How to Form the Exercise Habit: 6 Tips!
Everything is easier when you form it into a habit. These tips help you to turn exercise into a regular habit, and become more healthy with less effort.
1. Start small but start immediately
You can’t form a habit just by thinking about it. If you want to work out every morning before you go to work it’s best to just start. Do not delay until next week or next month but start right away tomorrow morning.
Don’t make it too hard on yourself though. It is your goal to establish a healthy habit, not to get in shape within 24 hours. Try to keep your exercise short and easy, otherwise you will get sick of it after a couple of days and give up. Start small. Try exercising for five minutes a day for a week, and extend it slowly from there.
2. Plan your exercise at a fixed time
Forming a habit is easier if you link your new habit to other habits you’ve already established. For example, you can try to link your exercise habit to your getting-to-work habit in the morning, and thus incorporating exercise into your morning ritual. You can also begin to exercise after dinner, after work or before going to bed.
By always exercising at the same time you increase your changes of forming a sustainable habit for years to come. After some time you will actually start exercising almost automatically. Talking about staying healthy the easy way!
3. Make sure you enjoy it
Give yourself a break and make sure you’re making fun while exercising. Working on your body shouldn’t feel as a punishment, it should feel great and give you happy and relaxed feelings. When you try to exercise against your will you’ll probably won’t keep up your habit for long. Try not to work to a fixed end result but try to find your satisfaction in the exercise itself. It feels good to take care of your body so enjoy it!
Try to make your daily exercise as fun as possible. Exercise with your favorite music, exercise in the outdoors, choose a fun sport that suits you, vary and invite some nice people to join you from time to time.
4. Find a buddy
Find a buddy who is at least as motivated as you are. Make arrangements and do not accept ‘slacking’ behavior. When you’re trying to form a habit, it is important you sustain the habit for at least 30 days in a row. So motivate each other to both achieve your goals. And of course, don’t forget to have fun!
5. Enjoy the result in advance
If you’re feeling lazy, lying on the couch and not feeling like exercising you’ll have to motivate yourself. In situations like this, call your buddy to have you get motivated. If that doesn’t work, focus on the benefits that regular exercise entails. Think of the wonderful feeling you’ll have after doing your workout. Think of how proud you’ll feel!
Remember: you will feel worse staying stuck on the couch, you will feel great if you just go and exercise!
6. Record your progress
Nothing works as motivating as seeing progress. So note the progress you’ve made. Probably you will be able to run faster and longer within a couple of weeks. Or you can lift more weights or achieve other goals you couldn’t achieve before. Maybe you notice that you’re losing weight or that you are suddenly able to bike fast and have a conversation simultaneously.
Record your progress and use the numbers to inspire and motivate you. Your efforts are rewarded with improved health and improved looks. Enjoy these changes as much as possible, it’s the reason you started exercising in the first place!
Extra Tip: Integrate more exercise into your everyday life
As soon as you start exercising more, you notice it can become a little addictive. You get a growing sense of joy and satisfaction while exercising and soon you’ll start feeling unhealthy after a lazy weekend. So take advantage of this development and incorporate more exercise into your daily life!
How you do that? Simple, take the stairs instead of the escalator, choose a longer route when walking with your dog, put on your favorite music and have a dance, go to work by bike or walk to the train station. Use your creativity to find more ways to move your body on a daily basis. Soon you’ll feel more healthy, energetic and attractive.