Dr. Rivera

Dr. Karla Rivera is a district-wide psychologist here in Irvington. She is here to provide support for children and families as we face these challenging times.

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Hate Exercising? Learn to Love it!

Many of us think, “boring” or “painful” when we think of exercising. However, we know that moving our bodies is essential for good health. Here are some ways to develop and appreciate movement in your life.

Let go of beliefs that get in your way:

Practice having a growth mindset when it comes to exercise. For example, telling yourself “I hate to exercise” or “I’ve tried getting healthy, but it never works”, won’t allow you to open yourself up to other possibilities. Try saying instead, “I can learn to enjoy exercising”, or “ I deserve to be healthy”.

Don’t overdo it: Start small, with something you can do easily like taking a short walk. You can start with ten minutes and work your way up.

Exercise Mindfully: Yoga isn’t the only type of exercise where we can be mindful! We can do any type of exercise mindfully.

This means really being present as you’re moving your body- focusing on what your body is doing and how you are feeling WITHOUT JUDGING your performance. 

Focus instead on your breathing, your muscles and how you are executing the movements. By being present and aware instead of just going through the motions, the quality of your workout will be better and you will enjoy it more.

Here are some more  tips for mindful exercise:

Set an intention: What is your purpose for working out today? Is it to have more energy, build your strength or stamina, to relieve stress? By focusing on your reason for working out- you are more likely to achieve it.

Let go of expectations or “rules’: View each workout as a fresh start, let go of expectations around how it should go or how well you should “perform”. This reduces pressure and increases enjoyment of exercising.

Practice acceptance & appreciation of your body: Let go of ideas about how much or how long you should be exercising- accept and respect your present fitness level, with the understanding that this can change. 

Give up notions about how your body should “look”: Instead of focusing on how your body looks or achieving some ideal, focus on what your body is able to do! Appreciate the way your body can move, how strong it is and is becoming.

Encourage yourself!

Thank yourself for showing up to exercise, and congratulate yourself on a job well done once you’ve finished!