“I always feel good after swimming laps but I [don’t have a pool anymore/can’t find a swimsuit that fits right/don’t want chlorine in my hair].”

“Long walks used to give me time to myself. I’d start again if only I had [somewhere safe to walk/the right shoes/more time in the morning].”

“I know yoga can help me with breathing and focus, but don’t I need [to take a class/buy lots of gear/wear certain clothes]?”

Sound familiar?

We’ve all been there. We know doing [whatever physical activity] brings both physical and mental health benefits, but we don’t do it.

We don’t do it because we don’t:

  • Know where to do it.
  • Have the right clothes or shoes to do it.
  • Have any of the right equipment to do it.
  • Think we should spend money on the equipment to do it.
  • Want to do it alone.

They sound like excuses, but they’re legit reasons, too. Sometimes we really do want to start biking again, but we’ve just moved to town and aren’t sure where to find a safe bike path.

Or we’re not sure if we need a road bike or a mountain bike.

Or…wait a minute. Does this town have helmet laws?

You get the idea.

So, this week’s Mental Health Month Challenge is to find the right gear (and for the purposes of this challenge, the right gear can be anything from workout clothes to friends to workout with).

Think about that one exercise or workout or routine you’ve wanted to start (or restart) for a while but haven’t because you didn’t have what you needed or weren’t sure about where to start. Spend the week solving this problem.

This might mean researching the specs and reviews of different running shoes. Checking into gym memberships so you can take advantage of otherwise seriously costly tools (like swimming pools!). It might mean contacting your city’s or county’s Parks and Recreation Department and finding out where you can safely ride your mountain bike or throw Frisbee with your dog.

Figure out whatever it means to you, and then do it. Find the right gear, and get finally get started!