Studies show that a physical activity is associated with better physical and psychological outcomes. The range of benefits, which bring exercises, is wide: from the improvement of health, sleep patterns, mood states, energy levels to the elimination of signs of anxiety, stress, and depression.
However, sometimes we find it difficult to do sports regularly and the number of training days gradually decreases. It leads to the sense of guilt, the state of hopelessness and the abandonment of the exercises. Nevertheless, it is possible to avoid it.
There are some hints, which can make the exercise a part of your routine without extra efforts.
What Prevents You From Making Exercise Your Habit?
Mental barriers interfere with your exercises, so before engaging in a routine workout, get rid of your excuses. Even if you think that you have a lack of time, strength, energy, there is a solution to each problem. What do you say to yourself more often?
1.Training is boring and troublesome
If sweating in the gym doesn't attract you, then find an alternative. It should bring you joy. For instance, dancing, tennis, aerobics, accompanied by your favorite music or cycling with friends may be an option.
2.A lack of time
This is not an excuse, you do have time, but you don't have a desire. You just should focus on sport and make it the part of your daily life. Even short bursts of activity (approximately 10-20 minutes) will be effective. Or you can hit the gym on weekends and have standard sessions.
3.I am exhausted
It's a myth that you can be too tired to do exercises. In fact, sport boosts up energy and reduces fatigue. If you work out regularly, you feel more refreshed and energized.
4.My health is bad, I am too old for it.
You can't be too old or too sick to exercise. You can build up your physical strength and endurance at any age and certain exercises improve your health. A mindful approach to training will help you to become healthier and will reduce stress.
Just watch the rhythm of your breathing, feel how flexible your muscles are and how your heart reacts. The sport will energize you and enhance the oxygen exchange, which is good for all body systems.
How to Turn Exercise into a Habit that Sticks?
Scientists prove that useful habits are formed consciously. So, define your goals, needs, make up a clear plan and make exercise a habit by following these tips.
1.Choose Pleasant Activities
Go for activities, which bring you joy and at the same time keep you fit. Even if certain exercises are highly effective, but you feel clumsy during the session, throw them aside. An exercise as a habit is about your comfort. Choose a useful activity and combine it with things you love: favorite music, amusing podcasts, etc.
Besides, don't cling to the gym only, there are plenty of alternatives to strength and cardio training. Do you love animals? Try horseback riding. Do you enjoy music? Consider ballroom dancing, Zumba. Do you feel great in nature? Then hiking, kayaking, rock climbing are for you. Do you cultivate self-discipline? Then martial arts and fencing are your choices. Think out-of-the-box and find the activity, which will be interesting and useful for you.
2.Make Exercise Your Top Priority
Train every single day and build momentum gradually. If you want to achieve results, start small and make exercises non-negotiable. Otherwise, a wrong approach causes stress. Of course, people, who work out five times a week, do cardio for 1 hour, their bench press is more than 100 kg are your role models. But you must always move on your own path in accordance with your current level of athleticism. It's good if you have ambitions, but don't finish your workout on the ground in a breathless heap.
Schedule your routine and mark the day of your workout. Note that it will have the greatest effect when you are at your energy peak. If you are a morning person, then schedule the training before your work. You'll be energized for the whole day. Or, if you prefer training in the evening, do it, it'll help you to unwind from a stressful day and improve your sleep. Start with twenty minutes of moderate intensity activity every day and let your body get used to the daily workout.
On top of that, allow some setbacks and missed sessions, they are inevitable. But don't skip too many sessions, remember that consistency is a key point.
3.Review Activities & Track Progress
The habit implies monitoring of current activities and progress. Always check things, which are significant to you, it is useful and motivational.
For instance, how much time you've exercised, how many steps you walked, how far you ran. It will enable you to make some changes. You may realize what activities to add and which should be reduced. You may change the time, which will be the most effective or ask for a professional help to adjust your regimen.
We all have a desire for the self-improvement. Tracking your progress contributes to setting higher standards for yourself. Check out your progress indicators and you will realize what has changed and on which things you should focus. There are several indicators:
- Healthier sleep.
- Heart recovery.
- Less fat percentage.
- Boosted energy.
- Clearer thinking.
- Prominent muscles.
- Improved blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, bone density.
- Higher endurance.
After you've reached some goals, you are motivated to strive for bigger accomplishments.
4.Opt Variety & Celebrate Victories
Even if you do things which you love permanently, it can knock you off the track. So you should mix up different activities. Have you spent two hours in the gym? Then walk or run in the picturesque places the next day. Or select swimming, running, fitness classes, dancing to keep yourself entertained.
Besides, each time you achieve success, give yourself deserved kudos. Pamper yourself after you've conquered another height. But these rewards should be relevant. For instance, buy new walking shoes, go to the SPA center or refresh your workout outfit. These means will be a good incentive to keep going.
You are unlikely to skip the training if you are committed to someone. You can let yourself off, but when another person counts on you, you can't let him down. Moreover, studies show that the workout intensity and duration is increased by 200 per cent if you train with a friend.
When you have a buddy, who is your incentive and the checker of your progress, then you will stay on the track.
If you set lofty goals, or concentrate on the result over the process, then you'll give up. Because if you don't reach your goals, then you end up being hopeless and apathetic. Pay more attention to the realistic process, you should be able to manage it.
Don't overdo the exercise. You can create a minimum standard, which you are willing to do daily. Pick the exercises, which are easy to do every day, which give you a burst of energy but don't do them too intensively. If you go to extremes and push yourself to the maximum, then it may break your habit.
Hence, making the exercise a habit is challenging and it won't happen overnight. But if you manage to exercise on a daily basis, then it will lead to many good things. Your lifestyle, the attitude towards life will be changed and you'll obtain a positive mindset.