Show us one person who doesn’t know the importance of regular exercise and how it helps one keep fit and the body in perfect shape, but most of us cite lack of time as an excuse to wriggle out of a daily workout schedule. But the truth is that we lack the motivation to squeeze out just one hour out of our busy schedules because human brain is programmed in such a way that unless there is a reward associated with an activity, it will apply every method to avoid any effort. But where there is a will, there is definitely a way, at least where exercise is concerned. The barrier between you and an exercise routine is more mental than physical. Knee pain, body pain, lack of energy, lack of time are just lame excuses we put up to cover up lack of motivation, and it prevents us from losing weight, getting healthy and fit. However, there are different strategies that one can employ to trick the mind into exercising daily and actually enjoy the whole process. Regular exercise improves physical and mental health, and helps prevent many diseases. Remember if you workout today, you would feel better tomorrow and the day after. Once you get into the habit of regular workout and start seeing positive results not only in your physical but also mental health, you would automatically push yourself and enjoy the whole exercising routine. In this post, we have put together 18 tips to trick your brain into exercising daily, because as we have mentioned before, it’s more of a mental barrier that you have to overcome rather than physical when it comes to exercise.
Why you should Exercise Daily?
Sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity is the one of the primary reasons why people devleop metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Apart from reducing the risk of diseases, one should exercise regularly for these benefits:
1. Improves energy level.
2. Keeps anxiety away.
3. Boosts mood.
4. Leads to weight loss.
5. Boosts stamina
6. Keeps you active.
7. Better focus and concentration.
8. Helps clear thoughts.
18 Tips to Trick your Brain into Exercising Daily:
1. Don’t hate Exercise: Most of us make exercise a “chore” and categorize it as something that “needs to be done,” and not actually something we actually enjoy doing, and that’s where the problem starts. Human brain is conditioned in such a way that it always tries to minimize or totally avoid effort unless there is a reward at the other end. Don’t make exercise a “chore” that you somehow have to finish, make it a hobby that would fetch you long-term benefits – the body and shape that you desire and the clothes that you would fit into.
2. Practice Temptation Bundling: It’s a strategy to associate immediate pleasure with the behavior we should be doing. With temptation bundling, you can trick your brain as an activity that would get you an immediate reward. It’s a plan where you have to link an action you want to do with an action you need to do. For example, watch your favorite TV show while workout or listen to your favorite audiobook only if you exercise.
3. Black coffee in a cup will help: A lot of gym goers swear by black coffee’s ability to stimulate and energize their workouts. Coffee helps to reduce the rate of perceived exertion and makes even strenuous exercise routine less painful. Make it a practice to drink black coffee just before your workout session and see it trick your brain into easing things for you during workout.
4. Start with 5 minutes: Most people complain that they do not have 40 minutes in a day for exercise, but the best way to ease yourself into a workout routine is by starting with just 5 minutes of high intensity workout. Check out Rati Beauty app for such kind of routines.
5. Don’t take shower until you have worked out: Make it a habit to take a shower only after you have worked out. It is a popular belief that it takes 21 days for an activity to become a habit, so why not try it with workout?
6. Do yoga while watching your favorite show on the TV, not lying down on the couch: Want to watch your favorite show at 8:30 pm, then lay your yoga mat before it starts instead of stacking cushions on the couch. This is also a part of temptation bundling, where you allow yourself only to watch your favorite TV show while exercising.
7. Keep an Exercise Journal: An exercise journal is an excellent way to keep track of your fitness routine – how long you have exercised and how you felt after it. In the journal, mark different days for upper body workout, leg, glutes, full body, so that it’s for you to stick to this routine.
8. Find a like-minded friend and motivate each other for walks: Find a like-minded friend and motivate each other to workout. When you find a friend, working out would not be as difficult as it seems.
9. Keep a fitness band and make sure you login 10,000 steps everyday: A fitness band is a good investment to make and you can find inexpensive ones starting at 1500 INR. Make sure you clock in at least 10,000 steps each day.
10. Indulge in NEAT activities: NEAT is the energy we use for everything we do in our day-to-day life except for when we are sleeping or exercising. Using the stairs instead of the lift, squatting on the floor to lift something up, walking while talking on the phone, every activity we do while being on our feet, comes under NEAT. Household chores, mopping, dusting, sanitizing can all be made a part of NEAT activities and you would be burning calories here and there throughout the day, even without realizing.
11. Maintain a reward system: Award points to each days that you have worked out and collect all the points to reward yourself – buy a new outfit, new pair of shoes, and anything that would make you happy. Keep a target to workout at least 4 times a week, if you haven’t reached that target, do not claim the reward.
12. Use exercise to think out new ideas and to clear your mind: Studies have proven that insights happen during exercise and helps to declutter the brain. Use workout time to clear your mind, think of new ideas, and to devise new plans for yourself.
13. Creative Visualization: It’s programming our subconscious mind through imagination to attain a certain body image or to become slim. This visualization pushes the body to work towards achieving this image and with the correct diet and exercise, and in a few months, you would be able to see in the mirror exactly the body type that you had imagined and had always wanted. Read more about this technique and how to apply it here.
14. Use Adrenaline to Pump your Workout: The hormone epinephrine which gets released during exercise, charges you up, and gives you that rush that makes you feel great afterwards the workout routine. Plan your workout to get that rush and your brain will look forward to exercising to get that rush and stimulation.
15. Listen to your favorite music while you exercise: Keep your mood elevated by listening to good music. Prepare of list of upbeat songs because listening to music helps you power and eases through a long routine by amusing your brain. It also lowers cortisol levels and makes you less anxious.
16. Don’t push exercise towards the end of the day: When you push workout towards the end of the day, you most probably will avoid doing it because there are other chores that need to be completed. Make exercise a part of your morning routine, wake up early if you have to, and squeeze out 40 minutes in the morning itself.
17. Invest in good workout wear: Studies have revealed that most gym goers get into the mood by simply putting on their gym clothes! Yes, it does work, buy workout wear and gear and wear them, and the next moment, you would be doing jumping jacks!
18. Listen to your favorite podcast while exercising: Listening to your favorite podcast or comedy show is also a good way to making your whole exercise routine pleasurable.