Great Health Guide - - FITNESS - Words: Kat Mil­lar De­sign: Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Your en­ergy is start­ing to fade: it’s 3pm. You had planned to hit the gym straight af­ter work, but you still have so many ur­gent things press­ing on you. It gets to 5pm and you have no idea how you’re go­ing to get ev­ery­thing done, let alone work­out. Be­sides, you’re tired and you want to re­lax af­ter work and spend time with your loved ones. There’s al­ways to­mor­row, right? If this sounds fa­mil­iar, read on. Let’s face it. No mat­ter how much we read about the ben­e­fits of ex­er­cise, many of us still strug­gle to find the mo­ti­va­tion needed to leave the im­por­tant tasks we’re work­ing on, get into our ac­tive wear and get mov­ing.


1. Fo­cus on how that work­out is go­ing to make you feel When we’re busy, we of­ten get so con­sumed with what we’re do­ing that we fail to no­tice how our body is feel­ing. If we’re us­ing up a lot of brain en­ergy and churn­ing out tasks, it’s easy to miss the sig­nals our body is giv­ing us. Sig­nals, like ten­sion around our shoul­ders or in our neck or head, a feel­ing of rest­less­ness or lethargy, or just a gen­eral feel­ing of frus­tra­tion from be­ing stuck at our desk. Of­ten when we are find­ing it hard to pull our­selves away from our work, think­ing about ben­e­fits like ‘Ex­er­cise will make me live longer’ or ‘Ex­er­cise will help me lose those 10 ki­los I’ve been want­ing to lose for years’ isn’t go­ing to cut it. We need to think about more im­me­di­ate ben­e­fits than that.

The best thing to fo­cus on is how you’re go­ing to feel both dur­ing your work­out as well as af­ter it. We’ve all ex­pe­ri­enced that rush of en­dor­phins and re­lease of ten­sion by mov­ing – even if it’s just a walk in the fresh air. It’s one of the best ways to make your­self feel bet­ter.

2. put your ‘why’ in your face If the main things you are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dur­ing your day are your com­puter screen, phone, cof­fee and dead­lines, this takes its toll on your body. When we’re busy, our body of­ten takes on ten­sion, from a sense of ur­gency to get more done. Let’s be hon­est – most of us very rarely com­plete our To-Do list and there are al­ways more items be­ing added to it. When does it end? The fact is, it doesn’t. You will prob­a­bly al­ways have things to do. So some­times it helps to make peace by leav­ing some tasks un­done un­til later.

Granted, there are some­times emer­gen­cies that pop up that can’t be helped, but many things can usu­ally wait. Even 30 min­utes of move­ment will cre­ate a bet­ter feel­ing that will help you get your tasks done af­ter­wards. Use the en­ergy from your work­out to pro­pel you to more pro­duc­tiv­ity.

This is where putting your ‘why’ in your face is so help­ful. Place state­ments, pic­tures and in­spi­ra­tion around you to re­mind your­self why keep­ing ac­tive is im­por­tant to you. Even a post-it note will suf­fice if that’s all you have time for at the mo­ment. If you are able to carve out 15 min­utes to find some in­spir­ing pho­tos and quotes, even bet­ter.

3. Make a date with your­self Now that you’re su­per clear on your ‘why’ and the

ben­e­fits to YOU of ex­er­cise, it’s time to make sure that you have a date planned. If you don’t can­cel ap­point­ments with your boss, your doc­tor, your clients or your friends, why do you can­cel ap­point­ments with the most im­por­tant per­son in your life – your­self? Honour­ing your prom­ises and com­mit­ments to your­self is one of the best ways to build your self-im­age.

If your health is im­por­tant to you and one of your high­est val­ues, does your di­ary re­flect this? Is some move­ment fea­tured in your cal­en­dar ev­ery day? If there is, how of­ten do you hon­our that ap­point­ment with your­self? If you are blow­ing it off reg­u­larly, you may find that some of your self-con­fi­dence is be­ing blown off with it.

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