Tagged as: advice

Making exercise a habit for life – like brushing your teeth

Sticking with a fitness routine is something many people struggle with. It can feel like a chore, and it’s all too easy to lose the motivation needed to bother with it. However, there are certain tips you can follow which will help to make exercise more of a habit. Here are some of the things you can do to fully integrate physical activity into your routine.

Have a consistent exercise schedule

For exercise to become a habit, you need to be doing it regularly and consistently. Try to do your exercise sessions at the same times every week, and do your very best to keep to this routine. If you stick with this, physical activity will gradually become a psychological habit so much so that you do it automatically and can’t imagine not doing it.

Start Small

So many people create a big psychological barrier to exercise by telling themselves that they need a lot of time and knowledge before starting an exercise regime. Nonsense! You can start with a really basic 10 minute exercise session using no equipment so that you can manage it easily and build up the habit. Once you make the 10 minute slots a habit you can then increase the time, and intensity of the workout as you progress. The key is to achieve small goals that you can build on that will keep you motivated to continue progressing and pushing yourself.

Train with Someone Else

The key word here is ‘Accountability’. When you commit to regularly exercising with another person, you feel more obliged to stick to that exercise regime. You are less likely to skip a session because you don’t want to let the other person down. Training with others can also add an element of competition which can motivate you to put more effort into your workouts.

Train in the Morning

Physical activity has an extra advantage when done in the morning – it gives you a much-needed energy and endorphin boost that prepares you for a happy, productive day. If you regularly exercise in the morning and find that it positively impacts the rest of your day, you’re likely to keep up that routine so you can carry on reaping the benefits. It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise – even simply getting up 25 minutes earlier so you can do a quick run or HIIT session will be helpful.

Keep a Record of Your Fitness Activity

Keep a diary in which you record how much exercise you do each day, or use a fitness app which will keep track of your workouts for you. Keeping track of your progress can do a lot to motivate you, and can become a habit in itself. Exercise may become more of a habit for you simply because your diary or app is there to show when you’re slipping and when you’re doing well. Once you see that you are regularly achieving your goals you will want to do that more and more.

Reward Yourself

Keep in mind that rewards motivate behaviour changes. Decide on regular goals and rewards for when you meet them, so that you always have something to work towards. In a way, this makes a game of physical activity, which makes it more fun and easier to incorporate into your routine as a habit.
Exercise may not become a habit overnight, but these strategies can really help you to stop skipping workouts. It will become easier to stick with regular physical activity over time and you’ll find yourself experiencing plenty of benefits.

(Credit to thebestofhealth.co.uk)

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