Edwin C. Bliss, a time management expert and author of Getting Things Done says that “if you are too busy to exercise, you are too busy”. His book gives a couple of examples of high powered professionals and business owners that manage to exercise despite their major responsibilities. This is something I completely agree with due to the enormously positive aspects of exercise.
If you have taken any serious steps towards setting a list of priorities for your life you would have noticed that health is near the top of your list. You realize that your health will allow you to not only live a longer life but to live a longer youth and prolong your vitality as long as you can. That should be enough reason to start now.
Benefits of exercise
When I exercise first thing in the morning I am able to start the day off right, sort of speak. My energy levels are increased and I am able to perform tasks with a greater intensity for the remainder of the day. By exercising I take a proactive approach towards disease prevention and am also enabling myself to sleep a lot better throughout the night.
I notice that when I have something heavy on my mind a nice run is a great way to let my mind sort things out. Cardio is excellent in this way for figuring out solutions to problems and relieving stress.
Exercise is a good habit. When you develop this good habit you not only develop muscles, endurance and a healthy mind but you also develop a skill. The skill to form other good habits. If you have trained yourself to get up early and exercise on a daily basis then you will find it easy for yourself to develop other habits such as staying organized, choosing good foods, reading more books, practicing more personal development, developing a hobby or doing unpleasant chores. You basically have a sense of accomplishment that you can refer to when you’re down or unsure if you can take on a new goal.
It is easy to get into the habit of under achievement and procrastination when it comes to exercise. If you have the mind frame that exercise is a chore that you have to get out of the way because somebody expects it from you than you will have a hard time getting over to the gym.
It could also be self-defeating to over-work yourself to the point of massive soreness. Lots of stretching and plenty of water will help you with this. Another self-defeating activity is being around people who speak badly of exercise, constantly voice their inability/laziness to exercise or people that tend to tell you that you will not succeed here.
Getting through cardio by visualizing
A technique that I use while I am doing my running is I stop concentrating on my present self and create an image of a different me. In my minds eye I picture me with the perfect body. I see every muscle moving in synchrony and as I flex my stomach I see the perfect abs harden. I visualize a body that is a perfect machine and would not tire no matter how long I run. A great physiological feature of your mind is that when you visualize your muscles growing you activate changes on the molecular level, which assists in the growth.
Your emotions have a tremendous part in deciding whether you will wake up early and go to the gym. If you constantly frown upon the hardship of getting out of your comfy bed in the morning and getting over to the gym where you will have to do all this hard work and get gross and sweaty then you will associate ‘pain’ with exercise. Your mind doesn’t want you to be in pain and eventually it will learn it’s lesson and not want to get you out of bed to do something you hate. Do not punish yourself with such negative thoughts.
A simple praise goes a long way. Your mind tends to do things more when it has good emotions associated with them. So when you get up first thing in the morning congratulate yourself for getting up. When you finish the workout that you had planned make sure you get really excited about it and give yourself a big pat on the back. Take a few moments during your day to notice how the consistent workout has put you in a better mood, given you more energy, a better self-esteem and more motivation. This will all add up in your mind and you’ll use these positive emotions to propel yourself to the gym come the next day.
You get what you give
As with anything else in life, you reap what you sow, meaning you get what you give. If you exercise half-way or don’t constantly push yourself to your personal limits than you won’t be making great progress. Great athletes such as Michael Jordan have a mindset that they compare themselves only to themselves and not to others around them. By setting your own personal objectives you adopt a skill that will set you ahead of your peers and your competition. By adopting this mindset you reach beyond your wildest dreams. Keep going after you’ve given your all, after you’ve given your best!