If there is one thing preventing many people from making exercise an unbreakable habit, it’s definitely consistency. According to Healthline, it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit pattern. This is why one week you run 10 miles per day fully committed and ready to see results, and then you abandon this routine for the next three weeks.
Truth be told, we’ve all got jam-packed schedules, we’re tired and easily distracted, or we just don’t think the results are measuring up to our expectations. Whatever the reason, no workout will produce progress if you don’t make exercise a habit, so getting yourself into the system of consistently exercising is important.
Keep reading to learn the top 7 steps for you to make exercising a habit, and ensure that you get fitter, healthier, and remain consistent along the way.
1. Set A Time
The first step to having a fun exercise begins with understanding your mood. Decide whether you would be energetic and do better with morning, noon, or evening exercises and stick with it.
When you are sure of a time, set a reminder so you won’t forget. If you don’t set a time and commit yourself, you’re more likely to procrastinate and put off doing regular exercise.
2. Do What You Can
I know you are eager to commit to doing regular exercise, but first, take a pause and try to discover your limits!
Everyone has a breaking point, especially when it comes to exercise. So you don’t have to push yourself into monotonous activities which can put you through severe pain when exercising.
A 10 minutes exercise is better than nothing. Start with what you can handle, then build up by adding more activities to your exercise plan. This will boost your emotional and mental health greatly.
3. Get An Exercise Partner
Having a partner to exercise with would most likely keep you going compared to doing it alone.
When exercising with someone, it is more social – meaning you get to enjoy it more. Additionally, they can serve as a force to drive you to exercise when your morale is low.
4. Start Progressing
Once you’ve determined how far and how well you can go, it’s time to test the limit. Start slow and steady and gradually increase the intensity and amount of your workout routine.
When you observe that your routine feels too easy, then it’s time to level up. You can gradually increase the intensity by adding a routine every two weeks from 15 minutes to 25 minutes as not to overwhelm yourself.
Doing this regularly will help you easily progress in your routine, and you no longer have an excuse not to be committed. Whether it’s the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing you do at night, just do it!
5. Track Your Progress
If you start recording everything you are doing with the same level of commitment you would have if it were an important meeting, it will stay on your mind to remain committed.
Tracking your progress gives you the motivation to set higher standards and live up to them. To keep track of your progress, you can use a calendar or create a workout journal to write down every exercise detail.
6. Make Your Exercise a Pleasurable One
If all you can think about is the pain and stress when regularly exercising, you might never make fitness a habit. Many individuals who have a hard time sticking with an exercise program usually fail because they absolutely hate what they are doing.
To make fitness a habit that you look forward to, you have to do something you enjoy. Try to find 2 to 3 different activities that you enjoy doing and make them a part of your life.
Focus on the pleasure, enjoy every moment, and have fun. If it helps, you can choose outdoor exercise, enjoy the scenery, breathe in the fresh air, marvel at the beauty of the sky as the sun rises, or watch the sun go down while you are exercising. Some music would also be of great help. From jazz to soul, pop, or any other music of your choice and let it boost your energy.
7. You Deserve A Treat!
You’ve been working out every day and sticking to your routine, and now it’s time for a reward. Just completing your workout plan for the week and feeling good about it is enough for a reward. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment.
However, you can up your game by giving yourself other rewards such as a good meal, new sneakers, or a spa treatment that will make you feel good after releasing some endorphins during exercise.
Bonus Tip: Have Cheat Days!
The fact is that the body can’t cope with exercise every day and hope to recover. So make sure that you have cheat days to rest in between your exercise days. Depending on your routine, two days of exercise and one day off works well perfectly. It allows your muscles a chance to recharge and your body to get over its aches. This will make you super motivated to keep going once your body has stopped hurting.
Making exercise a regular part of your day will have you breaking some bad habits you’ve developed over the years.
No matter where or how you decide to start your new life of health and fitness, it is a path that will take you through many life-enhancing and eye-opening experiences. However, if you focus on making a habit out of it, the results you desire will start coming your way naturally.