Exercise shouldn’t be a chore, a hassle or even boring, but when it is, getting into a fitness routine is challenging. Adopting a regular exercise practice becomes easier when we consider and remember the benefits of why we are exercising and once you can make it enjoyable. With my tips, you can make exercise as normal as brushing your teeth. Once working out becomes a routine, you will start to crave it and hate to miss it.
Several studies preformed on habit-forming activities reveal that there are many variables that determine the time "required" to turn anything into habit. It is hard to say with certainty that it will take exactly 21 days of doing something consecutively for it to become a habit – your determination plays a large role. My suggestion is to commit to 30 Days of consecutive exercise. If you can make it through the first month, it becomes much easier to sustain. Suggestions for success:
Exercise daily: Go to the gym / do a planned exercise routine every day for your first month. Going only a couple times a week will make it difficult to form the habit. Keep it simple & consistent. Do the workout the same time everyday. If you are going from doing nothing to even just 15 minutes of daily exercise, your body will feel and notice the difference. Don't try to overachieve.
Find a partner: Working out with a friend, co-worker or family member is great for encouragement and motivation. If curving out time for exercise is taking away from time at home with the family, make it a family affair.
Don't be too hard on yourself: If you miss a day, don't fall into the mindset that you have ruined all of your efforts, just pick up where you left off. Don't abort the whole operation!
Prepare for success: Cancel any plans or move other commitments that will interfere with your first 30 days of exercise. Spend time with people who model the habits you want to mirror. Write down your goals and workout plan.
Know the benefits: Physical health benefits include burning calories, increased metabolism, and weight loss. Exercise also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. With exercise you may experience increased energy, better sleep patterns, and reduced stress. If you truly understand what you stand to gain—or lose—based on your fitness routine, then it should be easier for you to keep going even when it feels just a bit too much.
Get started today and stay committed for the next 30 days. Make your exercise program realistic, stick to your plan, and don’t postpone. Forming this new habit will set you on the path for good health and ultimately bring you closer to a life of wellness and longevity.
Questions? Email JadeAlexis@ebony.com for advice about your workout plans!