How to Make Exercise a Habit
Sticking with a fitness routine is something many people struggle with. It can feel like a chore, and it’s all too easy to lose the motivation needed to bother with it. However, there are certain tips you can follow which will help to make exercise more of a habit. Here are some of the things you can do to fully integrate physical activity into your routine.
Have an Exercise Schedule
For exercise to become a habit, you need to be doing it consistently. Exercise at the same times every week, and don’t let yourself stray from this routine. If you stick with this, physical activity will gradually become a habit – a ritual which is such a solid, unchanging part of your routine, you do it automatically and can’t imagine not doing it.
Trying to make a form of exercise that you find difficult and overly strenuous a habit will never work. It’s best to start with something so easy, you can do it no matter how low on willpower and motivation you feel. Make this a habit first, then you can build towards making more vigorous exercise habitual.
Exercise with Someone Else
When you commit to regularly exercising with another person, you feel more obliged to stick to that exercise regime. The presence of others can also motivate you to put more effort into your workouts. Both of these factors can help you keep exercising frequently enough, and for long enough, for it to become a habit.
Get Active in the Morning
Physical activity has an extra advantage when done in the morning – it gives you a much-needed energy boost that prepares you for a happy, productive day. If you regularly exercise in the morning and find that it positively impacts the rest of your day, you’re likely to keep up that routine so you can carry on reaping the benefits. It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise – even simply getting up 20 minutes earlier so you can go for a quick jog will be helpful.
Keep a Record of Your Activity
Keep a diary in which you record how much exercise you do each day, or use a fitness app which will keep track of your workouts for you. Keeping track of your progress can do a lot to motivate you, and can become a habit in itself. Exercise may become more of a habit for you simply because your diary or app is there to show when you’re slipping and when you’re doing well.
Keep in mind that rewards motivate behaviour changes. Decide on regular goals and rewards for when you meet them, so that you always have something to work towards. In a way, this makes a game of physical activity, which makes it more fun and easier to incorporate into your routine as a habit.
Exercise may not become a habit overnight, but these strategies can really help you to stop skipping workouts. It will become easier to stick with regular physical activity over time and you’ll find yourself experiencing plenty of benefits.