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How to convince yourself you like exercise?

(21 Posts)
LackingCommonSense Tue 18-Nov-14 21:10:29

Is it possible to talk yourself into it? Psychological training so to speak?

I've never been a fan and always battled with with my weight. I've recently lost 4stone on the Cambridge Diet and am the slimmest I've been in years - I'm scared I'll put it back on if I don't attempt exercising regularly but I hate going and don't enjoy it when I get there!

Have found something I hate the least (kettlebells) but it's far from enjoyable! sometimes I feel genuinely depressed about having to go!

Clairej81 Tue 18-Nov-14 23:01:49

I have found that once you get into a routine of exercising you feel more motivated to go to the gym or attend a class. Maybe it's confidence thing and the fact your level of fitness improves so the sessions become easier.

I try to count how many times I go the gym without breaking the routine i.e. twice a week for six weeks then if I miss a week I aim to go twice a week for seven weeks. As the weeks mount up it becomes more of an incentive not to miss a week. In the past I have set myself targets such as going the gym every week up to a holiday or a wedding.

What time of the day do you exercise?, maybe try exercising early on in the day when you are feeling fresh. A few years ago, I used to go to the gym on the weekend late afternoon and always would try and find an excuse for not going.

Well done you, keep up the good work!

JapaneseMargaret Wed 19-Nov-14 01:56:59

I think it's about getting over that first initial (often quite huge) hurdle, where you do sort of have to force yourself to just go and do it ...

And then after a few weeks you start to see the results - maybe you've lost a bit of weight, or your fitness improves and it's not such an awful experience. And you can see that if you keep doing it, it will only get better/easier.

I also agree that the time of day can often be key. The first time I tried to get into running, it was in the evening, but I gave up, as there were too many other (boring-but-necessary OR tempting) things to do that got in the way.

I then considered running first thing in the morning, but the thought of getting out of bed early to do it was really off-putting. However, I tried it as it was a revelation - it's my time with no interruptions and no-one clamouring for me. And I'm managing to stick with it, improve and (gradually!) find it easier.

Good luck. smile

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 19-Nov-14 02:01:09

Making it a habit is the only way really. Plus finding something you enjoy.

I run and love it but always struggle after time off. When I'm running 4 times a week it becomes completely routine and I love it.

Nandocushion Wed 19-Nov-14 03:32:13

Habit, routine. Same time of day if you can. I do it first thing and then it's done. Also, you don't necessarily have to get to a place where you enjoy actually doing the exercise. You just need to get to that place where you don't want to miss it because you know that you will feel so good afterwards/in general and/or feel crap if you don't go.

Just a word of caution, though - it's best to do exercise for health or mood management rather than just for weight control. I run, cycle or work out quite hard five to six days a week, 45 minutes or more at a time, and I still don't actually lose weight unless I change my diet. If you are already sticking to a stricter diet than I am then you may have more luck with weight loss/control. (I do tend to eat like a pig whatever I want, which is probably the issue.)

AggressiveBunting Wed 19-Nov-14 04:42:05

Yeah- it's all about routine and identifying times in your week when you can realistically make a commitment to do exercise, and then sticking to it. I like early mornings for gym classes as there's less chance of something else coming along, whereas daytime stuff always gets hijacked by random doctor's appointments, parties, other admin, etc. The morning crowd are friendlier as well IMO. For running, I tend to go with other people and make a plan a few days ahead but that can backfire if the other person keeps dropping out as then you give yourself license to not do it either grin. I think it also helps to have scaleable plans, so if, for example I really can't face the 25k run, I say "alright but do the 15k" rather than do nothing.

StripesofGold Wed 19-Nov-14 04:45:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StripesofGold Wed 19-Nov-14 04:45:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LackingCommonSense Wed 19-Nov-14 08:27:54

Thanks for the feedback all.

I currently go to kettlebells twice a week in the evening after DS is in bed. I'm already up between 6, half 6 when he wakes and it's a rush to get us all ready for work/nursery. I go to bed at around half 9 - don't think I could face getting up any earlier or I wouldn't see DH! These are the only classes I can make and don't hate!

Will force myself to go every week between now and Christmas as a first 'challenge' then. Wish me luck! I may pop back for some words of encouragement when my gym buddy ducks out wink

Will keep

eurochick Wed 19-Nov-14 08:32:27

I agree that it is about finding something you like and is convenient (in both time and location).

Stripes, I disprove that theory. I hated school PE and was always picked last for teams. However, I've been a regular gym goer for most of my adult life and enjoy running and swimming. I'm slim and fairly fit most if the time. I will admit that I dislike gym classes. Being shouted at by instructors takes me back to those awful PE lessons.

