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Recent research tells us there is a way to “get in a better mood”—exercise. According to an article in Psychology Today, adding 60 minutes of moderate activity or 15 minutes of intense activity can decrease our risk for depression by 25%. Unfortunately, depression can make it difficult to get motivated. Here are some ways to get going:

1. Use “smart feet.” There is a concept called “smart feet” which is to follow your feet to places that you know are good for you rather than think too much about it ahead of time. This emphasizes the importance of not waiting for mental motivation or thoughts to motivate you to leave the house and go to the gym.

  • Instead of waiting for a desire to exercise to strike you, follow your “smart feet” to get to places that you know are good for you, like the gym or a forest hike.

2.    Make exercise part of your regular routine.

  • Choose a regular time for you to exercise and carve out this time on your schedule. 
  • Prepare your workout clothes, shoes, and water bottle, ahead of time. Have these items easily laid out and accessible the day before so you don’t get distracted by what you are going to wear or other delays the next day. Keep these items in the same place so it becomes part of your routine. You could even have a workout bag that you can just take it and go, so you don’t have to think about it. 

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