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Five Tips to Sabotage ANY Exercise Plan

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We all know that exercise is good for us and many of us are trying to boost our activity level. I feel very lucky to have found ways of being active that don’t just work for me—they help me thrive.

Please be nice to me when I say that I am a runner who loves to run. I know—if you aren’t there–it’s a hard concept to grasp. I know because it wasn’t always this way. Before I found my inner-fitness fan, I struggled with failed workout attempts and exercise plans that were destined to crash and burn from the beginning. Periodically, amidst the Jane Fonda VHS tapes and the aerobics classes, I would try running. It seemed convenient and low maintenance and like something I “should” do (falling for the “should” was my first mistake). I hated it.

Here are five things I did to make sure I hated running. Feel free to apply these tips to sabotage your fitness plan:

Mistake 1: I was hungry
My early urges to run usually coincided with an urge to lose weight. I’d start some ridiculous diet and then decide that I needed to up my results with exercise. This meant that I was huffing and puffing and I was hungry. Starting a workout with no fuel in your tank is a guaranteed way to feel exhausted, unfit, unhappy, and uninspired (by the way, the diets didn’t work either).

Mistake 2: I went too fast
I was going to start to exercise and I was going to RUN darn it. So I’d fly off my front porch and my lungs would be burning before I’d gone any appreciable distance at all. I had no plan for how far I was going to go or any thoughts about pacing myself to go the distance. I just ran. Not very far. And then I felt discouraged. The first time I ever thought that maybe, just maybe I might like this running stuff was when I tried jogging/running/and walking to slower music. I grabbed a cassette tape (remember those?) of music that made me happy but didn’t have a fast driving beat, and I decided to just keep moving until it was over. I ran slow, I walked when I got tired, and I was happy at the end of my workout. Mixing joy with exercise? What a concept!

Mistake 3: I chose the wrong environment

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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