OC Sports & Rehab

Motivation to exercise is frequently a major issue for people considering beginning physical therapy or remaining active after treatment is completed.

Quotes like “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” can inspire us. But, as the saying goes, “well done is better than well said.”

So, when it comes to physical activity, how can we turn words into actions?

Step 1: Establish personal objectives.

Before beginning any exercise program, you should determine your short- and long-term objectives. These can be function-specific, such as the ability to go up and down a flight of stairs or walk around a park for an extended period of time.

If you are enrolled in a physical therapy program, ensure that you communicate with your therapist so that he or she can tailor a program to your specific needs and goals. A good short-term goal is to walk for 15 minutes five days a week; a good long-term goal is to participate in a 5K walk. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable, as being overly ambitious can lead to frustration.

Step 2: Make exercise enjoyable by enlisting the help of a friend.

Participate in physical activity that you enjoy, and then vary it to keep it interesting. Ride your bike with friends, take a kickboxing class, or join a softball league. Try something else if you don’t like it. Invite a friend, family member, or neighbor to participate in your activities. You can encourage each other to keep going and pursue your fitness goals.

Step 3: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.

Begin by making small changes to your daily routine to incorporate more activity. This can include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from the grocery store. Long periods of sitting can be harmful to your health, so taking short breaks to get up and move, even to the water fountain, can be beneficial.

Step 4: Give yourself a reward.

After a tough session, rewards can be as simple as drinking a delicious smoothie or watching an episode of your favorite show. If you achieve a larger goal, treat yourself to a new pair of workout shoes. As you increase your physical activity, you will begin to notice more internal rewards, such as the rush of endorphins after a good workout. Looking forward to these rewards while keeping your overall goals in mind will keep you on track for success.

Get out there and start moving now that you’ve regained your motivation to exercise.

If your motivation wanes, go back over this list and remember, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”

Our trained Orange County Physical Therapists often suggest and use foam rolling to assist our patients. Call or text us at 949.716.5050 to learn more!