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This Exercise Thing Is Hard Work

Some months ago I decided that my lifestyle was a bit too sedentary and that I really needed to be fitter for a variety of reasons. Naturally, being the overachiever I am, I instantly had visions of me having a body builder-esqe physique and the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound within days of getting off my chair and exercising. Boy, was I wrong. I found myself exercising away for a few days doing about an hour a day and enjoying it. Then about 3 or 4 days later, I suddenly discovered this whole array of excuses for not doing any exercise. There was washing to do, housework to do, friends to see, clients to see, articles to write and so on and on and on.

Next thing I know, a month had passed me by and my good intentions regarding exercise had left the building! So I made an effort again, exercised for a couple of days and then my excuses came back to visit, and I stopped. This cycle kept on for a little while and then I had an Aha moment. I realised that, surprise surprise, I was trying to do too much at once and my sub-conscious and body were seriously rebelling against it. So I decided it was time to be cunning and exercise without my body noticing.

I figured that if I did it that way, I could overcome this resistance and get to the level of fitness I wanted. I started with simple things like running up the stairs, briskly walking to the local shops instead of driving (it's 10 minutes walk anyway!), etc. After a week or so, this level of activity became my norm because I was doing it every day, so I implemented phase 2 of my cunning plan. I approached the exercise equipment. Rather than attempting the full hour long suicidal workout I had been doing before, I decided I'd just do 5 or 10 minutes.

I worked out what my favourite form of exercise was; it happened to be bouncing on my mini trampoline and decided I'd focus on that. I'd turn on my favourite radio station and do some exercise whilst having a think about my work. I wouldn't bounce for long, but I'd bounce for a bit and gradually I noticed I was spending longer and longer exercising.

The key here was I did this every single day. I just spent a little exercising in a way I enjoyed. A couple of weeks later, it felt right to introduce some different types of exercise, so I did. Then I started to watch half hour TV shows and exercise whilst I was watching them. All the time I was making the process of exercise enjoyable and fun for me.

Gradually I built this up to where I am now doing about 45 minutes of exercise a day (usually in two parts). Rather than being really sore, as I was before, I now just mildly ached, and every few days I push myself a little bit further, raising the bar, so to speak. I found that working like this; breaking the process down into small manageable steps was something my body could cope with. It helped me to overcome the initial inertia of inactivity. Instead of trying to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour instantly, I went from 0 to 5, then 5 to 10, then 10 to 15 and so on until I reached 60. And this is one of the big secrets of successfully exercising and sticking to it! Simply by gradually working your way into it you can enjoy exercising and find that instead of quitting after a few days, you can achieve your fitness goals much easier.

Jason E. Johns is a personal success coach dedicated to helping you create your dream life. Discover how you can become more confident, achieve your goals at his self help website,

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