We all understand the importance of regular exercise. It enhances our general health and fitness, improves our well-being, aids in weight management and enhances our mood. But despite all the benefits of regular exercise, starting and staying consistent can be difficult.
With all of the responsibilities we have to juggle each day, it can be hard to find both the time and motivation required to exercise regularly.
But regardless of the obstacles, you can make it an unbreakable habit.
Create a training plan
After a hard day’s work, it is understandably tempting to just lounge and watch TV. Getting sweaty at the gym is far less appealing.
Creating a training plan in advance is a great way to make sure you follow through when it comes time to exercise. When we pencil in a plan, we’re mentally programming ourselves to want to complete it.
All that said, when preparing a new training plan; its best to do it on steps. Starting a with a five days a week fitness schedule is a recipe for failure.
Start off easy, just planning a day ahead. And once you get into rhythm, then progress to planning a few days in advance, and then a week a time.
This way you’ll slowly build up the habit until exercising daily becomes second nature.
Most people exercise out of a sense of necessity. They just feel that they should be doing it, so they do it.
When “should” forms the basis of your reasoning, justifications are made out of fear, guilt or shame.
Those are excellent reasons to only put in minimal effort.
Instead, find reasons to start exercising out of pure desire.
Think of all the benefits that come with having a fit and healthy body, and all the social opportunities that come with the gym, or yoga or running groups.
This way, you won’t miss your time to exercise even if someone tries to stop you.
Do Something You Enjoy
When a workout forms part of your daily or weekly routine, it becomes part of your being, part of who you are. When this happens, the workout becomes a source of enjoyment. A reminder that you are who you want to be.
In this sense, the best exercise is not necessarily the one that burns the most calories or targets the most muscle groups. Instead, the best exercise is the one you derive the most pleasure from, provided it also suits your purpose.
So, make things easier for yourself. If you prefer swimming over cycling, then swim! You’ll put the most effort into what you enjoy doing.
Record Your Successes
Positive affirmations are great for mental wellbeing, and are great motivators to keep on going.
So, don’t just plan your routines, put happy face stickers on them when you follow through! And if you planned to only run a few kilometers but did more, make a note of it! This way you’ll also be tracking your progress to better plan your future sessions.
Accountability is Key
Humans are social creatures. Not only do things become more enjoyable when we involve others, they also become easier to do when we don’t want to admit failure to others.
To help make exercise an unbreakable habit, share your fitness goals with your friends.
Knowing your friends might follow up in the future is a great motivator to make sure you meet your targets.
But what if getting to the gym is easy for you? What if the problem is meeting your fitness goals once you’re exercise shoes are on and you’re ready to go?
Exercising with others is great way to finish that last mile when your legs are aching and you just want to give. So ask a close friend or your spouse if they’re intested in having a training partner, or join a workout group. Or, if you’re also after some advice, hire a fitness coach to not only keep you going, but to also show you how to do it correctly!
Making exercise an unbreakable habit might seem impossible now. But when you make it a desire, involve others and form a plan, it will become impossible to stop.