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How do I remotivate myself to exercise?

By September 22, 2008 - 1:28pm
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For legitimate (medical) reasons, I had to stop working out 3 weeks ago. Normally I work out at least 4 days per week, usually 5.

It is said it takes 14 days to create a habit and maybe it's that long to break one?

I got back on the wagon last Thursday, took it slowly and carefully, and felt ok. I haven't exercised since and it's Monday!!

I feel a bit stodgy, I know I'll feel better if I start again, but somehow I have totally lost my motivation and I hate it! I need to start again - pronto - before I lose my habit altogether. Exercise has made such a difference to me, both physically and mentally!

Why is this happening? I am used to long hours, parenting full-time and working very hard in general and suddenly now I just want to stop exercising.

Any tips to getting back on the bandwagon?

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It takes 21 days to make a habit. If you can get past that, you're good to go.

When you have a medical reason for interrupting your habit, all you can do is allow yourself the time to recover. Otherwise, you set yourself up for injury and disappointment.
Don't think of it as breaking your habit.

You can get back on the bandwagon when you're ready.

September 24, 2008 - 5:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

Remotivating yourself to exercise is never easy. I know first hand what your going through. Two years ago last week I injured my ankle very badly. It took a year before I could walk normally and it was the first time in my life I had to stop exercising for a considerable amount of time. Last March I finally joined a gym even though I could not yet run, or jog for that matter.

Some days I go to the gym and leave with my ankle in pain for the rest of the week, even though I can still only run for five consecutive minutes. But I remind myself of how it made me feel and how I once really enjoyed working out.

My best suggestion is to make the gym a priority, not an option. This week make it a priority for one day, next week make it a priority for two.

Then, set a goal. My goal is to run for 10 minutes by December without my ankle getting sore.

Finally, keep reminding yourself how much you enjoyed working out in the past. It's hard to get back into the groove, but if you want it, it will happen.

Good luck! I'm going to need it too.

September 23, 2008 - 9:22am

Marie-Claire, I hear you!! It seems like once we stop, starting up again is the hardest part of the workout.

You might try this, in an effort to "trick" your body's cellular memory back into its momentum: Tell yourself that for a week, all you have to do is get ready and go (to the gym or to wherever you exercise). You don't actually have to do it, but you have to get dressed for it and you have to drive there.

If all you do is park and then go back home, you will have fulfilled your responsibility for the day. But I guarantee you, there will be a day when it's actually easy to go in. And then the next day, same thing. All you have to do is go there. You can choose, once there, to go home or to go in. Either way, there are no negative feelings involved. But like as not, soon you'll be right back in your old momentum.

If, after a week you haven't wanted to go in, up your ante a little: You have to go, and you have to go in and stretch, but that's all. It's just cellular memory, you know? One thing leads to another. A body in motion stays in motion, a body at rest stays at rest. It's so (annoyingly) true!

September 23, 2008 - 8:52am
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