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Feeling listless? Re-energise through exercise! Doing more exercise is a popular New Year’s resolution, but unfortunately, one that many people tend to give up on even before the end of January. Determined to stick to your new exercise regime? Consider why you want to exercise.
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This will often be an extrinsic motivation: losing weight or getting a six-pack by the summer. Sadly, you tend to give up more quickly or, instead, go way over the top, with these kinds of motivations. Neither of which will help you keep up your new habit for long.
An intrinsic motivation is much more effective. If you exercise because it’s fun, or because it gives you more energy, or because it makes you feel better, it’s a lot easier not to quit after just a couple of weeks. What’s more, this is also a great way to help you combat everyday stress. Because exercise has a positive effect on your mental wellbeing. It triggers your body to produce endorphins and serotonin, making you feel happier. On top of this, exercise reduces cortisol levels so you feel less stressed. And, people who exercise have a better memory and are more creative because the brain creates new connections during physical activity.
But how do you introduce exercise into your daily routine? Try different activities to see what suits you best. Maybe cycling makes you feel good or maybe you really take to running? Some people enjoy doing one sport, while others get more out of a varied exercise programme: a strenuous walk one day, cycling to work the next, and a workout in the gym yet another day. Set yourself an achievable goal, and, if need be, split up a bigger goal into smaller challenges. Whenever you complete one of these challenges, you will feel proud of what you have achieved and this, too, will make you feel better. But, above all, remember that you have to keep up your new exercise regime for at least 21 days, the minimum amount of time needed to actually change your behaviour!
What gives you energy?