Exercise is well documented as a key to happiness, fitness, and providing the benefits of recreation. Reports are that people who exercise and are diligent about maintaining a healthy weight are healthier, more energetic, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. The benefits exercise show relief from anxiety and mild depression. Researchers have also demonstrated that people who exercise perform better at work.
Although it’s tempting to flop down on the couch when you’re feeling exhausted, exercise is actually a great way to boost energy levels. A new study concluded that feeling fatigued is a reason to exercise, not a reason to skip exercise. Just start with regular, planned exercise.
Techniques to Keep Your Routine
Even when you admit that you’d feel better if you exercised, it can be hard to adopt the habit. My idea of fun, for example, has always been to lie in bed reading, preferably while also eating a snack – you can manage to keep yourself exercising over the years by some of these techniques below:
- Always Exercise on Monday – this sets the psychological pattern for the week.
- Exercise First Thing in The Morning – as the day wears on, you’ll find more excuses to skip exercising. Get it checked off your list, first thing. It’s also a nice way to start the day.
- Never Skip Exercising for Two Days in a Row – you can skip a day, but you must exercise on the next day, even if it seems to be inconvenient at that time.
- Give Yourself Credit For The Smallest Effort – one man said that all he had to do was put on his running shoes and close the door behind him to get going.
- Think About Context – examine the factors that might be discouraging you from exercising. Perhaps you are distressed about the grubby showers in your gym or recoil from running if it’s cold outside. Try alternatives.
- Exercise Several Times a Week – The benefits of exercise are cumulative if your idea of exercise is to join games of pick-up basketball, but you should be playing practically every day. Twice a month isn’t enough.
- Find How to Exercise Without Requiring a Shower – each week I really get into a challenging weight-training session but it’s in a format that doesn’t make me sweat.
- Look For Affordable Ways to Make Exercising Pleasant or Satisfying – could you upgrade to a nicer or more convenient gym, buy yourself a new iPod or pedometer, or work with a trainer? Exercise is a high life priority.
- Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy of The Good – don’t decide it’s only worth exercising if you can run five miles or if you can bike for an hour. Even going for a 10-minute walk is worthwhile. Do what you can.
- Suit Up – Even if you’re not sure you’re going to exercise, go ahead and put on your exercise clothes. Pack your bag. Put the dog’s leash by the door. Get prepared. If you’re ready to go, you might find it easier jut to go ahead and exercise.
- Don’t Kid Yourself – Paying for a gym membership doesn’t mean you necessarily go to the gym. Having been in shape in high school or college doesn’t mean you’re in shape now. Saying that you don’t have time to exercise doesn’t make it true.
People often ask, “So, if I want to be happier, what should I be doing?” The first thing to do is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep and some exercise. The benefits of recreation are a stance backed-up by research. Good exercise is a good place to start, and makes it easier to act on other personal happiness-inducing resolutions, especially maintaining a healthy weight.