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Three steps to update your exercise mindsets to be healthier

Exercise mindset reset

If you are stuck and missing out on the full benefits of exercising this article is for you to get unstuck!   I'll share three key steps to updating your mindsets about exercise to eliminate the exercise barriers of pain, stress, and low motivation.

Remember cassettes? You could record music on them and then when you wanted something new, you could record over them. 

Mindsets are like this. While it can seem like they are set in stone, mindsets can be changed. Why would you want to? Because studies show mindsets are incredibly powerful and when it comes to your health, your mindsets affect how well the food you eat, the exercise you do, and the medical treatments you use work for your health.  

As your life changes, your exercise mindsets need updating.  When you update exercise mindsets so it is whole-person self-care,  you restore your ability to age well, eliminate chronic stress, and improve how you feel as you move in daily life.  Only exercise can do this for you and only when it is designed for whole-person these benefits.  

Update your mindsets about exercise
Update your mindsets about exercise

Exericse Mindset Reset Step 1: Mental and emotional awareness.

Being consciously aware of your thoughts about a subject, and the emotions you feel as a result of those thoughts, is the first step to changing your mindset about exercise.  

Are you feeling stressed, guilt, or shame about exercise? Updating your knowledge about it can open up your thinking and help improve your emotions about it. 

For example, updating what you know about how to exercise, from what you learned as a high school athlete to what current studies show about how to exercise to be healthy as an adult, can expand your definition of how much is enough exercise and how it is supposed to feel.  

That new information can change your emotions about exercising, giving you hope that you don’t have to be in pain and exhausted from exercising to be healthy. 

But awareness and updating your knowledge about the subject is only the first step to changing your mindset.

Exercise Mindset Reset Step 2:  Update what you want and value now.

This is the step that builds intrinsic motivation, the kind known to last.  

Your spirit is the part of you that knows what you want and value. If your mindset about exercise doesn’t match what you value now, you will not be motivated,

For example, when you were an athlete, what you wanted was to win. You knew how to push your body to get results. But now you have more people to take care of than just yourself and your teammates. You have work, family, friends, and activities that take up a lot of time and energy, plus a body that is feeling the painful effects of all those competitions! What you want from exercising has changed because what you want from life has changed.  


However, if the information you get about exercising is focused on preventing disease and burning calories even if it leaves you in pain or injured, you probably still won’t feel motivated. Your brain cares most about how you feel and function now and suffering for a future benefit like disease prevention or weight loss will persuade your brain that perhaps you’d better not exercise. 

However, if updated info on exercise tells you how to move so you have more energy and less pain now, your spirit wakes up to the fact that this new way of exercising could be a resource for getting what you want now, like being able to play with your kids or grandkids, having more energy for your work, and being able to enjoy your hobbies without ‘paying the price’ the next day.

This step is powerful for mindset shifts that support lasting habits, but the last step is what really changes the mindset. 

Exercise Mindset Reset Step 3: Feel the difference in your body.

Your body signals your brain about choices.  If there is tension or worry around a subject, your brain is on alert that this choice is a threat, keeping you in a stress state. This is why mindsets about health habits are so powerful—they change not only your choices, but your physiology.


Embodying a new mindset about exercise starts with taking action, doing something differently with awareness of how your body feels and making adjustments so how you feel aligns with what matters most to you.

For example, take that information about a different way of exercising than you were used to as an athlete and you try it for yourself. Listen to your body as you move, and make adjustments in how you are moving so you have less pain and more energy now.  

At the same time, listen to your thoughts. When they chime in with old messages, telling you this is not enough, you have to push hard through pain to get results, adjust your thinking as you move with self-talk that responds with the updated knowledge. You remember you want something different now, that pain and energy are guides, and that you choose to trust your body.  

This means your body will tell your brain and spirit this is worth repeating. As your body says thank you for moving differently and thinking differently as you move, your exercise mindset is upgraded to one that gets you unstuck and gets you the health and well-being you want now.  

The more often you repeat this cycle, the more you reinforce this new mindset. 

Changing exercise mindsets to Be Well Now

The bottom line is when you know how to listen to what your brain, spirit, and body are telling you now, and adjust for what you want now, your mindset about exercise changes, leading to increased well-being. 

The Be Well Now Method is based on this whole-person way of changing exercise mindsets. It is how you transform exercise into a resource to be well now. And as you strengthen your skills of listening to and trusting your body, that has a ripple effect on the way you eat and the way you manage stress.  

Learn more about mindsets about exercise for well-being with the resources below.   Feel the difference exercise as a resource for whole-person self-care can make with the Start Well Program.  


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