~~~ Why exercise? ~~~


Do you know an elderly person who has stayed young and fresh at mind? You may find that they had an active lifestyle. Scientists spend much time and effort to study things we all know are true!

Get smarter
A large number of studies have confirmed a strong relationship between physical exercise and maintaining mental capabilities such as problem solving, memorising, concentration. This is also the #1 rule in Professor John Medina’s great book, “12 Brain Rules.” And it holds true for any age.

When previously you used to run out of energy after work, now you will have the extra energy to spend quality time with your family. Add to this the tips in the on the “Steady Energy Diet” and “Re-energising” and you will keep your larger energy tanks fueled the entire day.

Why bother? You are more likely to keep exercising, if you align it to a purpose. For some people that may be preparing for a local race, looking better, being more fit for your partner, being fitter so you can go on hikes and walks, socialising after a tennis match, being outdoors, becoming healthier, performing better at work. What are you doing it for? Visualise your purpose when you have difficulties motivating yourself.


Exercise program info graphic


~~~ Getting started ~~~

The first time – If you want to go to the gym, think of peeling off a Band Aid – just do it quickly. Don’t think of it as the first time. Just imagine and behave as if you have been doing it for years. If it makes it easier for you, go with someone else. Or if that is not an option, commit to go at least for one month. This way you don’t need to renegotiate with yourself or decide each day whether or not to go.

Home bound – There are an abundance of exercises that you can do at home with either minimal or no equipment. Most exercises just require your own body weight.

Auto pilot – Find regular time and create a habit of exercising. The best time for me is after work. Research has confirmed that afternoon is the best time. Other people prefer to exercise before work which is fine as well. By exercising straight before or after work there is something regular about your schedule. It is more difficult to go to the gym or for a run once you are at home and started relaxing. Even if you feel tired when you come home, go straight to the gym. You will be surprised how energised you will feel ten minutes into it. Having made it a habit, you don’t need to think about when or how.

Starting at square 1?
If you are very unfit, start slowly. Go walking for the first one or two months at least 30-60 minutes and increase your pace over time. There are programs and apps that will bring you from zero to being able to run 5k within a few weeks. Getting started is much easier than most people think.

5k Runner – Trains you to run 5k within 8 weeks. It’s true, I’ve tried it!


~~~ Getting into it ~~~


Three to four times a week – This is the right amount to give your body recovery time. Vary your exercises: cardio, endurance, strength, flexibility, balance. Each day focus on one aspect of your program or area of your body. This will give the rest of your body time to recover.

Are you ambitious? You may not be very interested in exercising when you never do it. Once you start, things might change all of a sudden and you may become ambitious. That’s great! Monitor your progress and compare your results to your previous results. Most people make the big mistake of comparing themselves to others. In the gym they look at the fittest and fastest. It is so rewarding to see your own progress. So track your performance over six months. You will love the progress. Try to beat your personal best once a week. Beat your own results – nobody else’s.

Huff & puff – If you are not ambitious about times and personal bests, at the very least make sure that you huff and puff while exercising. It is the simplest indicator your exercises are good for something.

Getting into it is the most-likely phase of drop-out. Look at the pages on “Changing Habits”. Find some motivators and rewards for yourself and use the tool to establish habits. If you get through the first two months you are most likely to stay on for years.When you need motivation, remember your purpose, the great feeling after a good exercise and the benefits you get out of it.


~~~ 4 Benefits – besides the obvious health improvement ~~~

1The best of all – Observe the stress relief after a good cardio workout. That is the most rewarding part. Exhaust yourself for 30 minutes and you will feel so much better ten minutes after finishing. That’s why I exercise after work: walking out of the gym with a clear head!

2Bucket loads of coffee - Once you get fit, you will sleep significantly better and won’t need those bucket loads of coffee in the morning to wake you up. You will be fully awake straight away, be more resilient and performing on a higher level.

3Boost your career – The best performers can focus and perform through the entire day. One reason that many people can’t perform all day is poor physical condition. You might know people having dips of concentration – especially in the afternoon, wasting an hour or more each day. One hour a day is half a week per month. That is ten days in a year. Imagine you had that as additional time off!

4Smart as Einstein – Studies show that four months walking for at least 20-30 min, two or three times a week will show a measurable improvement in cognitive abilities. Intriguingly, studies show exercising may be even able to replace anti-depressants and other brain related medication (Parkinson and Alzheimer prevention drugs). If all you take out of this section is to go for a 30-60 minutes walk two to four times a week, I will be happy.


Learn more about this….

Your exercise program

Vary exercise progam info graphic

Understand the building blocks for an exercise program that will help you to feeling better, fitter and provide high-value fat-burn. Learn more

Your exercise template

Exercise program template

More tips on how you can build your own exercise program tailored to your preferences and how a sample program can look like. Learn more


By Murat Uenlue, PhD, PMP, 2013.

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