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Make exercise a gift to yourself

Do you dread exercise or see it as a gift? It’s so important to find ways to enjoy being active where it’s more of a daily treat than a chore.

Can exercise be a gift? It really can bring fun, focus, energy, and self-worth. On the flip side, being active can reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and depression. 

Two ways to find joy through movement

  1. Write down the ways you have enjoyed moving your body before. Nothing is too small or ordinary. Yard work, ping-pong, or walking the dog all count. 
  2. Give yourself permission to prioritize taking care of yourself. Once you think of the activities you enjoy, seek ways to make time for the things that will make your day and your life go better. Everyone benefits when you take care of you.

Give yourself credit 

  • Anything is better than nothing. Any movement counts, including walking, house cleaning, and gardening — no matter how much effort or time you put into it. 
  • Set small, visible goals. To make it last a lifetime, focus on small changes that you can enjoy and do consistently. 
  • Walk, walk, walk. If you can, walking is safe, easy, fun, accessible, free, requires no equipment, and can be done anywhere: in your living room; a conference room; with coworkers, pets, friends, or family; or alone when you want time to think.