13 Nov 10 Essential Tips For Making Exercise A Daily Habit
The most effective way to improve your health, lose weight, and look fantastic is to make exercise a daily habit.
By making physical exercise a regular habit, you will constantly be making steady improvements to your physical fitness over time and you won’t experience any unhealthy lulls were you are inactive for weeks.
To help you get started, this guide will share 10 essential tips for forming the exercise habit.
#1 – Always exercise at the same time each day
Forming an exercise habit is much easier if you perform workout at precisely the same time each day.
Set aside a block of time for exercising and make a concerted effort to stick to it.
Take some steps to ensure you are always ready to exercise at this time:
- Set an alarm on your phone
- Schedule out a daily block of time on your calendar
- If you have a busy family life, let others know that you are setting aside this time for exercise and it is non-negotiable
- Avoid behaviours which cause you to skip or delay a session, like talking on the phone for too long, eating just before your session, or staying up too late
#2 – Do it in the morning
Fitness experts believe that the best time of day to exercise is in the morning.
There are a few reasons for scheduling workouts in the morning, including:
Willpower is strongest in the morning
Most people are mentally reinvigorated in the morning, which helps them exert the willpower necessary to exercise.
Evenings tend to be busier
If you have a busy family or work life, chances are your afternoons and evenings will be very busy times of the day, which makes it difficult to form an exercise habit.
There are less distractions
Mornings tend to be quieter and free of distractions.
When you wake up early, you will be walking through a quiet household and exercising before you know it.
You also won’t run the risk of just sitting on the couch with a glass of wine as you might after a long day at work.
#3 – Start with a small amount of exercise
A common mistake made by people starting a new exercise regime is to immediately begin working out at a very high intensity.
This increases their risk of injury and makes it much more difficult to form an exercise habit.
They will simply find it “too hard” to maintain exercising for more than a week or two.
Instead of having a “no pain no gain” attitude, take it very easy for the first month or two.
Remember that your main goal is to form a habit, so exercise becomes a part of your lifestyle.
Once you are used to exercising every day, you can gradually ramp up the intensity.
A 15 to 20 minute walk or bike ride is all you need to get started.
#4 – Just get out the door
When you are attempting to form an exercise habit, you will inevitably have days where you just don’t feel like it.
The best way to deal with these low motivation days is to simply say to yourself “I’ll just give it 10 minutes then see how I feel”.
Walk outside and get moving.
Within a few minutes you will be feeling re-energised and enjoying your workout.
#5 – Track your progress
It often helps to keep a journal which records your daily activity levels.
Write down how long you exercised each day, what type of exercise you performed and how you felt afterwards.
You will be surprised by how quickly your body adapts and you begin to feel the positive effects of regular exercise.
#6 – Gradually increase intensity
It’s easier to make exercise a habit if you are seeing changes in yourself.
It produces a positive feedback loop where the more progress you see, the better you feel, and the more you want to exercise.
After 4 weeks of getting your butt out the door, begin to challenge yourself.
So, if you have been walking each day, walk at a higher speed for some sections or jog for a little while.
When you note your progress, remember to include details of any higher intensity sections during your workout.
#7 – Incorporate some technology
Technology can be useful for forming an exercise habit and tracking your progress.
You can use a fitness device like a Fitbit to remind you when to start your session.
It will also track data relating to your workout including your heart rate, distance moved, and calories burnt.
#8 – Find ways to make your workout pleasurable
Find ways to make each workout pleasurable.
Some of the best ways include:
Visit beautiful locations
Find a beautiful outdoor location to exercise.
You will begin to look forward to the calming effect that visiting this location has on your mind and body.
Exercise during the nicest part of the day
If you are exercising outside, pick a time of the day when the temperature is ideal and there is less traffic around.
Listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks
Listening to your favourite band or an entertaining podcast makes exercise sessions much more enjoyable.
#9 – Prepare for your workout in advance
Having your workout gear already packed or ready to wear will make it much easier to for your exercise habit.
You won’t be hunting around for a clean pair of socks as you think of an excuse to skip the workout for the day.
#10 – Use many types of workouts
Varying the types of exercise you perform will ensure your workouts don’t get boring — making it easier to form an exercise habit.
Incorporate walking, jogging, rowing, yoga, weight training, cycling and sports like soccer.
Another benefit of varying the types of exercise that you perform is that you will obtain a full body workout that improves all aspects of your physical fitness.