight and lower our risk of heart diseases, diabetes and various cancers. We also lower our risk of depression and stress by sweating it all out of us. Oh, and it helps us sleep better and even live longer! As if we needed more reasons to be more active throughout the day.
So if we know the benefits, what is it that makes us want to hit the couch insead of the gym, and perhaps consume more calories instead of burning them off? Some days we are simply not motivated. We already attended to our obligations. "Now I have to exercise too? No thanks. Not today. I'll do it tomorrow." That's how easily we can get off track and struggle to get back into a dedicated routine or habit of regular exercise.
I found doing a little exercise is better than doing none at all. Just five minutes a day can help us to experience some of the benefits. Those five minutes can also motivate us to go a little longer once we start feeling the benefits. I don't know about you, but I always feel good after a workout, whether it's a jog through the park or five minutes of isometrics during my work day (no equipment needed. works the whole body). I think so many of us tell ourselves we don't have the time, when we really don't want to make the time. We can all find five minutes in our day. Just five minutes, which may even lead to a bigger commitment once the good feels kick in.
I also found having an accountability partner helps. If we can exercise together, even better. But simply having someone to check in with regularly makes it less likely that we will avoid our obligation to feel and look better. We owe it to ourselves to feel and look better, but we have to put in the effort. Nobody can do it for us. We only get one body to live in. It's our vehicle through life. We might as well take better care of it. Just like a car, we have to do the preventative maintenance to keep it from breaking down on us. Even if it's just five minutes a day.