From Couch Potato to The Treadmill : 5 Tips On How To Start


Many of us have busy schedules, whether you’re a professional trying to accomplish all your errands and tasks after 5 p.m. or on your weekends, or you’re a stay at home parent, running around taking care of everyone else and what they need.

Often, it’s easy to look at that couch as a respite from the duties of the day…an escape. But is it really? Especially if the voice in your head inspires guilt rather than relaxation?

How can you find the energy in an already busy schedule with very little free time to get moving and commit to exercising a few times a week? It all starts in our heads, when we put ourselves into the position mentally, the body will have no choice but to follow.

Here are a few tips:

1. Ask yourself, if you think exercise is truly important?

If you’re not convinced, then it is an uphill battle. Create a vision for convincing yourself that it is what you want to do. See the positive results, from short to long term, which come from exercising in your vision.

2. Figure out what you like to do.

Some of us want to go inside a gym, get on a treadmill and read a magazine, others of us want to experience the outdoors or have some chest days or other workouts. Get to know what it is that resonates with you and fit this into your vision, see yourself happy, calm and really spending that time with yourself…for yourself.

3. See yourself, if you decide to not exercise.

What will happen, if you continue to not exercise? How will you feel about yourself? How will your clothes fit? If you take a vacation, will you be wearing that swimsuit, and if you do, how will you feel it in if you don’t exercise? This is all meant to really give you an idea of what it’s like to have positive results in your mind’s eye versus the reality of what will happen if you keep avoiding movement.

4. Recognize your timing.

Are you more apt to stick with a routine when you roll out of bed or is it easier to go for your work out when you leave the office? (Or perhaps, you have a gym in your office building and lunch time works best for you?). Ask yourself what you would be doing in that time period if you were not exercising? Sitting on the couch? Watching TV? Eating because you’re bored? And look at how you actually feel in doing something different at that time–breaking the routine of not moving your body, make sure you don’t feel like you’re missing something at that time of day–otherwise you’ll feel deprived.

5. See yourself as a participant in life rather than allowing it to pass you by.

By increasing your physical abilities, what will it allow you to do? If you have more stamina, perhaps you’ll be spending more time on the dance floor, or going for a longer swim with your kids, or having the wherewithal to instead of being dragged through the amusement park, you’ll be taking them by the hands as you glide through the crowds without feeling worn out.

For more information on changing your mindset, please check out the article: Get Psyched For Fitness by psychologist James Prochaska.