It seems like everyone wants us to do more of it.
It’s true that the health benefits of regular exercise are hard to ignore. Exercising helps us keep our weight under control, helps stave off disease and chronic conditions, and gives us a great energy boost when we need it.
To be honest, I hated exercising when I was younger. I preferred sedentary activities like watching TV or getting lost in a good book, and dreaded middle school gym class like a cat hates water. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I started exercising regularly and now can’t imagine my life without it.
When you’re trying to conceive, the key is to find the right balance. If you don’t enjoy exercising, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t need to work out every day for hours on end. In fact, that might actually do more damage than good to your fertility. Too much exercise can disrupt your hormonal balance, which could disrupt ovulation and affect your entire menstrual cycle.
Experts recommend that most women exercise 150 minutes a week – that’s 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 5 days a week. If you’re over- or underweight, talk to your doctor about exercise recommendations.
When you think about it that way, that’s not so much, right?
So why is it hard to get motivated sometimes?
One reason is that exercise can be intimidating. We think we need to run a marathon or climb Mt. Everest or we’re not really exercising.
In reality, we don’t need to work as hard as we think. Here are some examples of moderate intensity exercise:
- Brisk walking
- Bicycling on flat terrain
- Water aerobics
- Ballroom dancing
- Pushing a lawn mower (yes, mowing your lawn counts!)
Some of these things are really fun. A ballroom dancing class with your partner once a week can count as some of your exercise for the week, plus it’s a great date-night activity! Some of them aren’t so fun, like mowing your lawn, but hey, if you have to do it, it’s great that you’re getting exercise credit for it, right?
A second reason we have trouble getting motivated is that we have ideas about what exercise is and think we have to conform to that idea. For example, you sign up for a gym membership with the intention to get more exercise, but if you hate lifting weights you’re never going to go to the gym!
We’re so lucky that these days, there’ve never been more options for getting in shape. Exercise doesn’t have to mean running for four hours on a treadmill and being miserable. There are lots of creative options for getting fit these days, so it should be easy to find something that you enjoy.
Here are a few creative fitness ideas:
- Pole dancing
- Fencing (my husband does this one!)
- Martial arts
Tips for Finding Motivation to Exercise
- Make it fun. Try out different things until you find one you really enjoy. Once I discovered yoga when I was 28, I knew I’d found something I needed to have in my life.
- Do it with other people. I started running in my late 20s because of a guy I was dating! He was a runner and I wanted us to have an activity to do together. Well, we broke up after just a few months, but I discovered I really love running, and I went on to do two marathons. Join a team sports league, or have a standing tennis date with a friend. Even if you’re more of an introvert, it’s easier to keep an exercise date with other people than yourself.
- Commit in advance. Pre-pay those dance classes to make sure you attend all them. Sometimes the bottom line is all the motivation you need.
- Lower your expectations, especially if you’re trying something new. The goal is to have fun so that you’ll keep doing it, not to be the best at it at the very beginning.
How do you get motivated to exercise? Sound off below in the comments!
[Originally posted at B Fit, B Fertile on 4/6/16]