How to Make Exercise a Habit

Posted by Kendal McSorley on

How to Make Exercise a Habit

New Years Eve rolls around and we have our new year’s resolution set. Possibly the same goal as last year “To get fit and healthy or to finally get that bikini body” It’s great to have these goals in place but why are we so motivated at the beginning and then as time goes on we lose interest or motivation?

A study on long term exercisers, who had been working out for 13 years or more show reasons why they continue to exercise and what keeps them motivated

  • Fitness
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Energy
  • Enjoyment of the Exercise
  • Making exercise a priority
  • Sleeping better
  • Feeling alert
  • Being relaxed
  • Weight management

Notice that most of the reasons above come down to a feeling of wellbeing. Focusing on the way exercise makes you feel rather than focusing on how many kilos you need to lose by next week can make it a much more enjoyable process, it also makes it easier to stick with if you take the extra pressure off yourself. When you are enjoying exercising and focusing on how its making you feel, the results will follow.

So how can you make it easier on yourself to stick to a good routine and create a habit?

1. Mixing up your exercise with different activities you enjoy.  Now that summer is on its way, the days are longer and warmer there is no excuse. A game of tennis, walking, running, swimming, yoga, circuit training, or joining a team sport are all fun ways to keep active without getting sick of the same old thing.

2. Commit to another person.  Making a commitment to work out with a friend at the gym or go for a walk holds you accountable but it also makes it harder to quit when you have someone else counting on you.

3. Make exercise a priority. Think of yourself as the boss and exercise is an important meeting with yourself that you cannot reschedule. You will feel so much better for it afterwards and before you know it rescheduling will no longer be an option. If you have time to scroll your face book newsfeed you have time to exercise.

4. Exercise in the morning. If you find it harder to exercise in the evenings because you have children or family commitments, plan to get up early before anyone else and get it done. It’s a fantastic way to start the day and you will feel energised and ready to take on the day.

5. Exercise on your way home from work. Exercising on your way home from work is the next best thing to exercising in the morning.  Take your gym bag along with you to work so you can go straight to the gym after work. This avoids you getting home, sitting on the couch and getting comfortable.

6. Exercise even then you are tired. It can be so hard to get the motivation to exercise after a long day or if you are feeling to tired, but chances are you will have a lot more energy afterwards and feel better for it as exercise releases a hormone called serotonin which is our body’s “happy hormone”

7. Keeping a log diary. Keeping a record of the exercise you do can be a fun way to track your goals. From the amount of steps you take, distance you run each day or how many times you have worked out that week. It holds you accountable but also allows you to look back on how far you have come

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