When I talk to some individuals about exercise, one of the first things that they say is that they hate exercise or that they don’t like to exercise. Well, if it is something that you are telling yourself that you hate or that you don’t enjoy, you are definitely not going to want to do it.

If you want to change your life, you first have to change your mindset.

If you want to have and maintain a healthy life, you have to change your mindset.

If you want to enjoy exercise and want it to be a part of your new lifestyle, you have to change your mindset.

Changing your actions and behavior first starts by changing the way you think.

There are three tips that I have found that have helped numerous individuals change their mindset towards working out:

1) Be creative and make it fun:
There are so many ways to “exercise.” It does not have to involve getting on a treadmill and running for 60 mins. You could take a dance class, join a sports league, or go for a swim. It also could involve going outside and playing in the yard with your kids. You could also partner up with a friend. This way you could encourage and motive each other, plus the conversation can help the time to pass quickly. How about volunteer work that includes physical activity? This way you are not only helping others, but you are being good to your body. The key to get active and move. You want to find activities that will raise your heart rate and get your blood pumping. There are so many ways to do this. Keep trying, keep experimenting until you find one you enjoy!

2) Think about what is your end result:
Is your goal to have a healthy way to deal with stress? Do you want to lose weight? Has your doctor been encouraging you to make changes so that your diabetes or high blood pressure is more manageable? Do you want to move around with less aches and pains? Or could it simply be to feel more confident in your favorite outfit. Focusing on whatever goal you choose can help to change your thoughts towards increased physical activity. Just remember that you also want to enjoy the path towards reaching that goal.

3) Exercise as a reward:
Try to think of your workout, not as a punishment or just another item on your to-do list, but as a reward. It is a treat to yourself! Most of your time each day is likely focused on taking care of others, but you won’t be able to continue to give, if you don’t refuel your own tank. Whether you choose to participate in a formal work-out or a form of increased physical activity, remember it is your time to refocus, re-energize, give your body what it needs, and continue to be fierce.

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Be Fit. Be Fierce. Be Feminine.

As a fitness expert and nationally recognized physician, Dr. Nina Watson is a Board-certified Diagnostic Radiologist with expertise in Women’s Imaging.

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