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Exercising is great for our mental health, heart health and brain health. It can do wonders for our social life and is an act of self-love. If these are not enough to motivate you to exercise then the below 5 tips from Josie Nancarrow, our passionate in-house exercise physiologist, will definitely help get you moving regularly.

1. Gather Your Group

Exercising in a group or with a friend can be a great motivator and it improves your social health.

One of the first things people say to me as an exercise physiologist when we talk about their physical activity level is that “they don’t have the motivation” to do the physical activity. So, let’s talk about some ways to boost motivation and get you wanting to move for the right reasons.

2. Find a Friend to Exercise With

Having a friend who is motivated to move is a great start, finding a friend who’s already moving is even better!  When we exercise with others, be it in a group or one-on-one, it increases our feelings of comradery and bonding, in boosts our sense of community, improves our outlook, and gives us a healthy dose of competition. Exercising with someone also creates accountability, you can’t cancel because you don’t want to let them down.

3. Set a Regular Time

By setting a regular time to move and booking it into your calendar as an appointment (especially as a recurring appointment) it creates another level of accountability. It allows you to be prepared and plan for the physical activity. By setting a time you are making it a priority, you are being intentional with your time and letting yourself know that you are worth the effort.

4. Move Your Body

So, you’ve found a friend, you’ve set a time, now you move! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best exercise for you is one that you enjoy and can do regularly. Nobody is asking you to run a marathon on your first go, or do hill sprints, or workout so hard that you throw up. Find movement that feels good and if you’re up for it, find movement that feels pleasantly difficult. The idea is to want to come back and do it again.

Here are some ideas to motivate yourself to start exercising:

  • Find a beautiful park to do a group exercise class
  • Go for a bike ride along a cycleway with a lake nearby
  • Walk amongst the trees with your friend
  • Grab a frisbee or a ball and head to a nearby oval or empty field with a few friends
  • Join your local ‘Park Run’ (you could even volunteer!)
  • Join a group dance class or attend a social dance night
  • Find a martial arts club that you feel comfortable at (there are often classes for all types of capabilities)
  • Take your dog to the beach and talk to the other dog owners
  • Try aqua-aerobics classes
  • Join a gym that lets you bring a friend for free, and then bring a friend with you
  • Try a racquet sport like squash, tennis, or badminton (it’s hard to play those solo)
  • Join a team sport like indoor soccer, netball, volleyball

5. Repeat

The best way to get the most out of any of this is to commit to it and repeat it. When you find consistency in your physical activity you will enjoy what you’re doing, and you’ll notice it gets easier over time. When you have consistency, other people will notice you as part of their community, this enlarges your social circles, gives you a greater sense of being a part of your community and motivates you to keep coming back. Social health is as important as physical health, no one likes feeling isolated and by exercising with a friend or joining a group that exercises you are improving both your physical and social health.

Find a friend, set a time, move your body and repeat.

Make it work for you and make sure you enjoy it!