How to Make Exercise a Habit

Each year, millions of people plan to figure out how to make exercise a habit as a New Year’s resolution. Yet the majority of them fail to do more than hit the gym a few times or spend money on a treadmill they forget to use. Building a new habit takes more than just planning to do your best. Scientific research into the power of habits and the psychology surrounding them can greatly increase your chances of making a new habit. Daily exercise doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but anyone can learn to do it with the right kind of practice. Use these tips to make the new year your most active one yet.

Building a Strong Habit

The key to a habit is consistency. Many people try to fit workouts into an existing schedule or plan to make up for missed time with longer workouts. If you want a habit that sticks, it’s better to aim to have a light workout every single day of the week. Doing a little walking or stretching on days when you need a break for recovery helps ensure the habit sticks.

Research shows that specific and somewhat strict goals make habits more likely to stick. You may need a doctor’s help or advice from a trainer to determine how much exercise you should do at the start. You can always adjust your exercise goals as you increase your endurance and fitness level, but you should always have a clear idea of how much exercise you want to get on a daily basis.

Finally, try to associate your new fitness goals with something else in your life that you already enjoy. You might save up your favorite podcasts to listen to while at the gym or treat yourself to a massage after a full week of daily activity. Small rewards that fit your health goals serve you well when working on how to make exercise a habit.

Setting Goals for Fitness

To make it easy to turn your exercise goal into a habit, set a clear goal. Don’t just start with a vague urge to get active. Consider your starting fitness level and preferred types of exercise, then make plans like walking three times a week and doing weightlifting four times a week.

If you’re not sure what kind of exercise to do, just set an easy starting goal, like 20 minutes a day. Keep it achievable, and don’t burn yourself out in the first week by overestimating your abilities. Rearrange your schedule so there’s always a block of time available for exercise, preferably at the same time every day.

Adding a Social Element

Introducing a social element to your fitness routine increases the chances of it becoming a daily habit. This means making plans with friends or even strangers in a fitness group and committing to supporting each other. If your friends stop working out or your gym group breaks up, you need to find a new social support group ASAP. If nothing else, consider signing up for a workout plan that involves giving back to the community by raising money for every day you practice how to make exercise a habit.

Commit to Failing

There will be a point in which your daily fitness habit fails, and you can’t do anything about it. Giving yourself a set number of days when you can fail and still consider yourself on a streak is a good way to prevent burnout. Of course, you can’t just give yourself excuses that will prevent you from ever starting the habit. Make sure you get a few weeks in without missing a day, and then you’ll be a lot less likely to quit over a few missed workouts. Staying flexible with your ability to alter your goals if they seem unachievable will also keep you on track and less tempted to quit entirely.

Automate Habit Tracking and Reminders

When learning how to make exercise a habit, you need to reduce the effort and willpower needed just to remember to go to the gym. Choose a habit or goal-tracking app and set up reminders for every day of the week. You shouldn’t have to worry about choosing a time or figuring out what workouts to do, either. Apps can choose random workouts for you or help track your commitments and suggest the perfect block of free time for fitting in a run. The less work you have to do before ever working out, the more you’ll stick to your goals and form a new happy.

Daily exercise will improve your health, mood, and longevity. Stop struggling with the habit of getting active and make a plan that you can really stick to for fitness. Get started today to Spread Love to yourself in addition to supporting your community.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart