How to make exercise a habit. Some people just gravitate toward exercise and others don’t, it’s that simple. The thing is that most of us have sufficiently sedentary lives that we need to make the time to workout. Think about it. Yes, you are probably running around like crazy all day with meetings or errands or even taking your dog out for a walk, but how long is your heart rate elevated for? Is it even elevated at all? Are your muscles getting taxed? Most likely the answer is simply, not enough. You don’t need to set aside a few hours or even an hour, you can sneak in a few minutes a time throughout the day, but the crucial thing is to get moving.
HOW TO MAKE EXERCISE A HABIT
Make a list. Go get a pen and paper. It’s okay I’ll wait…. Got it? Good. Now make a list of why you want to exercise and how it makes you feel. You can use words like: more energy, being happier, feeling more awake, sleeping better, weight management, feeling stronger, or whatever you want. Now put that list up on your bathroom mirror so that it’s the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you see before you go to bed at night.
Small steps. Start by making it something tiny. 10 sit ups or 1o squats or even a 10 minute walk. Make it so small that you won’t be able to make any excuses and you won’t have a good reason not to do it.
One thing at a time. Often when I speak with people, they say that they have to overhaul their diet and start exercising every single day and and and. Stop that kind of thinking and start with just working out regularly. Give yourself some time to get used to this habit before you start another.
Focus on the habit. For now, don’t worry about the results. If you start with overwhelming goals like “I need to loose 15 pounds” or “I want to run 10km” it will be so much easier to talk yourself out of it. At first, just focus on moving. The bigger goals will come into it when this first one becomes a habit.
Invite a friend. Let me clarify this one. I personally don’t like working out with a friend. I like being on my own because if they cancel, I’m not tempted to back out as well. When I’m trying to get back on track, however, I always invite a friend to come along. Even if they cancel, I still feel like I’ve made that appointment that I have to keep.
No excuses. We all have those days when we are dragging ourselves out of bed and the thought of working out is painful. Go anyway. Even if you don’t go as hard or you only stay for a half a class, doing something is better than nothing.
Keep a journal. I don’t think I know a single person who doesn’t love a brand new journal, so now I’m giving you an excuse to buy one. When you write things down, you automatically feel more accountable…. Enough said.
Make yourself the priority. Of course kids come first and so does your significant other and so do your friends and so does work…Okay hold on a second, there are times when all of those things have to come first, but not all the time. Think of that list you just made and put up on your mirror. Do you really want to give all of that up? Now is the time to make yourself the priority and no excuses!
It takes time to create a new habit so give yourself some slack, but if you break it up into manageable chunks and take it one day at a time, you’ll find yourself on top of the world in no time!
Do you manage to make yourself a priority when it comes to being active?
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