How to make exercise a habit
There are so many reason New Year’s resolutions to get in shape never take off before February begins. And it’s not that you simply don’t have what it takes. history shows us that there’s a right way to build lasting habits. Following these simple steps can make exercise a good habit to keep.
Opt for activities that you feel happy and confident about
If your workout seems to make you feel unpleasant clumsy or inept, you’re unlikely to stick with it. Don’t choose activities like running or lifting weights at the gym just because you think that’s what you should do. Instead, choose activities that you are comfortable doing, and matches your abilities, and taste.
Take small steps then build momentum
A goal of doing any exercise for any amount of time during a day or weeks may sound good. But how likely are you to follow through? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you are to fail, leading you to feel bad about it, and give up. It’s better to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet them, you’ll build self-confidence and momentum. Then you can move on to more challenging goals.This is the same in life.
Make it automatic with triggers
Triggers are one of the secrets to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit. In fact, research shows that the most consistent exercises rely on them. Triggers are simply reminders—a time of day, place, or cue—that kick off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot, so there’s nothing to think about or decide on. The alarm clock goes off and you’re out the door for your walk. You leave work for the day and head straight to the gym. You spot your sneakers right by the bed and you’re up and running. Find ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.
Rewards are key
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because of the rewards exercise brings to their lives, such as more energy, better sleep, and a greater sense of well-being. However, these tend to be long-term rewards. When you’re starting an exercise program, it’s important to give yourself immediate rewards when you successfully complete a workout or reach a new fitness goal. Choose something you look forward to, but don’t allow yourself to do until after exercise. It can be something as simple as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.