9 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Exercising and keeping as fit as possible is encouraged for everyone, but especially for people with cystic fibrosis. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce lung-function decline in cystic fibrosis patients, and help keep stress levels low and improve sleep.

Here are nine ways to motivate yourself to get out there and start exercising, based on prevention.com:


Exercise first thing in the morning

Write a list of things to do the next day, then make exercise the number one thing on the list. Some people find that they are more likely to exercise if it’s the first thing they do in the day, that way they can’t put it off. Working out first thing also makes you feel super good about yourself for the rest of the day.

Exercise has a central role in CF care and research and can slow lung decline. Read more here. 


Exercise with friends

If jogging solo doesn’t inspire you, then go out walking with friends or find a gym buddy. Not only will exercise become a social event, you are less likely to bail if you think you’ll be letting a friend down. If there are no friends available, take your dog with you, he’ll certainly be pleased to get out.

Read about the cystic fibrosis surfer who came second in her state competition.



Schedule your exercise in

If you’re not a morning person, then schedule it into your day at a set time and stick to it, treating it like an appointment that you must attend.

Find out more about yoga for cystic fibrosis. 



Only do what you enjoy

If you hate running, find a different exercise. We’re are all more likely to stick to exercising regularly if it’s something that we enjoy, rather than something we treat as a chore.

Here are 12 inspiring stories on how exercise and other physical activities can help with CF.



Think positively

Instead of dismissing the idea of exercise because you have cystic fibrosis, start thinking more positively and that you want to exercise because you have cystic fibrosis. Adapting your attitude will help motivate you to exercise regularly.

Exercises targeting trunk muscles may improve CF urinary incontinence. Find out more.



It doesn’t have to be perfect

Don’t put undue stress on yourself. It doesn’t matter if one day you can cycle 20 miles and the next you can only manage five. Do what you can that day and take each day as it comes.

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Break exercise up

You don’t have to do an hour straight of exercise. For many cystic fibrosis patients, this may simply be too much at one time. You can break your exercise up into smaller time frames, for instance, a ten-minute speed walk in the morning and 20 minutes of yoga in the afternoon.

Nick Talbot became the first person with CF to ever climb the tallest mountain in the world: Mount Everest. 



Realize why you’re exercising

Knowing exactly why you’re exercising will help you get your priorities in order. Knowing that exercise can help you with your cystic fibrosis is a great reason to go out and get active, rather than just thinking that “maybe” you should be exercising.

CysticLife CF Community partners with the Mayo Clinic to conduct the world’s biggest CF exercise study.



Set goals

Start with simple exercises and build up your strength and stamina, aiming for small goals each time. Don’t push yourself too much, but having a clear idea of what you would like to achieve will help motivate you.

Find out more about cystic fibrosis and exercise. 

Cystic Fibrosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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