Carla Calderas, MA, LPC
How To Be Consistent With Exercise for your Mental Health
Exercise has many benefits: It combats stress, helps with anxiety and depression, and helps your body be and feel healthy. If you are not used to exercising or you have been too busy to do it. Read below for some tips on how to be consistent with your workouts.
1-Find An Accountability Group
If we rely just on ourselves, it is easy to skip a work out or put it off. Having someone to hold you accountable can really give you that push. There are many ways to find an accountability partner; It can be a family member who you know is going to be in your ear if you don’t send them that picture of you working out or who is waiting for you at the gym and keeps calling you until you show up. If a family member is not an option for you, try joining a Facebook accountability group where you can post your workouts and pictures. You can use Calderas Counseling-Health & Wellness Group as your accountability group. Also, hiring a fitness coach or personal trainer can be an option if you think you need it.
2-Find Workouts That You Enjoy
If you like dancing, try Zumba, going to a dance class, or dancing in your house. If running is your jam, then find new hiking trails, and challenge your personal running time. If you want to be consistent, you really have to pick workouts that you enjoy doing. Try picking 2-3 things you enjoy and create your workout schedule. Maybe you like dancing, yoga, and walking. If so, your schedule may look like: Monday: Zumba at the gym, Tuesday: free Yoga class, Wednesday: walk my dog at the park, Thursday: dance in my living room, Friday: go for a walk in my neighborhood, Saturday: Yoga at home on Gaia (check out our Mental Health Resources>Apps page for a direct link to download the app), Sunday: physical activity with the family (frisbee, playing tag with the kids, goin g bike ridings, etc).
3-Have A Clear Why
It is essential that you know why you are exercising; is it because you want to lose weight and wear your old clothes that are no longer fitting? Does exercise help you relieve stress from work? Do you need exercise to manage your depression or anxiety? Do you need to exercise because it is you ‘me time’? Having a clear why that is powerful enough will give you the strength to keep going even when you don’t feel like it. As long as you work out for a few minutes, it will help you maintain the routine.
4-Be Patient With Yourself
Know that your endurance may be different from day to day. If you feel great one day, you may be able to work out for over an hour. If you are having a tough day and have a migraine, you might only be able to stretch for 5-10 minutes. Be patient with yourself and love yourself. Have your own back and maintain a positive self-talk. Be your own cheerleader! If your family is not being supportive, be your own supporter. Believe in yourself and feel proud of yourself for you accomplishments, your progress, and sticking to your exercise routine. If your are feeling down, create an uplifting playlist and go work out. You can also read inspirational books (check out our Mental Health Resources>Books page to find some), read inspirational stories, or follow fitness gurus on instagram or youtube but above all be patient with yourself!