Who else knows exercise is good for them but struggles to find motivation to do it - throughout the ENTIRE of Wellington winter? Right, just me then.
We all want the magic pill to make us smarter, happier, better looking and feel fantastic. The good news is there is one. The bad news is its exercise.
With Summer approaching it can be really hard to work out what order to do things in. I always get confused. Should I go to the gym? Should I change my diet up and go hard on the green smoothies? Or should I just leave it until I feel 'ready' to start? To be honest, its all a bit bloomin' overwhelming! What is the best motivation to exercise?
Exercise is as effective as anti-depressants and people who exercise relapse less into depression. It makes you more creative. It helps you sleep better. It's even connected to a 5 - 10% salary increase. All good right? Even though we know all this, consciously, it can be tough to make it to the gym or the yoga studio (or whatever).
Whenever I have this conundrum, I find making three small changes in what I think and what I do really helps me overcome my worries and set me on the right path.
1. Make a plan
Writing down a specific plan (that includes where, when, and how) makes a huge difference in whether you will build good habits. Studies show that when researchers just made people think about how much they planned to exercise, time at the gym increased 138%. And when you make a plan, it's apparently not enough just to think about what you will do. You need to think about the obstacles that will face you and what you will do if they confront you. Ask "What will stop me from going?" Then make a plan. I call it the 'If then' plan.
So if you wake up early to go to a class, and know you won't feel like going, you have already thought "If I feel tired and can't be bothered going, I will make sure I can catch the evening class instead". Or "If I am hungry, I will bring a banana to eat after class so I don't get angry by mid-morning." Another motivator can be planning by putting out your gear at the end of the bed the night before. This one is a classic, but it actually works. Once you've seen your gear out, ready to be put on, you go - "OK, I've got this." But what if you don't have the appealling or appropriate gear to wear to do your workout?
2. Get the right gear
Who else gets immediately turned off exercising, especially by yourself, when looking at a depressing mix of old gym clothes that haven't been worn in decades? Personally, it really helps me when I have something to look forward to wearing. It can be as simple as a colourful crop top or sweet-ass yoga leggings. These are the 'candy' or 'carrot' that help me get out of bed and haul my butt onto the yoga mat. For me, getting the right gear is just as important as having a plan (making sure I've got food).
What we wear is an outward expression to the world of who we are. One brand I've admired is a small New Zealand brand, Ipanema Girl (after seeing their super-cool Instagram). Ipanema Girl makes 'active-wear' fun, colourful and just a touch sexy. I love that Ipanema Girl fits my 'Don't hold back' vibes.
Ipanema Girl works with top brands that are very well known in Brazil as well as with small brands that make very small runs of unique items.
All the garments sold from Ipanema Girl are manufactured in Brazil from the raw materials to fabrics to final garments.
Ekaterina, the owner, said when I asked: "Brazil is a bit of a textile gem in a sense of having a very well-developed textile industry with a lot of vibrant and creative brands, but without much import focus - most of their products are being sold within Brazil." Nice one.
Brazilians hold themselves out proudly for their designs and fabrics. A lot of the detailing has to be done by hand (e.g. with laser cutting) which looks very cool (but also adds to the price of the product). I really like Ipanema Girl, because it's independent and run by a local hot Brazillian adopted Kiwi. It makes me happy that buying products from someone so passionate about exercise-wear.
Ekaterina is passionate about staying working with Brazillian companies (rather than say, Chinese manufacturers) because even though it costs more, she wants to support the Brazillian workers and bring the product to her adopted country, New Zealand, for us to shake out Kiwi booty in the gym. This quality is clear in the beautiful garments. After washing them, they still are bright and strong, with no fraying.
Quality gear will help keep you going, work out after work out.
3. Make it a game
Instead of feeling the dread, make it a fun game. This is the case for anyone, from people surviving in war to Navy Seals training to kids doing better in school. We as humans do better when we make something a game.
Set a goal. Put a calendar on the wall and add an x every day you make it to the gym or go for a run. Make it the goal to keep the pattern going or add to the chain. Every time you do, the game keeps going and you keep feeling your bum get tighter.
Also, make sure you enjoy exercise. Try some different things. Play the music you love when you work out. Dance. Do a different class. When you find something you love, exercise gets a LOT better in my experience.
I'm no exercise guru - but these tips really have helped me move from the couch.
Exercise can be hard - get started. Make a plan.
Get the right gear that makes you want to look hot when you rock the gym. For me, its Ipanema Girl so I can feel like a hot Brazillian woman.
Make it a game - mix it up and enjoy yourself. Set challenges and watch the days wizz by.
I hope this was a helpful guide to getting motivated for Summer. I'm excited by the fact I'm dong a mini-yoga challenge and can enjoy feeling funky while I do it. Bring on the lovely Summer weather now, Welly!
Information Source - http://www.bakadesuyo.com