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How to love exercise

Blog - 2021-11-17

If you are having difficulty starting and sticking to your rehabilitation and training plan, you are definitely not alone. Many of our clients struggle to break out of the routine of sedentary work and leisure despite their best beliefs.

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Regular exercise and overcoming obstacles

In previous articles, we learned why and to what extent regular exercise should be included in life. Training will provide you with increased energy, improved mood, sleep quality, improved health by reducing anxiety, stress and depression. Lowering the level of non-HDL cholesterol, adjusting the blood sugar level and reducing the percentage of fat in the body.

However, knowledge of these benefits is not everything. If it was, we are all in shape and fit. Making a habit out of regular exercise takes more than that – the right mindset and a smart approach.

Health conditions or work load are obstacles for many of our clients, but psychology becomes the main one. It can be a lack of self-confidence that does not allow us to expose ourselves to a new lifestyle, your motivation easily fades or you get discouraged quickly and give up. More or less all of us have been in these situations.

Whatever your age or fitness level - even if you've never exercised, there are small steps that can help you make regular exercise less demanding, less painful and exhausting, and make it something fun and, most importantly, sustainable in the long term.

Forget all or nothing

You don't have to spend hours in the gym, any movement is better than nothing and everything counts. In fact, patients who are the least trained and begin to exercise, even a little, will benefit the most from the changes that occur in their bodies. Adding just a small amount of movement to your regular weekly routines can make a big difference.

Be kind to yourself

Research shows that a good relationship with oneself, kindness to one's body and mind increases the probability of success in any human endeavor. So don't criticize yourself for your body, your condition or your willpower. Criticism and strict assessment and evaluation can demotivate you in the long term. Instead, use your previous failures and unhealthy decisions as an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to begin change.

Have realistic expectations

You certainly didn't lose your fitness overnight, and we can't change your body with the wave of a wand either. Expecting too much, too soon can lead to frustration. Instead of focusing on the result, focus on the regularity. While you may feel an improvement in mood and a surge of energy fairly quickly, physical changes occur over time. But that makes these changes more permanent and valuable.

Start exercising safely

If you suffer from any chronic disease, consult your doctor or take our preventive examination. Find out which sport and which form of exercise will be most suitable for you.

Always warm up at the beginning, this will prevent injury to the muscles and the fibrous apparatus. Begin with slow movements of the limbs and trunk. Basic movements of large muscle groups. Dynamic stretching proves to be more suitable in preventing sports injuries.

Drink plenty of water and get plenty of appropriate energy. It is not necessary to replenish fluids during, for example, an hour-long training session, but think about hydration before and after it.

Listen to your body and perceive pain as information, as a warning signal for your limitations, which is good to estimate wisely and plan your next steps. This will prevent injury or long-term overuse. Do not hesitate to consult your physiotherapist.

How to make exercise a habit you stick to?

 Start small with small ambitions

Is your goal to exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week? But how likely are you to persevere? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you will not reach it fast enough, feel disappointed and give up. Set yourself small small goals, when you achieve them, you can move on to more challenging goals with a good feeling and confidence.

Create triggers that remind you to exercise automatically.

Triggers are the hidden trick to making exercise a habit. They are simple associations of time of day place or circumstance that create an automatic response in you. They'll put your routine on autopilot so there's no room for decision-making or bargaining. The alarm goes off and you go for a walk. Your steps from work lead straight to the gym. Place your running shoes and clothes next to the bed so that it is not difficult to get dressed and run. Find out how to simplify your decision-making and thus create a simple and readable world into which exercise fits automatically, without thinking and greater mental effort.

Reward yourself

People who are used to exercising regularly do so partly because it gives them more energy and a good mood. He sleeps better and generally feels happier. But these are long-term benefits. In the beginning, learn to reward yourself for small successes immediately after exercise. Choose something that you look forward to and that is in line with your healthy approach to life. It can be simple things like a good coffee or a hot bath.

