How to keep active when life happens

This week, we will hear from Exercise Physiologist, Ashlee Fletcher who explores how to stay motivated to exercise when life gets in the way.

When it comes to exercise we all set out with the best of intentions but sometimes, no matter how hard we try, life gets in our way. Things come up and it can completely throw us off track and we can find ourselves struggling to get back into the swing of things.

So how can we avoid this from happening altogether?
When the new year came around I decided to sit down and work out when the best times for me to exercise would be based on my work schedule and the ever so important social life. By doing this I thought I was setting myself up for success, as I would be eliminating my usual excuses – ‘I have no time’ or ‘I am too tired after work’.

But then life happened.

In the space of a week (first week back at work I might add!) I got sick, my partner came home from an overseas deployment after nearly 4 months away and I suddenly needed to pack up my apartment as we were moving. My fantastic plan that I had made was now no longer going to work, at least not in the short term anyway.


It would have been so easy for me to fall to pieces when it came to exercise. To just give up on my exercise goals and use the excuse that I wasn’t well and had too much other stuff going on would have been the easy way out. But I knew if I did that then it would impact me in more negative ways than positive!

  • It would take me longer to recover from being sick - exercise boosts immune function!

  • My energy levels would be so much lower when I did feel better – exercise improves energy levels!

  • I would have higher stress levels from work and moving apartments – I exercise is a great strategy for stress relief!

What did I do to keep myself on the exercise bandwagon?

Rather than beating myself up over not being able to stick to my plan for even a week, I became FLEXIBLE. I knew what I had planned was not going to be realistic, at least not until everything went back to normal anyway.

So, I had to rethink:

  • What type of exercise could I realistically manage whilst I was not feeling 100%?

  • How much time did I have to dedicate to exercise?

  • How could I manage to fit exercise into my already full schedule and still have time to pack up my house and spend time with my partner?

It is such a common theme in society today that all new things should start on a Monday, and if you stuff up or something gets in the way then to hell with the rest of the week you can just start again on Monday.

This mindset is a sure-fire way to make sure that whatever you are doing, whether it is diet, exercise or some other health-related area, will not be sustainable in the long term. Just because you have one, two, three, four days where you do not set out to achieve what you wanted, does not mean you have to automatically give up on the rest of that week. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start fresh the next day. Each 24 hours is a new chance to achieve our goals and do what we set out to do.

Goal setting can be an incredibly difficult thing to do on your own! Make an appointment with an exercise physiologist today and start your year the healthy way with help from exercise professionals.