Have you tried to get into a routine of exercising and it only lasts a few days? Here are some ideas to make exercise a daily habit.
One way to make exercise a habit is to do it right after a habit that you already have established. An example would be, after I wake up and brush my teeth I will exercise. Another example would be after I take off my work clothes I will put on my exercise clothes. Stacking your habits can make them stick better. You can think or write out all of your current daily habits and see where exercise could best fit in and then do that daily. This will also help create consistency and can make it become automatic.
If you are exercising at home, create a space for it and have that be where you exercise every time. If you are going to the gym, set out a gym bag and outfit before bed or if you are going after work, have it in your car ready to go.
It is also important to make adding a habit appealing, so you could tell yourself after I exercise for 10 minutes I will read a book or check the news/social media or watch a TV show. Try to add your habit that you need to do (exercise) with a habit you want to do ( read, watch TV, etc).
You could also make it more appealing by listening to music that you love while you exercise, or watching a TV show while you exercise. Challenge yourself by saying you will only watch a certain show while you are exercising to make it something you look forward to.
View exercise, in a positive way, instead of thinking of it as something hard, tiring or dreadful. Think positively by saying, this will make me stronger so I have more strength to play with my grandkids. This will increase my endurance so I will have more endurance to go shopping. This will increase my confidence so I will feel more comfortable and confident when traveling or hiking.
Habits form based on repetition. If you exercise everyday for 30 days, it is more likely to become a habit compared to if you only exercised twice over those 30 days. Repetition is key, it doesn’t matter how long you exercise for, it is just about making sure you do it.
It is also important to start small. So starting with 2-5 minutes of exercise may sound strange but once you have created the habit of doing 2-5 minutes then you can improve it/ increase the time.
If you are someone that likes to make lists and cross things out, put exercise on your to do list and cross it off once you complete it. Or you could put an x or check mark on a calendar or piece of paper to track your progress and have the satisfying feeling of checking it off and also of seeing how far you have come. Try not to miss more than 1 day in a row. Even if you don’t feel like it or you don’t have much time, go back to at least doing 2-5 minutes so you can keep maintaining progress and stay on track.
Make sure the exercise fits you, if you have never liked running don’t try it now, if you have always enjoyed walking focus on that. You could try something new like a dance class or pickleball. Find something that works for you, your body, and your personality.
If you need help getting started or finding an exercise routine that works for you contact A to Z Personal Wellness.