AggressiveBunting Wed 19-Nov-14 08:50:21

Ha ha- I love the shout factor at gym classes. I really miss British Military Fitness for that reason. I must have some issues i think grin

SonorousBip Wed 19-Nov-14 08:58:35

TBH, I'm not sure it is worth seeking out that elusive "Wow, I love it" factor. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do the least bad activity.

O took up running when my dc were small because it was the most efficient form of exercise - do anywhere, anytime. I just made myself go out and run. 10 years later, I have done quite a few 10ks and 5ks and have a reasonably decent 5k time (am old!). Occasionally I've thought "hmm, this isn't actually that bad" but Ive never really come back saying "ooooh feel those endorphins, I'm feeling truly alive". grin Other people I know feel differently, and if you think that is what you "should" be aiming for, I think you could be disappointed.

Find something half bearable, set some achievable goals and Just Do It.

Floundering Wed 19-Nov-14 08:59:44

Don't even try to convince yourself if it is not a natural thing for you.

I HATE regimented exercise, and also the attitude that you are a failure if you don't do it.

First congrats on the weight loss, that will give you more energy to do things. Doing the kettlebells is one form of exercise but if you have a busy family life you can build in loads of different things into the daily routine so that becomes habit too.

Always walk briskly or run up stairs, when you can do that without puffing do it 2 steps at a time. Take the kids swimming & do a bit of aquarobics with them, if they're small they're like a weight around you! When you hoover or dust put some lively music on and really lunge and stretch and repeat the moves in batches of 5 or 10.

Not a huge amount of calories burned but it all helps with energy levels and feeling good & building it in to your regular life.

Suzannewithaplan Wed 19-Nov-14 11:25:53

agree with Eurochick!
‎I hated PE at school, always chosen last for the team very un sporty, useless at all things athletic.
Since my late teens I've been a regular and enthusiastic exerciser.
Swimming, cycling, running, walking, weight lifting, yoga day in day out never miss a session, completely addicted love the buzz and the post work out high, the way that I can easily control my body composition. ‎

rb32 Wed 19-Nov-14 15:06:01

Lacking, play a (active) sport. Then it's a game, games are fun!

NightTimeCometh Wed 19-Nov-14 15:28:49

I agree its about habit and routine. Also since I've been in my 50s I've developed an 'if not now, when?' attitude which makes me stick at things so a habit is established.

Do things that you may not necessarily view as exercise - walk a dog, join a dance class, go for a walk in your lunch hour, do a spot of gardening - anything that gets you moving.

Also having a goal like a sponsored walk/run is good - do C25k - and can see you doing things you never thought possible - believe me, if I can do it anyone can.

ImogenQuy Wed 19-Nov-14 21:23:03

I'm pretty fit now, but I was always picked last for everything at school and spent my twenties avoiding exercise.

I agree with others it's about habit and routine. Also accepting that it may not be enjoyable. What helped me was getting into a routine (exercise DVDs every work day morning) and sticking with it, and accepting that it's a boring chore like cleaning my teeth or showering. I need to keep working for the next 25-30 years, and I have to maintain my health to be able to do that. Some health problems are unavoidable, but at least I'm reducing my risks a bit and keeping my weight down.

I also cycle to work two or three times a week, which is time I would otherwise spend squashed on the Tube so doesn't feel like a wasted opportunity to do something else.

LackingCommonSense Fri 21-Nov-14 08:34:46

Well I've made it twice the week hurrah! And I discovered boxercise last night! think I'm going to like that one I can vent my frustrations about having to do exercise while exercising! wink

I've looked into team sports but there's not much in my area or anyone to go with unfortunately sad I do think making it competitive would help though!

My gym buddy on Thursday next week though so will be testing my dedication.. confused

KissMyFatArse Fri 21-Nov-14 08:43:52

Can't say I enjoy any sports or gym activities and don't do any so can't help there! But just wanted to say well done on you loss with Cambridge! Hard diet to get into and hard to stick to (I thought) so you've done amazing!

Llareggub Fri 21-Nov-14 08:48:37

I fell out of the habit when I moved but I get so, so bored with classes. When I'm regularly exercising I do a combination of running and boot camp type stuff. I have the nike training app which I do when the weather is too bad for outside. I much prefer running through woods and fields so I run through country parks. I used to run around a racing ground which was great!

This week was stupidly wet so I did a YouTube exercise video in my living room. I also try and walk as much as I can.

LackingCommonSense Fri 21-Nov-14 10:03:25

Thanks kiss grin grin grin

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