Month: April 2016

3 tips for sticking with exercise when you want to quit

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Bonus tip: Exercise is usually more fun with a buddy, even when it’s your much-faster husband! (Photo courtesy of Hatch and Maas)

This morning I ran before church. I used to run early every Sunday morning, but it’s been a while, and today I had to do some convincing. It was 37 degrees, and I was cold!

I’ve been running (consistently, more or less) for about 5 1/2 years, and I’ve come up with plenty of excuses not to lace up and JUST DO IT.

Here are three tips that will help you get your franny out the door and not stop until the job’s done, even when you really don’t want to. (I use running as an example, but you can substitute your chosen activity – and I’m not talking beer-drinking marathons or Oreo-eating contests.)

  1. Don’t accept excuses from yourself. Running is 10 percent effort and 90 percent self-talk. (OK, I made that up – running is hard, and probably more than 10 percent of the equation – but you know what I mean.) I am the queen of excuses. Today I didn’t let my excuses win. (Note to self: Don’t be five minutes late to church next time you’re slaying the excuses.)
  2. Find a mantra. I have all sorts of little phrases I use when I need to keep up the effort. Nowadays they call them hashtags 🙂 but the concept has been around for ages. Some of mine, when I need convincing:
  • #IAmTough and #MindOverMatter (these two truly help me keep going).
  • #RememberYourWhy.
  • #BestYearEver.
  • #HeartToRun (since my heart surgery).
  • #WRA2016 (Bruce and I help coach the annual Women Run Arkansas clinic).
  • #ThxCoachBruce (he’s helping me get faster for a goal race in June).
  1. Believe in yourself. This may be the most important of all. Each year, when we recruit participants for the 10-week WRA run/walk clinic, the leaders meet ladies who need convincing that they are worth the effort – that taking care of themselves by getting fit is just as important as taking care of their families. If we are out of shape, unhealthy and/or self-loathing, how can we take the best care of someone else? Believe me when I say: YOU ARE WORTH IT.

I’m in danger of getting on a soapbox here, so I’ll leave you with this extra tip, which I plan to write about in greater depth toward the end of clinic, when it will be easier to quit:

REMEMBER YOUR WHY.

Remembering your “why” makes all things easier. (And if you don’t know your why, it’s time to get busy figuring it out.)

What is your “why”? Leave a comment to share it with the rest of us.

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