“I’ll start exercising this new year.” It is one of the most common resolutions we make every New Year’s Eve. Enroll in a gym, exercise for a few weeks, and stop. That’s how it usually goes.
Let’s face it. Exercising is not difficult. What’s difficult is keeping up to a routine our body is not used to. People will flock the gyms on the first quarter of the month, and then most of them will drop out.
It is difficult to change our behavior. I, too, sometimes think that I should stop exercising just because I felt my body and mind is tired. But whenever I exercise, I start feeling hearty, so I make sure to stick with the commitment I have with myself. With that, I will share with 6 ways on how we can make exercise a habit.
1. Set a time and stick with it
Usually, people will enroll in a gym at the start of the year, or before summer begins, as part of their resolution and goal. But most of them cannot stick with their plan because their time and schedule forbid them to do so. That is why you need to plan and schedule your exercise, and follow it by heart. Habits are behaviors which you do repeatedly, until such time your body knows and already used to it.
You need to decide whether you will stick with a morning or evening routine, whichever fits your schedule perfectly. During my 30-day challenge, most of the time, I schedule my walks and cycling at night time. So, every night, my body yearns for the exercise I am doing because it is already used to it. You can also set an alarm so that you’ll know it’s time for you to exercise.
2. Start small
Whenever we see fitness videos, we get motivated to start exercising. But when we started trying and copying the routine, we then realized it’s hard. That is because your body is not yet conditioned and ready for routines as big as those. Doing something that is out of the range of our body’s capabilities can cause burnout. We need to start small.
You can start by lifting your legs while sitting and watching TV, or by filling your bottle with water and use it as a dumbbell, or stretch out your arms. It’s easier to convince yourself to do these exercises than to copy the routines on the videos at once. And when your body is already used to moving, then that is the time when you can follow and copy those fitness videos.
I started just taking a walk outside as a form of exercise, and the fact that I was able to finish it made me feel hearty. And as time passed by, I stuck to an hour or two of walking, cycling or yoga. Habits don’t show the results at the beginning. So, you need to be motivated to see it until the end.
3. Do something you enjoy
People have different preferences, and that applies to work out routines as well. If you hurt yourself and are in pain whenever you exercise, you will lose your motivation to continue. But if you enjoy exercising and moving around, you will look forward in doing it again.
Maybe you enjoy exercising in the morning more than you do at night. Or you want to do Zumba instead of lifting. You will never know unless you try. Whenever I start with my walks, I sometimes talk with my family and friends. And it made me enjoy my routine. That is why I always look forward to starting my exercise. So, experiment with different approach and routine to see what’s best for you.
4. Plan. Move. Achieve
Sometimes, when people have a clear resolve for a task, they will likely do the task regularly. That is why we need motivation in beginning and continuing our exercise routine. For that to happen, I usually plan my routines ahead of time, schedule it, and make sure I stick with it. That way, I know that I will be able to achieve my goal, even if it’s just a small 30-minute indoor cycling. It just makes me feel hearty knowing that I have achieved something.
Therefore, make sure that you plan and stick it with. Even If your body says otherwise. Wear your running shoes, fill your water bottle and head outside. Habits are maintained if we are motivated to do it.
5. Consistency is the key
Again, habits are formed if we do something repeatedly, and most importantly, without interruptions. That being said, you still need to do your routine even if different circumstances somewhat forbid you to do it. So many things to do at work? I exercise but for a short period of time. Down with a flu? I start with my routine but make sure it’s an easy one. Out of town? I usually improvised my routines since I do not have my equipment with me. I say to myself that I still need to keep going even though the situations forbid me to do so.
Not seeing any progress? Just keep doing your routine. Results are not shown overnight. I realized that when I was doing the 30-day challenge. I felt very low one time, even thinking of not doing the challenge anymore. But with the support of my family and friends, I was able to finish it. And the result made me feel hearty and healthy.
6. Reward yourself
After keeping up to your workout routine, you at least deserve a reward. It may be a scoop of ice cream, or a spa day, or even just a rest day. They say that rewards motivate people. So, decide on a goal to achieve and the reward you will be getting, and work towards it.
It really is hard to keep up to something you are not used to. There will be times that you will be thinking of giving up, and just stop. That is part of the journey. But always keep in my mind about your goals, and persevere on achieving up. Keep safe and #FeelHearty