Choose activities that make you feel happy and confident.

Don't choose a sport just because you should, or because it's popular, or because everyone else does it. Choose exactly what fits into your life, taste and opinion. Don't be afraid to create your own world.

Tips for success:

  • Schedule physical activity into your calendar
  • Make exercise easier - schedule it at the time of day when you feel most energized. Some people prefer to do sports in the morning, some people prefer sports in the afternoon, everything is allowed.
  • Remove obstacles - prepare equipment and clothes in advance, keep a bag with sports equipment in the car, get exercise equipment for work, home and at the cottage.
  • Join forces - agree to exercise with someone, plan a joint activity, then it will be harder to interrupt.

How to make regular exercise more fun?

Move outside the gym.

It is not necessary to visit gyms or training gyms. Think more broadly and try to use movement outside. The most important element is to find a sports activity that you will enjoy. No one likes to stay in an activity that has to be coaxed into.

Try a different, less traditional movement, such as running or cycling or swimming.

Try – horse riding, dancing, roller skating, hill walking, paddle boarding, kayaking, gymnastics, martial arts, rock climbing, Zumba, frisbee or wrestling.

Make a game out of movement.

Plain and simple full body movements in video games can be fun and quite challenging. Try dancing, football or skiing - a little movement will make a big difference after a while of training and the boost of confidence you can leave the screen and go to real training.

Use applications that will track your movement and activity, reward you for consistent days in training or for achieving goals. (the Strava application already offers the connection of tens of thousands of runners and cyclists from different parts of the world and the possibility of competition or mutual motivation at a distance. Rowing can be recorded on a computer or phone using the Concept2 monitor and thus compare the results with other athletes at a distance)

Combine movement with something enjoyable

Move in the places you love. Instead of walking around the sights, you can explore cities or nature by bike or running. Converse with friends on the go, make long, easy calls. You can take photos or record a route map, listen to music, your favorite podcast or news (magazines such as Respekt or Reflex and most dailies, including a wide range of foreign periodicals, already offer audio versions of articles or podcasts).

Join forces

Movement can be much more fun and provide more motivation when there are more of you. Join friends or like-minded groups and don't be alone.

Try to get the whole family involved. If you have a family there are many ways to do sports together. Be ready. You can always keep a ball, frisbee or jump rope in your car. Fill the short downtimes with movement just like that, aimlessly - for example, playing a game of baboon. The feeling that you don't want to move quickly goes away and the effect of endorphins released during movement comes on very quickly. With your activity, you will also impress others. And there is nothing better for children than to set an example in the fact that movement is part of life.

Try a conscious approach

If, on the other hand, you feel overwhelmed by the amount of social contacts, communication, and conversations during the day, try to create a space from movement where no one will disturb you. Try headphones that block external sounds (pay attention to safety) and focus only on your experiences. Feel the breath, its rhythm and depth, feel the movements of the body and the feelings you have during them. Try to focus on the bounce of the leg when running, the grip on the bike or rowing, the position of the head or the movement of the ball. Running thoughts that will distract you from movement are common and frequent. Once you become aware of them, come back to focus and be fully present.

Simple ways to "smuggle" movement into life

If you're a person who just doesn't like to accept regular scheduled activity or doesn't like to participate in organized events - try to include movement in your regular daily activities. Find a way that it can become part of your lifestyle and not an item on the planning calendar. Look at what you do throughout the day and try to figure out a way to fit in a little movement here and there. Even small activities during the day count.

Tips for adding more exercise in small steps:

  • cleaning the house - vacuuming, mopping the floor, mowing the garden or washing the bathroom at a fast pace can be as demanding as time in the gym.
  • Try taking more stairs
  • Don't drive so much.
  • Get off one stop early
  • Try using shared bikes to move around the city

Move around at work - visit a colleague instead of an email or a phone call, use breaks at work to go for a short walk. Walk while on the phone. Use the bathroom on another floor .

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