Make fitness a routine
Using your mind to prepare yourself for any type of movement session can truly enhance its benefits. Research has shown that even simply bringing up positive memories while exercising can help generate positive emotions. When our self-talk (the inner dialogue, or words we use to speak to ourselves) is harnessed with visualisations, we really do achieve the best impact from our movement and activity regimes.
If there are things getting in the way, using ‘priming statements’ will help you achieve the best state of mind to exercise, ensuring that you actually do, do it! For instance, if rain is likely to stop you going out for that hike, your priming statement could be: “If it’s raining, I will roll out the yoga mat and do my stretches for 20 minutes” or “I’ll drive to the swimming pool and do 20 lengths instead”. Prepare these statements in advance, write them down and keep them to hand.
Do your best, however, not to exhaust yourself with too much choice before you exercise. That thing we call, ‘decision fatigue’ really does exist, you know! By having a set time blocked as a routine, the mental fretting of when to do what, disappears. A healthy dose of repetitive behaviour can reduce anxiety. When taken in moderate doses, a dollop of exercise, or movement activity, reduces the cortisol (stress) and nor-adrenaline (worry) hormone levels. The continued release of these hormones places you at risk of illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, so stay active as a routine to give your body a cracking chance to burn them off!