Train your brain to exercise

What you think sets you up for how you do a whole of things in your life including exercise. We have a mental chatter going on nonstop inside our heads — what we say to ourselves in this time is of great consequence to how we lead our lives. ‘I can’t do it, exercise is not for me, I can never have enough time’… are the regular negative self talk that limits starting on a regular exercise routine. If you can just work on changing or checking your thought processes you will make huge shifts in getting things done in every aspect of your life, not just choosing a healthy lifestyle.

With positive reinforcement you are much more likely to start and stay committed to an exercise programme. We all know exercise is healthy, it’s good for us, but that has really not been enough to get us to work out, has it? Will possible self talk help… not in its entirety but it will certainly help. And know that even the biggest fitness enthusiasts have days that they struggle with exercise.

The tips below will help you train your brain:

  • Read magazines and websites dedicated to health and fitness. Sign up for an organised exercise class, or take up a sport that has always interested you.
  • Buy new fitness gear and shoes.
  • Create an exercise log or graph.
  • Take a photo each day to remember your journey and how far you have come.
  • Set goals.
  • Read motivational quotes.
  • Use fitness apps.
  • Buddy up with an exercise partner.
  • Plan fitness holidays — yoga retreats, hiking, mountain biking, swimming and kayaking, hill runs, etc.
  • Create a diet and nutrition plan that you enjoy. Take charge of cooking for yourself!
  • However busy, commit to 15 minutes at least of dedicated exercise.
  • Feel good about what you are doing.
  • Counter any procrastination by just going ahead and doing it.
  • Go vegetarian at least two to three days a week.
  • Take breaks and reward yourself.
  • Meditate

Just as your thoughts can help you keep your physical health, exercise protects and beneficially alters your brain. Physical activity keeps your brain healthy, improves memory and prevents brain shrinkage as you age.

This summer, stay active, be happy.