Forming new habits is never easy. Whether it’s learning how to make working out a habit or changing your eating habits, it requires commitment and perseverance. You can try to make yourself do it with sheer will power but that’s too difficult and rarely works.
If you’re like me, you realize that it takes consistency to reap the real benefits of exercise. But making yourself devote a few minutes three times a week to working out can be tough.
Part of the reason why it’s so difficult is that we often have to change our daily routine. And let’s face it, most of us are creatures of habit. We like things to stay the same and don’t like having to adjust to new situations. Additionally, forming a new habit requires time.
So why bother?
Because the benefits of forming a new habit are worth the effort. A healthy lifestyle can improve your energy levels, help you sleep better, and lower your risk of developing chronic illnesses. So if you’re struggling to make working out a habit that sticks, read on.
These are the five ways to make exercise just as much a part of your lifestyle as brushing your teeth. These tips are simple and proven methods to help your work outs turn into a habit you can’t do without.
How to make working out a habit
It’s important to remember that changing habits actually changes pathways in your brain. All research indicates that this is best done by making small changes over time that add up to a bigger change.
So, just try implementing one of these tips at a time until it becomes very familiar.
Find something you enjoy doing
A lot of people struggle to make working out a habit. They view it as a chore that they have to do rather than something they actually enjoy. However, research has shown that it is much easier to make a habit out of something if you actually enjoy doing it.
If you want to make working out a regular part of your life, it is important to find an activity or exercise that you enjoy doing.
When you look forward to your workout, you’re more likely to make time for it and stick with it in the long run. Plus, you’re more likely to stick with an activity that you enjoy, which means you’re more likely to see results. Whether you enjoy running, lifting weights, or taking a yoga class, finding an activity that you look forward to will make it easier to make working out a habit.
Keep a journal or log
Working out is essential for maintaining physical and mental health, but it can be difficult to stay motivated. One way to make it a consistent part of your routine is to keep a journal or log of your workouts. Buy these at most any book or sporting goods store.
Or, you can merely use a small notebook of any sort. If you’re working out in a gym setting, you’ll probably want to make a column for each specific exercise and list the date, the pounds, and the reps for each.
If you’re a runner, jogger, or walker, keep a log of how far you went with each session, the weather conditions, how you felt as you exercised, and how you felt at the end.
Having a record of your progress can help you see the results of your efforts, and it can also be motivating to look back and see how far you’ve come. In addition, a workout journal can help you track your progress and make sure that you are consistently challenging yourself.
When you’re serious about your work outs, it becomes important to track your results week by week. Some people log the very basics, while others enjoy making journals containing more information.
Either way, making a consistent written record of your workout results is by far the best way I know to make it a habit.
Stick to a pre-determined schedule
It can be tough to find time to fit in a workout, especially if you have a busy work schedule. However, there are a few simple tricks that can help you make time.
So don’t be discouraged if you can’t always fit in a lengthy workout; just do the best you can with the time you have.
When you have a set time to exercise or workout, you are more likely to stick to it. You don’t have to worry about making time for it; it’s already built into your day. This also allows you to plan your other activities around this block of time.
Setting goals for your physical fitness activities makes developing a habit much easier, fun, and rewarding. Without some sort of goal in mind, you’re more likely to waste your time, not progress, and give up before it becomes a routine part of your life.
These are the basics of setting any goals and fit in perfectly with making your workout time a habit.
It’s important to celebrate your accomplishments, big and small. That’s part of what keeps you motivated to maintain healthy habits. But when it comes to physical activity, how you reward yourself is just as crucial as why you’re working out in the first place. A new study published in the journal Health Psychology found that people who reward themselves with something other than food after a workout are more likely to stick to their exercise habit in the long run.
The study participants were all sedentary adults who were trying to start an exercise program. They were asked to come up with a non-food reward for themselves that they could give themselves after completing a week’s worth of workouts. Examples of rewards include buying a new book, taking a relaxing bath, or going for a walk in the park. The participants were also asked to rate how much they enjoyed their chosen activity and how likely they were to stick with it.
Those who chose non-food rewards for themselves were more likely to report higher levels of enjoyment and satisfaction with their workout program than those who didn’t have a reward system in place. Additionally, they were more likely to say that they would continue exercising even if they didn’t have a chance to earn their chosen reward. These findings suggest that non-food rewards can be a powerful tool in helping people stick to their exercise habits.
So, if you’re looking for a way to make working out a habit that sticks, consider implementing a reward system for yourself. Choose something you enjoy, and that will motivate you to keep going, even when the going gets tough.
The Benefits of Regular Exercise Outweigh the Inconvenience.
We know exercise is key to good health and fitness, but unless you can figure out how to make working out fun, it can be a drag. And it’s even harder to make it a habit if you don’t notice results right away.
However, research has shown that the benefits accumulate over time and that even small amounts of physical activity can have a positive impact on health. In fact, studies have found that regular exercise can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Exercise can also help to improve mental health, increase energy levels, and promote weight loss. So, while the benefits of making workouts a habit may not be immediately apparent, they can have a profound impact on your long-term health.