Do you start an aerobic exercise program with every intention of maintaining it daily, but then eventually use any “good” excuse not to do it? Not unusual, failure to stick with the program is common.
Like it or not, one of the best habits for good health is daily aerobic exercise. It’s no secret the benefits of regular physical activity lowers your risk for a variety of serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, stroke and certain cancers. In addition, a daily program of brisk moving can relieve stress, lift your mood, conquer insomnia and boost energy.
Given aerobic exercise’s tremendous fitness benefits you would think a mere 20 minutes every day is easy to maintain. Yet, so many fail to participate in any type of routine exercise. This health blurb reveals how to maintain a daily program. And the method is really amazingly simple as long as you remember to do it.
The bottom line is that aerobic exercise is not pleasant. Moving fast hurts, especially if you are out of shape. The brain is designed to avoid pain. Self preservation. Initially, motivation overcomes your discomfort and you’re able to keep it up for a little while. But when motivation wanes you can fall back into avoidance mode. Yep, excuse after excuse stops the pain of it all.
A secret of how you can maintain a daily dose of unpleasantness has to do with the ending. Research reveals your brain may sabotage the repeat of a behavior if it’s remembered as a bad experience. Generally, the most powerful memory is the last one. So what happens at the end of your program counts most toward a chance for repeat.
The key to maintaining your daily routine is to create a happy ending. It’s creation can be done simply by physically winding down and focusing your mind on how great you feel in that moment. Or you could breath deep, relax and take time to notice your surroundings. Or think happy thoughts and appreciate how great it is to be alive. Really doesn’t matter what the memory is so long as its good.
Makes sense that you’ll automatically attempt to avoid anything that you remember as awful. Instead, you want the thought of aerobic workout to conjure up positive memories. Ending your aerobic exercise program with refreshing thoughts and feelings primes your brain to a “good time” memory.
(This “happy ending” method also works for other activities you find excuses for not doing again.)