5 Ways to Create a Healthy Relationship with Exercise

by Sue Mackenzie

As a personal trainer, I work with many people who want to make exercise a part of their lives.

Some people come to me because they have been told by their doctor that they need to exercise to prevent future health issues.  Others come because they’re just not feeling right. Maybe their energy levels are low or their weight needs to come down.

What’s common among them is they know it’s time to make some positive changes in their lives.

Many people are reluctant to start exercising. Usually, they lack confidence and motivation to begin.

it’s my job to help them find something they can like about exercise.  Once I’ve found that, it’s easier to keep a person motivated and eventually their views of exercise shift in a positive way.

As you think about making exercise a part of your life, here five tips that will make your job easier.

Create a Relationship with Exercise

People who succeed with their exercise programs find ways to create a “relationship” with exercise.

I emphasize this relationship with my clients. One of the first things I do with a new client, for example, is to find out what my client can like about exercise (however small).

One of the first things I do with a new client, for example, is to find out what my client can like about exercise (however small).

At first, it might be that it’s helping you address a medical issue. But as time goes on, there will be other things that you like about exercise.  Some clients like to see their bodies change, others notice they have more energy. One client said to me “I used to take Advil. Now, I just stretch.”

Finding the one or two things that a client can like about exercise is where that first positive connection to exercise shows up. It’s the beginning of a healthy relationship with exercise.

Exercise is not Your Enemy

I don’t believe that exercise should be viewed as the enemy, or something to avoid.  I have seen so many positive things happen to people as they embrace exercise and remove the barriers of resistance.

I am constantly working on ways to make exercise fun and challenging. And, you can do the same. No matter how much you dislike exercise, or feel like there isn’t enough time to fit it in, you can find ways to make it interesting and fun.

But you can only do that if you see exercise as a friend, not an enemy.

Mix it Up

Don’t be afraid to try something different. You might just need to do something new, change your route on your walk, take a class, try a new sport.

One way to keep coming back to exercise is to find different (and creative) ways to exercise.

Know How Much to Do

Like anything in life, exercise routines need balance and moderation.  Knowing how much is enough is important. Don’t over do it.  if you need help determining how, when and what exercises to do, maybe hire a professional to get you started. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, but don’t hesitate. You can generally hire a trainer to help you.

Make a Commitment

Put your time to exercise on your calendar like it’s a doctor’s appointment. It’s just as important and might save you a trip to the doctor in the future.

To create a beneficial relationship with exercise, you’ll want to commit that it will become an important part of your life. You don’t need to upend your life to get exercise into the mix, but you should make a commitment, stick to it, and watch for your results.

Put your time to exercise on your calendar like it’s a doctor’s appointment.

I’ve noticed that a lot of people would rather be doing almost anything else but exercise.

It’s rare that I meet someone in my studio me because they woke up one morning and thought “It’s a great day. I think I’ll hire a trainer and learn how to make exercise part of my life.”

I know it’s not easy to ramp up your exercise, but it will be worth it.

For me, fitness is something I care about and need in my life. It’s an ongoing relationship I have and value.  You can do this too if you take time to think about the ways maintaining a healthy lifestyle can change your life.

Get started with your new relationship with exercise. You will not regret it.