Conquering those '' I can't exercise '' reasons. REFRAME your thoughts and devise a solution to overcome obstacles.

We've all been there. You set a goal to exercise regularly, but when the moment comes to get moving, your mind unleashes a torrent of excuses :

.-  I am tired.

.-  It's cold outside.

.-  I don't want to spend money on a class.

These mental blocks may explain why it's so hard to keep a New Year's resolution for longer than four months. So how do you cut through them?

The first step, experts say, is to stop thinking of them as ''excuses.''

Just using that word can suggest you failed and and should feel bad about your willpower. Research has shown that self-criticism and shame can actually stop you from meeting your goals, said Katy Milkman, a behavioral scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of '' HOW TO CHANGE.''

Instead, reframe the reasons you aren't exercising as genuine obstacles and devise a plan to overcome them, Dr. Milkman said.

'' Most of us don't just need a goal,'' she said, but specific steps and strategies to follow. 

I asked experts in exercise science and psychology to share their best advice for conquering common reasons people struggle to build an exercise habit. Here are their 2 time-tested solutions :

I'M IN PAIN : It might seem counterintuitive, but for those who struggle with forms of chronic muscle or joint discomfort - like low back pain, neck pain or pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis -doing physical activity will likely help to make it better, Dr. Phillips said.

'' Chronic pain is awful, but for many people, being inactive is adding to that pain,'' he said.

While exercise may not alleviate all pain, it can help people complete daily activities with greater ease - and expand what they're able to do comfortably from, say, walking to the mailbox to going for a stroll on the beach or playing catch with a child. 

I'M EXHAUSTED ALL THE TIME : When even the word ''exercise'' makes you feel tired, experts recommend meeting your body where it is - in a few different ways :

'' I think the first practical way to approach this is to ask yourself, are you working out at the best time of day, or best time of the week, for your energy?'' Ms. Bard said. 

If you know that you have the most energy first thing in the morning, and generally feel wiped out in late afternoon, try working out early in the day.

If getting started feels like a hurdle, Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University recommends beginning with a mini workout designed to boost your state of mind.

Exercising for the length ''one song is great, because a song will change your mood,'' she said. '' Do something that reminds you that it feels good to move.''

Remember that exercise doesn't have to be intense for it to ''count,'' experts say. Stretching, yoga, Pilates, walking or jogging at a conversational pace are all great options. And finally, do what you can to ensure that you are getting enough sleep.

I JUST DON'T LIKE IT : If you have yet to find a form of movement that you enjoy, keep looking.

'' Exercise '' doesn't have to mean going to the gym - it can be as simple as dancing alone in your living room, playing pickleball or chasing after your kids or grandkids, Dr. McGonigal said.

Basically moving in any way that brings you joy.

Plus, research has found that when we prioritize fun in movement, we're more likely to stick with it over time, Dr. Milkman said.

In the meantime, if you need an incentive to move, try a trick. Dr. Milkman came up with '' temptation bundling, '' in which you save a riveting audiobook, podcast or TV show to enjoy while exercising 

Her research suggests doing so may keep you coming for more.

I'M AFRAID OF HURTING MYSELF : exercise carries some risk, but remind yourself that the benefits of physical activity outweigh them, Dr. Phillips said. 

'' If you remain sedentary, your risk of deleterious health effects is 100%.

This Essay Publishing continues. The World Students Society thanks Danielle Friedman.


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