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We all easily get started with a fitness routine; anyhow, the real trouble comes with sticking with it. Oftentimes, our initial enthusiasm and energy disappear, we get distracted by the things going on in our lives, or we don’t think we’re seeing results for our efforts quickly enough and we quit! But, ask anybody who has ever used exercise habits to make a radical change to their lives and they will most likely tell you that consistency is the key to long-term success. Well, we all know that fact, yet in the hustle and bustle of modern life, it can be difficult for us to make the necessary changes to adopt a new lifestyle and exercise habits.
However, exercise can become as automatic as the sun rising, a natural and consistent part of your day to day life. Yes, the following seven steps help you shift your focus so that you approach exercise as an essential factor to a healthier life, which is important for making exercise a daily habit. So, let’s see how to make exercise a habit with seven simple steps!
7 Steps to Build Regular Exercise Habits
1. Create a Schedule for Your Workouts
If you’re a person who lives by your daily calendar, sometimes it may feel like your schedule takes over your life and limits the amount of time available for your workout. But, if you schedule a time for exercise and add it to your calendar, it’s more likely to become a regular habit. Spend a few minutes over the weekend to schedule when and where you will exercise and add it to your calendar. Then if somebody asks for your time on that particular schedule, you can simply say, “Sorry, but I’ve already got other plans.”
2. Be Flexible with Your Workout Schedule
Sticking with a schedule is good. But, sometimes, your schedule changes due to unavoidable situations like, having an injury, getting a new job or moving to a new home that’s far from the gym you regularly go to. These kinds of situations can throw off your workout routine. When you face these situations, don’t give up. You can get back on track with some little tweaks. Develop new exercise habits if your old ones don’t work for you anymore, and adjust your workout habits to fit your new lifestyle: find a gym or walking path near your new home, join for a workout class that fits into your new work schedule, and If you’re recovered from an injury or illness, start your workout again at your new pace or fitness level. These kinds of small adjustments help you maintain exercise as a regular habit.
3. Set Yourself a Learning Goal
You can set two types of primary goals: learning and outcome. Usually, outcome goals focus on the end result of doing a particular task, for example, completing a marathon race. On the other hand, learning goals focus on the process or steps required to achieve an end result. For example, learning how to do deadlifting. Focusing on learning new exercise methods or formats could help your body to release more dopamine, which is released by your body in response to positive learning experiences. Also, it makes your brain associate exercise with pleasure. So, you can easily build exercise habits.
4. Maintain a Journal for Your Exercise Progress
Keeping a journal to track your workout progress and record how you feel after you finish your exercise. For this, you don’t need to lug a journal with you to the gym every day. You could simply use the notes app on your phone to record how the workout made you feel with a few brief statements. In your journal, you can mention your feelings and experiences for questions like, did you feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing your workout? Were you able to do an exercise format or complete a certain workout for the first time? Or did you try a new workout session and enjoy the experience? Writing down the positive aspects of each exercise and workout session could help you focus on the process, not on the outcome of your workout.
5. Find Yourself a Workout Buddy
Initiating a new habit or behaviour can be tough, so having a friend with you along the process could help you make the process a bit easier. Getting a friend or family member to be your workout partner can give you somebody to exercise with. Also, it makes you and your workout partner accountable to each other. That means you’re less likely to skip your workout if you know somebody is counting on you. Besides, if you and your workout partner commit to exercising together chances are greater that you will enjoy your workout experience, which is important for building long-term exercise habits.
6. Change Your Mindset about Exercise
The outcome goals of your workout should be the quality of your life rather than trying to achieve some media-defined physical appearance. This means instead of focusing on using exercise to change how you look think of exercise as a tool for improving your health and enhancing the quality of your life. Trust me, when you shift your focus toward using exercise as a tool for achieving and maintaining better health. You will become more motivated and maintain a more consistent workout schedule that helps you build healthy exercise habits.
7. Treat Yourself for Small Wins
Give yourself a small reward for finishing a new workout, doing all the workout sessions you scheduled for a week or when you accomplished a fitness goal. But remember rewarding, doesn’t mean breaking the diet and enjoying a meal with three times as many calories as you just burned off. As a reward, you can give yourself permission to buy a new piece of the workout outfit, enjoy a relaxing treatment at a spa or invest in new headphones for your workout session. Whatever the reward maybe, it’ll activate the pleasure centers in your brain that help you to build a positive outlook toward the role exercise plays in your life. So, you can easily build regular exercise habits.
These are the seven steps to make exercise a regular habit. Following these steps will help you see the positive aspects of exercising and change your perception of the benefits of exercise, so, it becomes easier for you to build consistent exercise habits. When you build regular exercise habits, you can get lasting and long-term results from your efforts.
Guys, do you have any personal methods to make exercise a regular habit? If so, let me know them in the comments!