Introducing Exercise

Lack of physical activity is becoming a major global concern. Living a sedentary lifestyle can have major implications on your health. Some of these include the development of diabetes, obesity, lipid disorders, osteoporosis to name a few, which can profoundly impact your quality of life.

Benefits of exercise are at least twofold. There are medical benefits such as preventing cardiac disease and stroke, reducing blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, controlling weight, and preventing bone loss. On the other hand, the mental health benefits include improved sleep, increased interest in sex, better endurance, stress relief, improvement in mood, increased energy and stamina, increased alertness, and decreased fatigue.

Exercise has positive effects on the brain such as improving learning, memory, and neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of neural networks in the brain to change and reorganize to form new connections. 

The most important thing about activity is that we enjoy how you move your body. We can only be consistent for so long if we don’t enjoy how exercise makes us feel. We may be given all the facts that prove how beneficial exercise is but the best way to motivate us to increase our activity is finding something that we enjoy doing. Exercise should be a celebration of what our bodies are able to do. Take some time to brainstorm fun activities that you would like to incorporate. Exercise doesn’t have to be done in a conventional gym, especially if that is unappealing to you. Some out of the ordinary ideas could be horseback riding, gardening, biking, walking with a friend, hiking, kayaking or any other activity that gets your body moving is a perfect place to start.

When we do find it difficult to start exercising, some things to look at include our motivators, what obstacles are getting in our way, strategies to combat obstacles, and our personal strengths that have helped us be successful in other areas. 


Motivators come in all shapes and sizes. All of us have different reasons why we decide to start and what keeps us going.

  • Family history of disease
  • Medical setback (ex: stroke)
  • Watching a close friend struggle with disease
  • Clothes fitting too tight
  • Preparing for an event (wedding, reunion, ect)
  • Desire to change body composition
  • Wanting to increase fitness
  • Desire to be stronger


One person’s motivator may be another obstacle. Sometimes something that was a motivator can become an obstacle later in life.

  • Not enough time (working overtime) 
  • Too much work to be done 
  • Children taking up your time
  •  Not having a clear motivator
  • Having a sedentary partner
  • Lack of experience with exercise
  •  Not being a member of a gym
  • Lack of funds for equipment for membership


Think about your unique qualities and how you can implement them in your exercise routine. 

  • Recall a time when you achieved goal 
  • Inquire about personal strengths (creativity, perseverance, flexibility, dedicated) 
  • Think about a time when you felt your best


Develop a plan to achieve your exercise goal around your life. 

  • Identify a clear motivator
  • Consider engaging a partner in exercise program
  • Creatively build in more creative time to exercise (ex: lunch walk, Stationary bike while listening to podcast/reading)
  • Schedule time to exercise on your calendar
  • Encourage your family to participate
  • Take your dog for a walk every day

When we think creatively the opportunity for exercise are endless!

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