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How to make exercise a habit

Now the number one excuse I hear is I don’t have time to workout in the day. To me this tells me something. Your health and well being isn’t a priority! If you’re serious about your health and well being (You should be) then making exercise a habit is essential to being kind to yourself. In this blog I’m going to discuss how to form better habits and how to make them stronger, so that you can start making your health a priority and to stop finding excuses.

A habit is a behaviour pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance. Now to create a habit and being able to stick to it are two very different things. Below are some ways to strengthen and maintain that habit.

1. Commit to Thirty Days

Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic. If you can make it through the initial conditioning phase, it becomes much easier to sustain. A month is a good block of time to commit to a change since it easily fits in your calendar. Commit to perform at least 30 minutes of activity each day. This can be anything from walking the dog to running or lifting weights. But stick to this 30 minutes daily. This may mean you have to get up 30 minutes earlier but sticking to this will help ingrain your habit deeper.

2. Make it Daily

Consistency is critical if you want to make a habit stick. If you want to start exercising, go to the gym every day for your first thirty days. Going a couple times a week will make it harder to form the habit. Activities you do once every few days are trickier to lock in as habits.

3. Start Simple

Don’t try to completely change your life in one day. It is easy to get over-motivated and take on too much. This is why I advise 30 minutes daily. Your bodies tolerance to exercise will build over the first 30 days and then you can start to increase the volume.

4. Remind Yourself

Around two weeks into your commitment it can be easy to forget. Place reminders to execute your habit each day or you might miss a few days. If you miss time it defeats the purpose of setting a habit to begin with. This can be a reminder on you calendar on your phone that alerts you 15 minutes before you need to go an exercise. Technology is so helpful these days meaning the ‘I forgot’ excuse has gone out of the window.

5. Stay Consistent

The more consistent your habit the easier it will be to stick. For the first 30 days of exercising, try going at the same time, to the same place for your thirty days. When cues like time of day, place and circumstances are the same in each case it is easier to stick.

6. Get a Buddy

Find someone who will go along with you and keep you motivated if you feel like quitting. Walking, running or lifting with a friend is a great way to stay on track because if one day you’re not motivated they can help pick you up and vice versa.

7. Make it Fun

If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. Many large fitness center's/ gym’s will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes. Whether it’s weights, spinning classes, yoga or even rock climbing. There are 1000’s of ways to be active. Find what you like doing and it feels less of a chore and more of a reward.

Help and Advice

If you’re looking for any advice on the above blog or are looking for guidance and motivation through online coaching please drop me an email on to find out more information on how we can help you. Just like we’re helping hundred’s of other individuals become a fitter, healthier version of themselves. Alternatively go to this link to set up a consultation call.

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