Strive to Thrive

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Six Ideas to Make Exercise More Sustainable

“Fitness needs to be perceived as fun and games or we subconsciously avoid it.”

I agree with Alan Thicke who said, “Fitness needs to be perceived as fun and games or we subconsciously avoid it.” Although my argument is that what you eat is the most important part of dieting, it is obvious that exercise also plays an important role in just about every diet. My hope is that you can make exercise an enjoyable activity. If you don’t like exercising, you can begin to enjoy it. If you already like exercise, I hope to give you some ideas to make it something you love. To make your diet sustainable over time, it is crucial to find a form of exercise that you can also sustain for the long-term. In order for it to be something you can continually do, it needs to be enjoyable to you and preferably something that you are passionate about.

Many cringe at the thought of exercise because it often brings up thoughts of tedious, painful running or other disliked forms of exercise. However, exercise does not have to be tedious or painful! Instead, it can be seen as a refreshing, socially rejuvenating, and enriching experience. A first step toward this end is to find the type of exercise that you enjoy or are really passionate about.

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1. Finding Exercise You Enjoy

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To sustain exercise in the long-run (no pun intended), you’ve got to really enjoy it. Some types of exercise may burn more calories, but in the end, it really won’t matter if it is an exercise that you dislike. For example, I personally can’t stand to run and find it hard on my joints. I remember being forced to run a mile each week in 7th grade because that’s what the teacher thought would make us healthy. I hated that with a passion because I was slow and it was difficult and humiliating for me. Perhaps that is partly why I still have a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth about running. Thankfully, there are so many other options that can make exercising fun. In my book, Four Truths About Weight Loss That Nobody Tells You, I provide a list of some activities that you may want to do more of or try out if you haven’t done them before. I also list the number of calories each activity burns in a 30 minute period for someone weighing 155 pounds. To check out this list and to read about my other 5 ideas to make exercise more sustainable - and enjoyable - read my book, Four Truths About Weight Loss That Nobody Tells You, now available for purchase in Kindle or Hard Copy. - Or you can visit www.fourweightlosstruths.com to learn more and to download a Free copy of the Introduction and Chapter 1.

Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. 

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