We all have good intentions especially for our new year’s resolution, to start a healthy habit and start eating right and exercising. We start to work out for maybe say a week or even up to a month then we start missing days then weeks and before you know it we’ve fallen all the way off the wagon and stopped exercising altogether. There is a saying that it takes 21 days to form a habit but what happens after that 21 days? How can exercise be a part of a daily routine for the long haul? There is a misconception of how exercise works and many times people put an expectation on themselves too high to meet and then give up because it becomes unrealistic for them. Here are some tips to help you make exercise a daily habit and stick to it.
A study conducted by Researcher Diane Klein PhD., showed where many people are not obsessed with getting washboard abs and having big guns but are more interested in staying healthy, managing their weight, sleeping better and making exercise a priority. The people who stuck to their exercise routine on a day to day basis made small but realistic daily goals for themselves. It could be as simple as making a plan to walk around the block after work or spending 10 minutes in the gym on your complex jogging on the treadmill. For me, I’ve found that taking 30 minutes to do an at home workout is what works best and keeps me on track.
Switch things up
Variety is important because it does not make you bored having to do the same thing every day over and over again. If there is a particular thing you love like playing basketball, swimming or tennis; switch things up and play a game every other day between working out at home or walking the trail in your community.
A reward system is brilliant because it gives you a goal to work towards and upon reaching that goal you’re able to get the treat you promised yourself. It does not have to always be food it could be getting a new pair of kicks, or a piece of jewelry when you get to your goals. This is a personal journey so you must celebrate your wins. Be good to yourself. It’s worth it.
Get a workout partner
Keeping a routine does not mean that you have to sign up for a gym membership. There are many ways to exercise outside of the gym like simple speed walking to calisthenics which is using things in the environment as resistance or tension in exercise. Doing this or even going to the gym with another person provides some form of accountability. The other person can also motivate you to not stop and vice versa. They also can be the resistance in your training whether it be holding your legs down for pull ups or partner for squatting. Plus, it’s an added bonus to catch up with a friend all while getting fit.
When you have a big and extravagant goal there is always focus on the end goal and not working day to day along the way. It is easy to get discouraged when this big goal is not met. For example, you want to lose 20 pounds in a month,at the end of the month you’ve managed to lose 10, don’t get discouraged because it never happened but continue and extend this goal to another month and keep at it. If you stay consistent with your workouts and eating right. You will get to your goal.
Keeping a workout journal of what has happened daily puts things into perspective for you and also allows you to see how well you’ve been doing or where you need to improve. Writing things down also puts your ideas to life on paper and can help you with planning out routines for the next day and week.
Exercise is one very important component in the healthy lifestyle ratio but it does not need to be complicated and complex. Just by taking simple steps by setting small goals and sticking to them you’ll be surprised how much simpler it becomes. There is nothing wrong with exercise, do not let it overwhelm you, break down long term goals into short term ones then to day-to-day goals and you’ll be at that long term goal in no time.