Finding the Motivation To Exercise with Tips from Dr Rai

Category: Blog

Exercise must be one of the hardest habits to form and stick to, because it is something that people have to learn for themselves.

In the past, exercise was when we were hunter and gatherers. It was an everyday occurrence like brushing your teeth.  You were either running at or away from something.  Typically, you had to pick up heavy objects and we did the simplest form of exercise, walk – without thinking about it.

What has happened now is that we have found other activities to take over the physical aspect.  It’s great to have technological advancement where we don’t have to “hunt and gather” but that has also been problematic for humans.  The only thing I say to people that never exercise and say they don’t have time is this:

“Do the absolute minimum you would do and put that on repeat.”

Now, that may mean 2 pushups and walk up and down your stairs at home twice.  Great! You did more than zero, which is the goal.

How do I make it work?  

It’s a rule in our house that exercise is a priority. My wife and children know this golden rule.  The kids see us working out a lot and understand that we must make time for it.  It has become a daily routine for them to watch or hear us talk about exercise, the same as if someone was to talk about how their day was.  We literally talk about the different movement patterns or a new exercise we tried.  As parents, we know each other’s workout schedule and the days we can’t get out we will do a workout at home. The kids can watch, participate or just be cheerleaders. These workouts typically last for 20 minutes.

Workouts don’t have to be long. Mine usually looks like this:

  • 1.6 km (1 mi) run
  • 4 different exercises (full body, body weights, maybe some kettlebells)
  •  small amounts of downtime in between so that it keeps my heart rate up.

What motivates me?

Simply put, it is longevity in my body and mind.

I know that the more I stay on top of working out, the sharper my mind will be for my work and personal life.  The stronger my body is and the healthier it is I will live a longer and fuller life.  My kids are always a motivator; I want to be able to chase after them, lift them up and eventually hang out with their grandkids.  Even if kids aren’t in the picture, know that you are less likely to have neurological degenerative conditions, Alzheimer’s, and so on if you exercise on a regular basis.  The peripheral nervous system (PNS), are the nerves that aren’t a part of your spinal cord and brain.  The PNS are all the nerves in your body: the more you move your body, the more you stimulate those nerves, which in turn stimulates the brain.

Dr. Rai’s Personal Advice

My advice until I’m blue in the face is this: “something is better than zero.”  As humans, a lot of us are designed for “all or nothing”.  Forget that, we can’t do it “all”, “all the time”.

Do a small, fraction of what you think you can do.  Some might say, how about I do just 1 push-up, I’ll congratulate them and say well done! You did something, which is better than nothing.

Start slow and do what is manageable, because if you let it stress you out, it’s very likely you will stop doing it.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  If you have a family, make sure they all know your goals, how you will achieve them and what help you need from your family.  If that means your husband must entertain the kids for 10-20 minutes as you do a Yoga YouTube video, great.

Have a “team meeting” so that everyone is on the same page.  The family unit is built to grow stronger and healthier together, not apart.

Make exercise a ritual in the house as it is to brush your teeth in the morning and evening.

For more tips coming straight from Dr. Rai make sure to stay tuned to this blog here at parmr.sg-host.com, and also follow his Instagram account @drparmrai