Make exercise fun
No one sticks to exercise they don’t enjoy but it can take time to find the thing that floats your boat. ‘Try a few activities and don’t give up until you find what really works for you,’ says Diabetic Living exercise physiologist Christine Armarego. To keep it fun, try a combination of fitness activities, such as cycling, swimming, walking, rowing and dancing.
Ready, set, go!
The hardest part of exercising is getting out of bed and out the door. Lay your clothes, water bottle and keys out the night before so you’re ready to go first thing. Another trick is to tell yourself you only have to walk for 10 minutes – chances are, once you’re out you’ll keep going.
Enlist a friend to exercise with you – it’s great for motivation and keeping each other accountable, plus a dose of healthy competition will make you both work harder.
Find your fitness mantra
‘Having an emotional reason to exercise is the strongest motivator,’ says Armarego. ‘Instead of saying, “I want to lose 5kg”, say, “I want to play with my kids/grandkids and not feel exhausted”.’
Diarise your exercise
Every Sunday, check your diary and slot in exercise for the week. This is a trick employed by entrepreneur Lorraine Murphy, founder of The Remarkables Group and author of Remarkability (Hachette Australia). ‘Exercise sessions are an appointment I make with myself that I cannot break,’ she says.
Have a back-up plan
On rainy days you don’t need to miss a session. Grab an exercise DVD or check out Glucosezone – a YouTube fitness channel created specifically for people with diabetes.
Whether it’s running shoes or a Fitbit, investing in exercise gear can be a great motivator. Fill your gym bag with beautiful products so your post-workout shower is an indulgent treat.
‘Saying “I want to be healthier” isn’t a goal,’ says Armarego. ‘Make specific behaviour-based goals, such as walking three times a week for 30 minutes or doing a dance class twice a week.’
Make me-time motivation
Rather than looking at exercise as a chore, reframe your thinking and consider it as time spent caring for yourself. By getting up even 15 minutes earlier and going for a morning walk, you’ll get your endorphins going as well as clearing your head before the day begins.
By Nicola Conville