You can do it! A free tool that will improve your life

If someone handed you a free tool that would give you more energy, better sleep, reduce your stress, and improve your mood, you would take it, wouldn’t you? Exercise is that free tool! You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete, and it doesn’t have to cost any money or take a lot of time. It can be as simple as taking a walk. Start today!

But I’m too out of shape/ tired/busy/overwhelmed.

Start small. Park further away from the store, get off the elevator a floor early and walk up the last flight of stairs. Take an extra five minute walk twice a week. Next week walk for six minutes.

I hate exercise and I’m not at all athletic!

Exercise is easier if you focus on things that you actually enjoy. Don’t like running on the treadmill? Don’t do it! Do you prefer to take a walk around your neighbourhood? Do that! If you pick a physical activity you don’t like, then you won’t feel motivated to actually do it.

How am I supposed to exercise when I have trouble even getting out of bed?

Doing physical activity will increase your energy levels and reduce fatigue (it sounds counterintuitive but it’s true). Any increase in physical activity is a step in the right direction. Try to do so at the time of day when your energy is highest.

But I have trouble staying motivated!

This is completely understandable! Exercise is hard work. Don’t like to exercise alone? Ask somebody to join you! Having even just one person participate with you or to talk to can help you stick to your routine. When you have finished exercising, reward yourself. Watch an extra episode of your favourite show, or go grab a tasty smoothie at the mall. Small pockets of joy can go a long way!

What if I have a disability, illness, injury, or other condition that limits my mobility?

Talk to your healthcare provider about how you can safely exercise. Be mindful of your condition and just do however much you can. Exercise for a short period of time, rest, and then do it again. Sometimes exercising in water can help reduce joint or muscle discomfort.

Don’t forget!

Start slow and easy! Every little bit helps. If you injure yourself or push yourself too hard, you won’t continue with your plan. Start with smaller, easier exercises and goals and gradually increase. Start with once or twice a week, and as time goes by increase the number of times and the amount of time you participate in the activities. And remember that the benefits do not come right away. It takes time, but it will be very much worth it in the end!

Remember: the better your physical shape, the more resilient and capable you are when it comes to coping with emotional challenges.

– Gabrielle Lesage

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As seen in the Spring 2020 newsletter.