Tips on how to make exercise a habit that sticks
The new year is a time where it seems like everyone makes goals to work out and get fit. But by the 3rd week of January, that all seems to go out the window.
I’ve seen this happen almost every year, where my workout classes are packed with fresh faces. But after just a few weeks, they dwindle down back down to the regulars.
I’ve been on a good workout routine for a number of years now. Of course when Covid happened, it was a bit of a shake up for me. I had to change my whole exercise routine from classes to doing workouts to do it at home. However I was able to adjust quite easily since I had already made exercise a regular habit.
Nonetheless, I still remember when I first started to work out, and boy, was it hard to get into a good exercise habit. So in this post, I thought I’d share some tips on how to make exercise a habit so that you can be healthier in the long run!
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Tips on How to Make Exercise a Habit
Focus on the ritual and not the results
These days it feels like everyone is looking for a quick fix or fast results, particularly when it comes to health and fitness. But truthfully it takes time for your results to show.
In the meantime, focus on creating the habit and enjoying it. This will allow you to make exercise a habit and part of your daily routine.
Try to schedule your workouts alongside one of the other routines that you already have in place. For example if you’re a morning person maybe plan to work out every day after you brush your teeth.
By stacking your exercise routine on a habit you already have you’ll be more likely to do it and stick to it.
Start with mini workouts
Everyone seems to want to set big goals of working out 4 times a week with 60 minute sessions. But realistically, if you’re not use to this, it will just be overwhelming and lead you to quit.
If you’re not use to working out, you’ll need to start with smaller goals. Doing mini workouts even as small as 5-10 minutes are a good place to start.
When I first starting working out I used the 8 minute workout app. It’s a series of 12 high intensity exercises that are basic enough for beginners and help you build strength for harder workouts. I did this every day for a couple weeks. Then I doubled it, and did that for a few more weeks, and then tripled it until I was up to 24 minutes.
These mini workouts allowed me to build the habit of exercising on a regular basis, and allowed my body to learn to move and do the basic exercises that I would need for more intense workouts down the road.
Forget the ‘all or nothing’ mentality
When it comes to exercise the all or nothing approach does not serve you. So many people think just because they start a diet or exercise plan they have to be totally in or they completely fall off the wagon.
Say you plan a workout for today, but say things get crazy at work and you miss your scheduled time. Well that doesn’t mean you’ve failed, or you can’t do your workout later in the day, or simply replace it with another time of activity like a walk or something else.
Life happens sometimes, and even if you miss your workout, that doesn’t mean you you’ve fallen off the wagon. Just remember your results are an accumulation of your efforts, not matter how small.
Find joy in your workouts
If you’re not enjoying your workouts, you’re probably not going to stick to them and make them a habit.
Don’t let yourself be pigeon-holed into a certain type of workout just because it’s trendy or everyone is doing them. Find a workout that suits you, your lifestyle and what you like.
When I first started working out, I always hated doing cardio because I associated it with running on a treadmill which I hated. But I then found that doing boxing classes were a much more fun way to get my cardio.
Different things will work for different people, so make sure you try different exercises or types of activities to find out what works for you!
Hope you found these tips helpful so you can make exercise a habit!
And if you have any tips you’d like to share, let me know in the comments below!