How to Make Exercise a Habit
The benefits of exercise are well-known. Regular workouts can help you lose weight, maintain muscle mass, and may even reduce the risk of heart disease.
The trouble is that most people find it hard to make exercise a habit. Lack of motivation and time constraints often get in the way. It’s important to remember that making any change – including starting an exercise routine – takes time and effort if you want to see results! Here are some ways you can start to make exercise a habit in your life.
- Find Your Motivation: The first and most important step in making exercise a habit is to find the motivation that will drive you. Ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t make time for your workouts? What’s at stake, exactly? Is it possible to get these same benefits from another activity like walking or yoga – activities that may be easier to fit into your day? It can take some time (and potentially multiple attempts) before you really understand how much an exercise routine means to you.
- Track Habits: Did I miss my workout today? What was my heart rate when I finished? How many calories did I burn during the session – and how does this compare to last week’s numbers? These are all questions that can be answered by tracking your progress. Many people like using an app or journal for this purpose, but it doesn’t matter what method you use. The main idea is simply to find a way of continually charting your performance over time. This will allow you to see all of your progress.
- Set Goals: It seems simple enough, yet so many people struggle with setting goals based on milestones rather than daily results. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you might break this down into smaller goals like “lose 10 pounds by April.” This will allow you to reward yourself with small rewards along the way (i.e., a new outfit for a special occasion) instead of only focusing on big milestones which might seem too far away and difficult to achieve.
- Create Social Support Networks: Keeping up an exercise routine can be hard – especially when things get busy. It’s important that you have people who understand what it takes and are supportive without being pushy. Find those people and share your goals with them to help hold you accountable.
- Schedule It: Sometimes, the best way to make exercise a habit is simply to schedule it like any other important activity. Just as you would block off time for work or family needs, do the same for your workouts – even if they’re only 30 minutes long (or less). If you know that this specific hour will always be set aside for exercising, there’s no need to question whether or not today is “the day” since it already has been decided in advance.
- Reward Yourself: Another crucial strategy for making exercise a habit is to reward yourself after each workout. This can help keep you motivated during tough times when things are difficult or monotonous because there’s always something waiting at the end of every session! For example, some people might choose healthy snacks (such as fruit) while others may take time out to read their favorite book or listen to relaxing music. Remember that rewarding yourself will help to make exercise a positive experience that you’ll want to continue.
The bottom line is that we all need to find a balance between living our lives and sticking with exercise. This can be done by taking the time out of every day (even if it’s just 15-20 minutes) in order to focus on your health. Soon you’ll be doing it without even thinking – and missing it on those days when you don’t!