How to Mentally Prepare Yourself to Start an Exercise Regimen

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Exercising just 15-20 minutes a day will drastically improve your health, help you shed pounds and give you self-confidence.




The hardest part of starting exercise regimen is...starting an exercise regimen! Once you decide you are going to change your lifestyle to get more active, there are several ways you can give yourself that initial boost from the couch to the gym, track or trail! The Mayo Clinic staff writers wrote an excellent piece on how to get started this article https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20048269. I've done a lot of 1st day's in my life and I can tell you from my own experience that you just have to just do it. Don't think about it. Do it as if you were going to get a drink of water. Walk into your bedroom and just start putting on your walking or running gear without a second thought until you get out the door. Then you can think about how far or how long you want to walk or run. Use the same method for going to the gym or even working out at home.


“The hardest part of starting exercise regimen is...starting an exercise regimen! Once you decide you are going to change your lifestyle to get more active, there are several ways you can give yourself that initial boost from the couch to the gym, track or trail!”

Once you get a couple of days under your belt then you should start thinking about an organized system that will work for you. Remember, quality exercise starts in your head. If you aren't there mentally, you won't last more than a day or two. So be prepared to start thinking long term as soon as put a few days of exercise under your belt. I read the Mayo Clinic article. The problem with their message is that they assume people are mentally stable enough to do all those things as if they didn't have any stress in their lives! Not everyone is living a relatively stress-free life. I know I don't. While the Mayo Clinic article is theoretically correct, it simply does take into account that people have problems that keep them from doing healthy things for themselves. People have self-destructive behaviors for a reason. People have shame. They are ashamed of their body. They convince themselves that they don't deserve to look good or feel good about themselves.



It all starts with self-talk

I don't want to get all "The Secret" on you, but what you tell yourself can make the difference between success and failure. If you can't visualize yourself running or walking you will never do it. You must associate a feeling of well-being with that vision of walking or pounding the pavement. Who wants to visualize themselves feeling like crap, out of breath, in intense pain while exercising? That negative vision alone is enough to keep you on the couch permanently. Don't get me wrong, you will feel miserable and maybe some pain the first few times you get out there, but it will lessen with every session! You will have good days, and days when you don't feel or perform well. Just know that you are slowly becoming a new you. A you that looks better and feels better. Tell yourself (while you're running or walking) how glad you are that you finally decided to do this, and how much you can't wait to achieve your goal weight of xx lbs. I know this sounds corny, but talk to your doctor about a diet and exercise regimen. They can tell you the right way to go about starting your routine. You may health risks that you should consider when exercising. Only your primary care physician can tell you what things you should NOT do, for example if you have a bad heart, it's probably not a good idea to push yourself too hard at first.

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