Deciding to make exercise a habit and to incorporate training into your lifestyle can be such an empowering feeling. However, making exercise part of your routine can sometimes be a little tricky, particularly if you don’t move often. This blog will explore some tips and tricks that can help you make a habit out of exercise and get moving regularly.
Start small and make your goals achievable
Doing too much in the beginning often leads to burnout, which then results in you giving up. If you’re trying to make exercise a regular habit, your body probably won’t be used to that kind of stress. Start off with shorter workouts or train a few times a week and slowly increase your training duration and frequency.
Similarly, don’t expect massive results or progress early on. We’re all about instant gratification (myself included)- we want results, and we want them now. If you haven’t exercised a lot lately, setting yourself unrealistic goals can lead to discouragement, particularly early on.
Starting out, make sure your goals are nice and straightforward. Remember to define success on your terms, and achieve results that mean something to you. Whether that’s being able to run for 20 minutes without panting, being able to keep up with your grandkids or just staying active, set yourself goals that you’ll be motivated to achieve.
Set a time, set a reminder and do it regularly
Firstly, figure out whether you prefer to train in the morning or if you prefer sweating it out at the end of the day. Then schedule it in- pop it in your diary or your calendar. Also set yourself a reminder (or reminders if needed, let’s be honest) to make sure you don’t ‘forget’ that you were meant to work out.
The length of time required to build a habit varies from person to person, and some habits can be challenging to form. According to research, it can take up to 6 to 8 weeks to develop an exercise habit. Set yourself a goal of working out regularly for 6 to 8 weeks, schedule it in, set reminders, do whatever you need to, but keep moving. Before you know it, it’ll be instinct to exercise, and ta-dah, habit formed!
Make it a priority
Exercise isn’t a luxury or something you do when you have enough time or enough money. Exercise is a lifestyle habit, with so many physical and mental benefits, and should be seen as a necessity. Prioritise exercising as much as you would prioritise seeing the doctor or the dentist (or should be).
Track your exercise and your progress
Tracking your progress and your sessions can be so helpful in ensuring you’re on the right track. By monitoring your progress, you’ll also find that you want to continuously push yourself and improve. Research has also shown that when you monitor your efforts, you’re more likely to exercise consistently and enjoy training more.
Build a Support System
Building a healthy social support system is crucial in bringing about permanent change. Committing to even one other person can give you that little bit of an extra push. You can also take it that one step further, and find an exercise buddy!
The most important thing is to stop comparing yourself to others and their progress. Do your absolute best, compete with yourself, and if you fall off the wagon, get back up and start again.