Tips on How to Make Exercise a Habit
By Donna Stark
Take a hike over the weekend. Join a fitness class. Hire a personal trainer. These are all great ideas to get you exercising more, but if you are trying to make exercise a habit, they may not be the best option for you. When it comes to establishing a healthy routine that includes fitness, you may have to do more than those hikes on the weekend or the class that only meets on Mondays and Thursdays. You may actually need to figure out a way to exercise every day of the week. The reason is this ... the more consistent an action is, the more likely it will turn into a habit. But how do you start?
Making Exercise a Habit
Most of us have faced the dilemma of how to be consistent with exercise at some point or another in our lifetimes, and as we all know, it's not as easy as simply saying that we will wake up and exercise every day. So, for those who may need some help putting those words into action, here are some suggestions on how to begin.
- Set a time - You know how you tick and you know whether you are a morning person or the complete opposite of a morning person. So be honest here, and decide when you are more likely to stick to an exercise plan during the day. It is crucial for your success.
- Set reminders - It is easy to push aside something that hasn't earned its value yet, so set yourself a reminder when it comes time to working out. Even better yet, have an accountability partner call you so that you will always have someone to answer to.
- Start small - One of the biggest deterrents to finding success with exercise is feeling overwhelmed with unrealistic goals. Try to focus on starting slowly to avoid burnout or injuries. Even 20 minutes a day is fine, but only if you don't stay there. The key is to get your body used to working out and to form that all-important habit of daily exercise.
- Make it fun - If you associate a habit with disdain, how successful do you think you will be? It's important to incorporate some fun into this journey, so choose workouts that you know you will enjoy! Exercising with friends or listening to a favorite playlist are some simple ways to find your joy.
Are You Ready?
Now that you have some great starting points to work with, it's time to say, "Just do it!" Stay focused, expect some bad workouts here and there, but don't quit! Within no time, your sporadic workouts will turn into a daily routine, and you will love yourself for following through!
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