Even though we know the benefits of regular exercise on our physical and mental health, many of us still find it challenging to maintain an exercise regimen. I know it was my experience!

Of course, you have to take caution with medical needs and that’s why it’s important to consult with your doctor first. Any exercise program or trainer will tell you that upfront.

Getting up and exercising is much easier when you start seeing the results you’re after, whether they be a trimmer waistline, better sleep, a happier mood, more energy, or stress relief, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Sometimes changes are so subtle that they’re hard to identify. That’s why taking before pictures and progress pictures can be helpful, or keeping a journal.

Accept that there might be days you just don’t feel like it. Sometimes though, you just have to do it anyway. I find that some days I have to modify certain moves or my level of exertion, but even just moving is better than nothing.

It’s important to choose a type of exercise you enjoy – or at least don’t despise! I love working out with light weights, walking briskly outdoors, and doing calisthenics to YouTube videos. A friend of mine can’t stand that so she goes to yoga classes. I have an elderly friend who does very light chair yoga. You get to choose!

Another helpful idea is to have an exercise partner or even an online community. It helps with accountability and motivation.

In my opinion, it’s important that you have a reason for exercising and write it down. This is referred to as Your “Why”. Most people want to feel healthy and fit. Some people feel motivated when they consider how their own health can benefit loved ones. Others enjoy competition. Most people I know just want to feel good!

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