Most of us long for a healthier lifestyle and have a fit body by exercising regularly and following a healthy diet. As much as this is ideal, this often remains a thought in our heads as life starts to get in the way.
We often become too busy and preoccupied to exercise and end up buying processed or junk food instead of cooking up something healthy to eat. So many things going on in life can stop you from living healthily and getting fit – unless you make it a habit to exercise regularly.
As foreign as exercising may seem initially, it can become second nature, similar to eating, drinking and brushing your teeth, as long as you follow through and do it every day.
Many people say that it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. Once it is formed, it becomes inherent and is already harder to break. If you repeat something – in this case, exercise – often enough, it becomes a part of you.
Here are some tips that you can follow in order to make regular exercise a daily habit and help you survive the first 21 days.
#1 Commit Yourself To Change
Taking up regular exercise may be difficult – especially if you do not get to move around much during the day. Thus, you have to commit yourself to making a change for the sake of getting fit.
Don’t have time to work out during the day? Why not set your alarm earlier than usual so you can squeeze in at least thirty minutes worth of exercise before you start your day?
If you have extra time in the afternoon, you can use that time to go on a jog or go swimming. You can also commit yourself to trying out a new sport, like playing badminton or table tennis, with friends.
#2 Set Achievable Goals
It may be easy to go overboard with all the planning before you eventually start that exercise routine of your choice.
You’ll probably find yourself creating a schedule calendar for your workout, or a table to list your fitness classes for the week. Or, you even write down goals that you want to achieve.
When you do plan, try to consider if you are setting goals that you can easily achieve. Goals like “Do 1 hour of yoga and 1 hour of Pilates daily,” “Fifty lunges a day,” or “100 sit-ups every morning after getting up” may probably give you great results, but they aren’t really a great start – especially if you have been sedentary for years.
#3 Take Baby Steps
There’s nothing wrong with starting small. Don’t worry if you are just putting in fifteen to twenty minutes of exercise or doing just one set per rep during the first two weeks. Nobody else is counting! Set small goals that you can achieve and build on it over time.
#4 Write Down Your Progress
After you have set your goals, be sure to track your progress and note your achievements. This will help you see what you have accomplished and note on where you are having difficulty. This can help you pinpoint issues that you can address, such as difficulty in getting up during the mornings to jog, or not being able to sustain your energy for one hour of Zumba.
#5 Get An Exercise Buddy
Humans are social creatures, so it is definitely fun to exercise with a buddy! Invite a friend who also loves to work out or someone who follows a routine similar to yours. It is always easier to push through with your goals when you have someone to share it with. Plus, it is harder to put off when you know that you have already made plans with someone.
#6 Make Exercise A Priority
Make sure that it is non-negotiable – if you want something hard enough, work just as hard to achieve it.
Once exercise does become a habit, make sure that you do not stop there. Take things a step further by changing the way you eat, ensuring that you get proper nutrition from a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. Over time, exercise and healthy eating will come naturally, like it’s been part of you your whole life!
At this point, we would love to hear from you! Do you usually make excuses to skip and workout, and what do you usually do to make sure that you stick to your routine?
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