Struggling to find the motivation to exercise? Yeah, I get it and that’s why I’m not here to talk about beach bodies, interval training, or Instagram-worthy yoga poses. As a mental health coach, my goal is to help you discover the positive impact that exercise can have on your mental health.
Studies show that exercise has the power to reduce anxiety and depression, while boosting self-esteem. It has also been found to improve sleep and the immune system. Regular movement can actually change our brain’s biology, improving cognitive function, memory, and mood.
Even knowing all of these benefits, I oftentimes struggle to find the motivation to make it to my favorite exercise class. So, I’ve come up with ways to take small steps for my health, ensuring that movement is a part of my life. I work with my clients each day to help them meet their goals and have learned quite a few tricks along the way that I hope will help you too.
Tips to help you move your body and improve your mood
- Reframe the “all or nothing” mentality. We can often find ourselves in this type of thinking trap when it comes to exercise. I’ve seen people start out by setting incredibly ambitious goals, only to quickly get burned out and quit when they experience a setback. Start by breaking your goals down into small, manageable steps and slowly build positive habits over time. We have a Goals Tool to help you get started.
- Schedule it in. I have many members who put exercise on their calendars just like they would a doctor’s appointment or their child’s sports practice. This is a wonderful way to make yourself a priority as you move through your day.
- Try “mindful movement” as opposed to intense exercise. I’ve worked with people who take a relaxing walk each day to practice mindfulness and actually look forward to the calming ritual. You may choose to listen to a guided meditation or just prioritize being present in nature.
- Link your new movement to something you already do each day. For example, try riding your bike to the grocery store or stretch out your body while watching your new favorite Netflix show.
- Just have some fun. Exercise doesn’t have to be rigid or boring. Get lost in an activity that makes you feel light and happy, like dancing around the house (try out our playlist!) or hula hooping outside with your kids.
- Connect with the community. Does your local area offer community-based exercise classes? Maybe your friends want to start taking regular walks to reconnect? Think about ways that you can make movement a social outlet to add both fun and accountability.
Need a little help along the way? That’s why we’re here. Try using the Health Habit Tracker where you can see how your habits are improving both your physical and mental health. You can also reach out to a Sanvello coach to create a plan tailored to you and your specific needs. We’ll work with you to tackle the challenges and barriers that may have historically held you back from getting where you want to be.
You deserve to feel the best you possibly can, but be gentle on yourself as you start to build healthy habits. You don’t have to do it perfectly or turn into a fitness guru overnight. Start small and notice how you feel over time, trying not to get discouraged if you experience setbacks. Exercise can make a huge difference in how you feel and it can actually be quite fun.
By Carrie Gregory, NBC-HWC, Coach at Sanvello
Carrie Gregory believes in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She is passionate about inspiring others to unlock their own potential and live happier, healthier lives. As a Sanvello Coach, she works with clients to discover and leverage strengths, values, and past successes to help them with today’s challenges.
When she’s not seeing clients, Carrie is a military wife, a mother to one fabulous kiddo, and enjoys living a life filled with creativity and adventure.