How to Make Exercise a Regular Habit
If you ask anyone who has used exercise to make a big change in their life, most of them will say that it takes long-term dedication and consistency. We all know that regular exercise and proper nutrition is the key to maintaining a healthy heart, but in our busy #hustle lifestyle, it may be difficult to incorporate exercise into your regular everyday routine.
Making behavioral changes is hard, we get that, so to help you build a consistent habit of exercising, here are 6 tips to help kickstart your journey to be more active:
1. Plan your workouts
Exercise takes time and effort. If you have a busy schedule, you need to accommodate for it. Plan your workouts for the week in advance and set aside some time for them. Whether these workouts are in the mornings or late at night, be sure to commit to these workout times and not flake on them.
2. Set short-term goals
Setting multiple attainable short-term goals will help keep you on track to your long-term goal. To increase your chances to achieving these goals, make sure these goals are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound). For example, a S.M.A.R.T. short-term goal is to exercise for 30 minutes, 4 days a week.
3. Start small and scale upwards
Setting S.M.A.R.T. short-term goals is one of the most important steps to making exercise a habit. Starting off small and setting up a realistic base of goals for yourself makes building your way up much easier. By starting small, you allow yourself some breathing room so that you won't be immediately overwhelmed at the beginning.
4. Realize that exercising is a privilege
Many people view exercise as a chore, something that we should do in order to be healthier, but not enough people realize that exercise is a privilege. Exercise shouldn't be treated as punishment for what you you eat, but instead, it should be a celebration for what your body is capable of doing. Realizing that being able to exercise is fun and a privilege brings you one step closer to forming it into a habit. After all, you must enjoy what you do in order to make it a habit.
5. Focus on building up the habit, not the result
Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We all want to achieve the "washboard abs" look after a couple of runs to the gym, but realistically, that won't happen in the timespan of a couple of weeks, or even months. We must understand that most of our long-term goals aren't achieved by one or two short-term goals, it is achieved through a collection of multiple short-term goals. By focusing on short-term goals and building them up over time, you are slowly starting to change your lifestyle. This process will lead to building up habits that can lead to your long-term goal.
6. Get a workout buddy
It can be tough trying to change your daily routine, but by having a friend or family member to be your workout partner, you can make the process a lot more enjoyable. Not only does working out with a partner make exercising more fun, but by getting a workout partner, both parties can keep each other accountable. This means that you'll be less likely to skip your workouts as you'll know someone will be relying on you. Not only is this beneficial for both sides, but it will also strengthen your relationship with them too!