Tandem Physical Therapy

5 Tips To Change Your Attitude About Fitness

We often work with patients or clients who consider themselves to be “active” but don’t have a “routine” approach to exercise – meaning they don’t plan exercise into their day or week. Instead, they assume their daily activities “count as exercise” because they feel tired or worn out just by doing what needs to be done each day.

This describes my mom to a tee! She is semi-retired and we often have very unproductive conversations about how I think she needs to exercise more. Her response is usually a list of things she did that day (feed the birds, call my grandmother, call my aunt, go to a business lunch, take a nap, weed the garden, clean the litter box, make dinner, etc.) followed by how exhausted she is!

I can see where to some, “exercise” may seem like a daunting task that looms over your head the way a sink full of dirty dishes does to mine. Here are 6 Tips to help change the way you think about exercise and get you moving!

1. Focus on “Movement” vs Exercise. Instead of thinking you have to “exercise” (sounds tiresome, sweaty, boring, etc.) – think of it as “movement” (energizing, fluid, relaxing, etc.).

2. Set SMALL goals. Any time you are faced with an obstacle, project, or challenge that seems too big to tackle, the trick is to make it smaller. Sure, there may be 10 different exercises you “need” to do but give yourself permission to do just a few. SOMETHING is better than NOTHING!

3. It also helps to remember how you feel after stretching, exercising, or moving your body in healthy ways. Most people feel energized, refreshed, and proud of themselves for prioritizing their health and getting it done!

4. You will know you’re making some really awesome progress when fitness is more of a “lifestyle” vs a “habit”. When health and fitness is a lifestyle, you make different decisions based on how you want to live instead of perceiving exercise as a “chore”.

5. The last tip I have for you is to build in accountability. If you struggle with motivation or discipline, this is a MUST! There WILL be days or weeks where you just “don’t feel like it”…this is where we can help! When you sign up for a class or book a wellness visit, you are building in accountability. It helps to have something “on the books” where you know people are counting on you to show up, especially on days or weeks where you just “don’t feel like it”. It happens…and that’s OKAY!

BONUS! A trick that helps me is to compartmentalize what is “therapeutic” for me (intentioned to help me with a specific area) vs what I have “fun” doing (like running, cycling, or swimming). Often, what is therapeutic (a stretch or exercise that helps me with my crappy hamstring flexibility and tight shoulder) gets pushed aside in favor of what is more enjoyable.

Put some of these tips into play and let us know how it’s going! Call us at 504-407-3477 to chat – let’s come up with the best plan for YOU to get started!

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