The Secret to Effective Exercise is Doing What Makes You Feel Good

COVID-19 has given us the perfect opportunity to assess our lifestyle and work on our exercise regime. This is especially true because we haven’t been able to get out there and travel extensively. However, motivation may now be waning as the pandemic lingers.

This week, a study into exercise by Victoria University was published and the results are promising. When it comes to developing a successful exercise routine, doing something that makes you feel good makes all the difference. Basically, it all comes down to positive psychology; do what gives you the most pleasure in a sustainable way.

The results reveal that we’re more likely to stay motivated if we participate in any kind of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity if it makes us feel good. Additionally, external stimuli play a major role because we focus on the exterior good rather than how our body is feeling in the moment. Also, it’s important to note that according to the World Health Organisation, physical inactivity continues to rise. As much as 31% of adults around the world don’t do enough physical activity.

So, how can we exercise and do what makes us feel good?

Let’s Get Mental (and Physical)

Do you participate in a physical activity regularly? If so, you’ve already found an activity that you enjoy and makes you feel good. However, what happens when the slightest skerrick of boredom sets in? During COVID-19, walking has been the most popular form of exercise. So, your walking environment needs to make you feel good. If you start getting bored while walking around your neighbourhood, think about changing the location. Can you walk in an area with a lovely view or where you’re surrounded by gorgeous nature? Admiring the view is one way to get your mind off from how your body is feeling. If you think about it, you’re more focused on the vista than your tired legs. Listening to your favourite music also helps. Focusing on the (pleasurable) external means you can achieve a consistent exercise routine. Therefore, the ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra is outdated.

Exercise with Someone You Love

Try exercising with a good friend or loved one. When you do, you’ll be surprised by the goals you achieve. By making your exercise routine more sociable, you’ll add a bit more fun to it. Socialisation adds another fun element to your exercise routine and helps you focus on the external environment rather than what’s going on internally. Partner your exercise with a coffee break, brunch or picnic afterwards, while still observing CIVID-19 restrictions in your area and make it a regular occurrence. Alternatively, exercise on your own if you’re craving some ‘me’ time. Just remember that you exercise on your own if and when it makes you feel good.

Local Travel Plays a Big Role in Exercise

Travel plays an important part of exercise because we’re more active while we’re on the road. However, COVID-19 has grounded our travel plans indefinitely for now. So, how can travel still play a role in our exercise? Think about your local travel plans. Local travel can help you discover your local area and you can support local businesses at the same time. Can you explore new nature walks in your area? Can you support a local yoga studio and try a few classes online? Obviously, you need to observe the current COVID-19 restrictions in your area but local travel may still be possible. Do you have an unused bike in your garage? Dust off your bike, pack a backpack lunch and explore the leafy bike tracks near you. If you can travel regionally, plan a daytrip to an unexplored part of your state that incorporates a local activity like bushwalking or nature-watching. As an example, there’s a self-guided whale discovery trail here in my home-state of Victoria. To discover experiences near you, tap into local resources like your state’s tourism website or contact your local Council office.

So, do you exercise in this time of COVID-19? What makes you feel good? I’d love to hear about your exercise routine in the comments below.

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