What do I do when exercise feels challenging?

In the beginning for most people exercise will be a challenge because it is something they are not use to.  First off remember why you are exercising, that in itself can be a motivating factor.  Also find things that will help you push past those hard exercises. If having a support group like friends, family or even a personal trainer to let you know you can do this.  Another is music, music can definately keep you motivated through those hard times.  When starting a exercise program also pick exercises that you like and our comfortable with.  It is the little things that keep up motivated and coming back for more.  In the end you will see results week and week and that will help you.
If the exercise feels challenging there are several things that might be helpful:
1.Focus on something else. Some examples might be, music, your breath, tv, a magazine or having a conversation with someone else.
2. Focus on your own, personal benefits of exercise. Some examples might include, better sleep, improved focus, better able to perform daily activities or weight loss.
3. Readjust your goals so that your exercise is less challenging and/or more realistic.
4. In that moment slow down or move into onto another type of exercise. We forget that we have control over what we are doing. If you are walking at level 4 on the treadmill and it feels challenging slow your pace to a level 3.5 or get off and find something else to do. 

Exercise can feel challenging when we are taken outside of our comfort zones. To help with this, choose a positive way to deal with the discomfort. Try to look at the discomfort as a positive challenge and not as a threat. Think about the last time you were challenged and how you overcame that. Focus on the positive impacts that this challenge will bring. Each time you feel challenged, recite a positive affirmation. If you still feel overwhelmed, then ease off on the load, and try progressing your exercise more slowly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.