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7 ways to trick your brain to exercise regularly

Last updated on: May 29, 2014 18:49 IST

7 ways to trick your brain to exercise regularly

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Aditya Prasad

This article is intended to be read by those who think of starting to exercise everyday but then they usually find a perfect excuse to start it from tomorrow.

Sadly, that tomorrow never comes.

But that's only bad; worse is that you keep doing it day after day after day.

So what's the solution? BE GREEDY!

Yes, I am asking you to be greedy. Guess what, it works!

I could have given you divine sermon on how to be effective, how to motivate yourself, how to push your limits and all the 2000 reasons on how exercising helps. But I am not writing this article to tell you the obvious.

You are smart enough to know that there are thousands (if not lakhs) of self help and motivational books/materials/ videos etc. out there on this topic. I bet you have even read/watched a few of them and exercised a few days! But then the fizz fizzles, like always.

What I am telling you here is real, personal and practical. I have tried all of these tricks to move my body out of home.

TRICK YOUR BRAIN: Look forward to the exercise activity as an outcome of something that you love doing. Call it a 'by-product', if you may.

Here's an explanation to how that can be achieved.

1. Look forward to listening to music

I am yet to find a person who does not love listening to music. It could be your mobile, laptop, TV, music system, car audio whatever, but you do like listening to music.

Get the top ten songs you love the most into your mobile and go out for a stroll only to listen to music, while walking.

As I said, let your brain think you are out only for great music, walking (to start with) becomes secondary (or so your brain thinks).

Go for exercise to listen to music, in comfort with cool breeze hitting your face. Pleasant. Try late evenings or early morning.

The author is chief evangelist at Perfios.com

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2. Buy expensive shoes

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Out of guilt feeling you will go out to do some exercise. Start with walking around in your colony/ society/ apartment complex etc.

This guilt feeling will keep you motivated to do something with those shoes before it catches dust. At least for few days this will keep you going. Then...

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Image: Bipasha Basu in a Reebok ad campaign

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3. Spend a lot on good exercise clothes

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Now this is interesting. Spend some good amount of money on shorts, t-shirts etc. made especially for exercising purpose.

Ensure these clothes are of such bright colours that you become hesitant to wear them for social gatherings or going out anywhere else.

You should end up doing something with these clothes and exercising should be the best option. Of course you can end up using them as night dress but in that case reading further is a useless activity, you have given up already.

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4. Dress up

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Even if you don't feel like going out to exercise, just dress up, wear those expensive clothes and shoes and sit down.

Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) suggested this in his latest book 'How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big' and I have personally tried it on myself. Guess what? It works!

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Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar

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5. Energy drinks and healthy food

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There's a lot of awesome food that we can hog on other than the weekend biryani!

Our brain is tuned to eat the regular stuff; trick your brain to get to new and exciting food items, but only when you exercise as much.

Award yourself with some exotic food items only the week you exercise, explore more, eat new things, different flavours of energy drinks etc.

Don't stop your regular tea/coffee but add more variety when your body does more. Body will automatically start looking forward to such occasions.

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6. If you're watching TV, stand up

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Yes, this is the least you can do. Instead of lying like a dead man on your sofa, hogging on to that biscuits or Haldiram snacks, you stand up and watch your TV.

Even when people hardly watch TV, I know majority of Indians just love sitting and swapping channels.

Trick your brain to do the same thing (watching TV) still exercising. If you could do this for 15 minutes for 6 days continuously, you are already a winner. Continue doing it every second day, if not everyday.

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7. Start with walking only

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I know of many who sign up for a gym membership for three months or even for an year and still end up going there only for a month, at best.

After a couple of months the guilt feeling kicks in and you repeat the same. I have a simple solution for you.

Just walk.

You do not need any sophisticated equipments, it's free and can be done anytime anywhere. To ensure that your body gets all that you would have given in the gym, regularly change your walking pattern.

Slow, fast, run sometimes, mix and match.

I walk daily and now I do not need to trick my brain at all; it got accustomed to my schedule. It has reached such a level that it generates the guilt feeling when I do not walk.

Changing any habit is tough, super irritating and big time painful. Research shows that it takes 21 days for anything to get into a habit.

I have a more practical suggestion since I know you will not exercise for 21 days continuously just because I said so or your read my article.

I suggest you start doing things few days a week and continue doing that for a few weeks.

Do not push yourself too much.

Just keep the schedule good, don't bother if you miss a few days. If you have even the slightest determination and will power, you will get in the rhythm.

So what are you waiting for? Start now.


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