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You would never skip a day of brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t be able to stand the feel of plaque on your teeth or the smell of your breath. But when it comes to exercise, your attitude may be much different. You can go days, weeks or even months without working out with little thought.

Truth is, your overall health is just as important as your oral health, yet you can find a thousand reasons not to take that evening stroll, roll out the mat for a yoga class, or head to the gym for some much-needed cardio.

Just like food, water and sunshine, we need movement in our lives. Getting at least 30 minutes per day 3 to 5 days each week not only helps us look and feel better, it helps manage diabetes and improve our heart health.

Besides more obvious benefits, regular movement helps us feel happier, sleep better, think clearly, and reduce stress. It can even help with mild depression, and delay the onset of dementia.

After a long, tiring day, it’s so easy to flop down on the couch and do little else.  In fact, if you get up and get moving, you’ll feel better and more energetic.

Remember movement is not just walking or getting on the treadmill, make it fun by ballroom dancing, jumping rope, Zumba, kickboxing or any activity that makes your heart sing.

Here are 6 mind tricks to get you moving:

  1. Try morning exercise. It may feel more comfortable to wait until evening to workout. But as the day wears on, you’ll find more reasons to avoid it. Get your workout in early, and everything else will feel like a breeze.
  2. Find satisfaction. Download upbeat music on your phone, so you can listen while working out. Do you really want a new set of fancy headphones, a fitness tracker or membership at a fancier gym with a hot tub? A small investment could offer more satisfaction and motivation.
  3. Think of exercise like clothes and makeup. Feel awful if you don’t put yourself together to even go to the grocery? Think of exercise that way. Don’t go a day without it.
  4. Stop blaming your hair. If you’re worried about sweating out your hair, head to a beauty supply for cute, inexpensive wigs and head wraps. That way, you can get sweaty, fit and look good without worry later.
  5. Break it up. If you feel like you don’t have time to work out, try doing 10-minute workouts 3 times a day. Get up and walk around the block. At home, walk up and down the stairs a few times or try a chair workout.
  6. Never skip more than a day. If you pass on your fitness for more than a day, you risk falling off again. So skip only one day and get back to it.

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