We all know that exercise is good for us, but many of us don’t exercise often enough. If you make exercise a habit, then it becomes an important part of your life. That is where you will see the most benefits of exercise.
Regular exercise is important
I’ve talked about the many benefits of exercise in several different blog posts so I won’t go into to many details but exercise is important. It has been shown to help with weight loss and maintenance, helping you look and feel younger, reducing menopause symptoms and of course improving your health.
Many people get started with an exercise program or join a gym and are excited to get started. This is prevalent in January with New Years resolutions. Unfortunately most of these people don’t develop a habit of exercising so they don’t see the benefits and then they stop.
Habits usually take about 30 days to fully form. To make a habit you need to do it consistently and really commit for those first 30 days. I list several ways you can look at forming an exercise habit that you can try.
How to form an exercise habit:
Exercise every day
Habits are more easy to form if you do them every day. If you have not been exercising regularly this may seem like way too much. But a little exercise every day does much more to establish a habit than trying to exercise twice a week. It is far too easy to fall out of the twice a week exercise routine. And chances are that you are not getting enough exercise if it is only twice a week.
You can get started with ten minutes a day and vary your routine to include things like walking, stretching, strength training. Then it doesn’t seem too bad.
Add it to your calendar
If you have a really busy schedule, then adding exercise to your routine, even small amounts might seem impossible. Take a look at your schedule and see where you can fit this in and then add it to the calendar. This might mean taking a walk at lunch, using the fitness centre at your office before work or doing a little stretching before you go to bed. (I don’t recommend strenuous exercise before bed because it makes sleep difficult)
Exercise first thing in the morning
You may have decided that you will exercise sometime during the day, but you get doing things and forget about it. Before you know the day is done and you haven’t done any exercise.
If you decide to exercise first thing in the morning, it gets it out of the way and you are less likely to forget about it. There are several other advantages to exercising in the morning:
- It is cooler if you are exercising outside
- Exercising in the morning increases your metabolism
- It increases your energy throughout the day
- You will have better focus the rest of the day
- Exercising in the morning will improve your sleep
It is easier to make morning exercise happen if you set your alarm early and lay your clothes out the night before. If you need to grab a little bit to eat to get you going, have something ready to go.
Make a plan
However you decide to make your exercise routine happen, it helps to come up with a plan. Mark it in your calendar or use a fitness app. If your schedule is going to be changing, for a vacation for instance, then make a plan for while you are away or for when you get back.
But be flexible
Many things can get in the way of your exercise plan. The weather might be bad when you planned to go cycling, you might have a dentist appointment, or work might get really busy. Change your plans as you need to, but the longer you have exercise as a part of your life, the easier it will be to include it in your day.
Once you have made exercise a part of your life, you will wonder how you did without it. If you are having trouble with creating that habit or even knowing what you should be doing, you can try online personal training with a 7 day free trial.