How To Make Exercise A Healthy Habit
Become an exercise addict – in a good way!
Why is it that not all people can find the time and/or energy to visit the gym on a daily basis? The real reason I used to skip regular sessions working out at my local gym was not that I was that busy. I was merely lethargic and I came up with all kinds of excuses not to workout.
It was only after realizing that my energy levels were down more than ever before and that it affected my performance at work, as well as my zest at home that I decided to do something about my sluggishness. I never imagined that I could become an exercise addict too, but I did manage it and this is how I achieved the seemingly impossible:
1. I got up earlier
Yes, I know that many of us are not early birds and I was certainly never a morning person myself, but after making a few small changes, I got into the habit of getting out of bed earlier and was refreshed and all set to workout. I set my alarm, lay out everything that I need for my workout the night before and as soon as my alarm sounds in the morning, I switch on my light. This way, I am sure to wake up immediately.
Morning exercise allows me an active and uplifting start to each day and I have found that it is easier to stick to my workout schedule when I exercise in the morning. In the past, I used to go to the gym later in the day, which was one reason it was difficult to remain disciplined. When I get my workout completed first thing every day, there is no way to skip it later through the day, which often happened in the past.
2. Keep going for at least six weeks
I knew that I had to stick with anything knew in my life for a certain period before it became a habit. In the case of working out at the same time every morning of my life, I found that a period of six weeks was ideal. It was around this time that I noticed positive changes in my body, which was very encouraging and it became much easier to keep at it. My body furthermore started to crave for exercise each morning as well and this helped me immensely in staying focused and determined.
3. Determine a preference
Many different forms of fitness exist and it does not mean if spinning is something I do not enjoy that there is no alternative form of exercise that I could not enjoy. I found the type of exercise that I enjoy the most and that is what I do the majority of the time. It is essential to identify exercises that can take a person’s attention away from stuff such as work, family matters, and health issues. I never think of working out as exercise anymore, and today, I enjoy it more than ever!
4. Join a club and appoint a trainer
Before, I always trained alone and relied on my own motivation, but that got me nowhere, which is why I joined a leading club in my region and decided to appoint a professional trainer as well. This brought me into contact with other workout enthusiasts and added a support system that I never had in the past. Adding a qualified fitness trainer moreover assisted me with setting up a specific program, which included clear goals.
I definitely needed additional motivation, especially during those initial six weeks and the trainer helped a lot. He increased my levels of motivation significantly and I exercised harder than ever before.
5. Pay for working out
Most people will stick to something more vigilantly if they know that money is involved, which is why I always pay for my workouts. This additional motivator increases the intensity of my workouts.
6. Never overdo it
Overdoing any exercise habit often leads to the premature end of the practice. Especially when starting out with a fitness program, it is important to take it easy. It is possible to get hurt when overdoing any exercise, which is something my trainer, taught me first up. I did not do too much, too soon and this prevented me from interrupting my exercise program because of injury, tiredness, or stiff muscles. Steady progress is the sensible approach when working out.
7. Record calories
When I started taking serious note of what I put into my body, I became more aware of how I am treating my body. This habit of recording my calorie intake in a food and fitness diary assisted me with balancing out any extra calories that I took each day.
8. Set achievable fitness goals
Setting goals in life is crucial, but then they have to be achievable. The same goes for the fitness goals that a person sets. I try not to be too ambitious and found that setting smaller, easily achievable benchmarks work better.
9. Make it interesting by being silly at times
Fitness routines can often be unexciting, which could easily deter a person from sticking to the fitness routine. By signing up for new and exciting, or even silly fitness challenges, such as mud runs through an obstacle course or themed fun runs will keep it interesting. I found that doing this helps me to enjoy exercising more, especially during those periods when I struggle to find sufficient motivation. I have good fun during such events, which is what exercise should be like.
10. Plan a fitness vacation
To plan a vacation in combination with exercise is a great way to accomplish fitness goals. As an example, I love to combine a week of vacation with a marathon or bike tour, especially in a region that I have not visited yet. This forces me to stay in shape and I regularly have memorable times combining both exercise and relaxing. It revitalizes me like nothing else!